Nov. 4th, 2009

joreth: (::headdesk::)

Finally! Someone has noticed the unfairness of the sex offender laws!

They are finally going to take a look at the overly-broad wording of laws that were created by knee-jerk emotional reactions to judge their fairness.

When state voters banned sex offenders from living near schools or parks, did they expect it would apply for life to all 90,000 registered sex offenders in California, just those convicted or released for their sex crimes after the law passed, or just sex offenders while they remain on parole?

Does it matter what voters thought if the law ends up leaving past sex convicts with nowhere to live?

So the people thought they were protecting their children by prohibiting all people who qualify to register as sex offenders from living anywhere near schools, parks, or "anyplace where children gather".

Instead, they made 90,000 criminals with sex offenses homeless.

I've ranted about this before. Not only is it not fair to those who have done their time and paid their debt to society and deemed worthy to return to it, not only is it not fair to lump in anyone who did something stupid involving their genitals, even those who had nothing at all to do with children or violence (peeing in public, being 19 and having oral sex with a 16 year old), and not only is it retroactive, limiting living space for everyone who qualifies no matter WHEN they were charged/committed, but it did the exact opposite of their goal. It made these "dangerous" criminals less accountable to the system by being harder to track.

Great thinking guys.

Since 2007, state corrections officials have struggled to enforce the ban on thousands of sex offender parolees.

The 2,000-foot-rule quickly led to a tenfold increase in the number of sex offenders who register as transients to avoid a probation violation.

Jessica's Law also requires lifetime GPS monitoring of all sex convicts released from prison.

Critics, including some law enforcement leaders, prosecutors and sex crime experts, argue that the ban only compromises public safety by making sex offenders less stable and pushing them away from family and counseling.

This is seriously wrong. This is lifetime punishment for people who were sentenced to limited punishment. Even murderers don't have to have lifetime GPS monitoring or limitations on housing when they're released, but a 19 year old kid who once got a blowjob from a 16 year old girl, after serving 20 years, will be faced with lifetime GPS monitoring and limited housing? C'mon!

Now, though, they are going to take a look at the law and try to figure out what, exactly, it means and how they can enforce it.

The California Sex Offender Management Board has recommended changes in Jessica's Law. The board found that the 2,000-foot-ban decreased public safety by spurring an increase in homelessness among sex offenders.

Ernest Galvan, who represents the four parolees, argued that the lack of available housing in many counties amounts to punishment.

"This is the law that puts people back in prison, inevitably, because of past crimes," he said. "The voters could not have intended to create chaos."

Let's hope more rational heads prevail and those people who deserve such harsh punishments and lifetime monitoring are the only ones who receive it.
joreth: (Kitty Eyes)
the HPV vaccine is so important for both men and women.

This is great news for people who already have tonsil cancer.  They discovered (I wrote about it before) that a significant number of people with tonsil cancer had HPV-16 in their cancer.  Now, they've discovered that cancer caused by HPV-16 responds really well to radiation WITHOUT THE NEED FOR CHEMOTHERAPY.

This greatly improves the quality of life for patients with tonsil cancer.

But if they had the vaccine, they might never have had to go through this at all.

Because smoking rates are declining, HPV as the cause of head and throat cancer is rising.  But it's also rising because of the increase in popularity of oral sex.  Pretty soon, with these two factors, HPV will be the leading cause of oral cancers in the US.

Because oral cancers are not screened as rigorously as cervical cancer is, the mortality rate for oral cancer is much higher due to not catching it as early.  This goes for men and women.

But, with the vaccine, we could reduce the numbers of head and throat cancers, along with a decline in smoking, to a very small number of people.
joreth: (::headdesk::),0,5045599.story

Here's a perfect example of my problem with the sex offender laws.

This guy, when he was 18, had a romantic relationship with a 14 year old girl. OK, not the smartest thing in the world, but not the worst either. It was a "consensual" relationship, except that the age of consent in his area was 16.

So a teacher saw picture with his hand on her boob once and she called the cops.

And he got convicted as a sex offender.

The judge recognized this for what it was and gave him a light punishment.  He got convicted of 3rd degree attempted criminal sexual conduct that was erased from his record after he completed his probation a year later.  

Except that he qualifies for the mandatory registration on the sex offender's list for life.

That's right, he had a picture taken of him with his hand on his girlfriend's boob and he is now branded for life as a sex offender.  He has lost 3 jobs when the bosses looked him up on the internet sex offender registry and has had to resort to collecting food stamps to survive.

Oh, and the girlfriend?  He married her.  And had a kid with her.

This, moms and dads of the country, is what your paranoid, knee-jerk reactions has done.  You've ruined this kid's life, and how his wife and child, because he had the gall to fall in love with a girl 4 years younger than himself and try to create a family.  As I said, not the brightest move ever made, but hardly a lifetime criminal deserving of continued punishment and forced poverty living conditions.

The best this poor kid could get was the ability to remove his name from the registry after 10 years.  TEN FUCKING YEARS.  In the meantime, he has a wife and a kid to support by taking government handouts and not being allowed to live close to the school that his kid will attend.

There is a HUGE difference between a rapist or a child molester, and a teenager who makes dumb choices with other consenting teenagers.  They should not be punished equally. 

I am continually grateful that my mother was unable to follow through with her threat to prosecute the guy I lost my virginity to.  I was 15, he was 19.  I chose him very carefully as a partner.  I set out to lose my virginity, and I set out to do it with someone who would not be around afterwards.  I chose someone who was leaving for the military only a few days later, so that necessarily made him over the age of consent.  I very deliberately made this choice.  I was not a victim, I was not taken advantage of, I was not seduced, I was not coerced.  I carefully and deliberately thought it through and made this choice, and to this day I do not regret it.  He should not be punished for something that was not, effectively, a crime.

And nor should this other poor kid who stupidly fell in love with a freshman.  Fortunately, in the state of Michigan, they have revised some of their policies to accommodate this type of situation.  There is now a "program" that people under 21 can complete that will keep them off the registry.  So, like the previous post I just made, lawmakers are finally starting to take a look at what happens when you let overly-emotional people make majority rule on things that removes or inhibits civil liberties.  Laws should be very carefully worded to make sure that the greatest good is being served by them, and they are not decided on by popular vote.


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