October 29th, 2010

murph

Embracing Climate Change

Being as how this is fabulous, freaky, frivolous, funky Friday I thought I would actually post, and only sightly tic (note the lower case) why I have decided to stop worrying and embrace global warming (which unfortunately I don't believe in particularly as a "final disaster".)

This year has been nearly perfect, A moderate winter, with enough rain to be getting by, and a fairly long snowboarding season. A pleasant spring (but then we always have that in So Cal) but an unbelievable summer, where I could have worked nearly every day, if there had been work, but I digress. We are having a normal perfect fall, with the added benefit of early rain.

Now I realize other places don't have it quite so nice, and climate change doesn't benefit everyone, but being as how I'm a non-compassionate conservative and a somewhat selfish old coot, I don't really care. If you all don't like what your climate becomes, move, I'm sill going to drive my truck, and I need oil based products in my job. :P
Album

Rehab, Recidivism, and Parole

So, I know it's the weekend and the time of silliness, but this got me thinking. There's been a lot of talk about how life is made harder for sex offenders after release, often by factors beyond their control. This got me thinking: Have we gone overboard?

The Justice Department has determined that actually pretty low: While 43% of sex offenders are eventually re-convicted (which, BTW, is below the average for felons), only about 3.5% of sex offenders are re-convicted for sex offenses. (Of course, these numbers are debated - a pretty good summation is available on the WSJ's law blog) Add to this relatively low recidivism rate the broad definition of sex offenses, and you can see where this is going.

Story time: I knew a guy who was 17 and had sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend. Statutory rape charges brought by the parents when they found out (they hated him for exposing the kid to weed, but didn't want her to get in trouble too, so they used the sex). Anyway, now he's a permanent member of the registered sex offender class. He was kind of a jackass, but not the type that I think required constant public shaming for the rest of his life. I mean, he went to jail, and his parole was over. Theoretically he's paid his debt to society, and yet he has a lifelong sentence, of sorts.

Murderers don't register. Thieves, wifebeaters, DUI convictees, carjackers... none of these classes of criminal register their homes, or can't live within a certain distance of schools.

So my question is: are we too hard on sex offenders? And if we are too hard on them, what's the fix? Better definitions of what makes you a sex offender? Or reducing/eliminating registration requirements?.

PS - This isn't limited to the US - Britain, at least, has similarly strict and broad registration requirements.