Sex offender lists: manditory or optional?

Mon 17 Nov, 2008 10:27 am
There is a longish article in my daily paper about a man convicted of sex abuse.

The article is well worth reading and you can read it at:

The trials were really wacky -- the first one ended in a mistrial and the second one ended in a conviction. Still, the jurors on the second trial weren't really happy about the fact the guy would end up on the sex offender list, especially after they learned a few things that weren't part of the trial.

The artical made me wonder......

Should juries get to decide whether someone is added to the sex offender list?

Do juries sometimes find someone not guilty just because the person would end up on the list?

What do you think?
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Mon 17 Nov, 2008 10:49 am
But, in fact, she had. Jurors were not told the girl had made a similar allegation against a boy when she was 3. She accused a 5-year-old of touching her vagina, and police and social workers were called in. The 1993 investigation determined the girl's allegation against the boy was "unfounded."

The girl's mother testified the girl and her older sister engaged in all kinds of sexualized behavior at the time. "No, it wasn't normal," the mother said, "but they were doing it to get his (their father's) attention." The allegation was made soon after the girl's parents split up.

First of all, I think that Brad Holbrook got a very raw deal. The paragraph that I copied made me wonder whether she had been abused by her father. Little kids normally do not act in an overtly sexualized way unless they themselves have been subjected to sexual activity.
Mon 17 Nov, 2008 11:02 am
I think he got a raw deal too, Phoenix.

I can hardly believe I'm saying this but there really needs to be some leeway on who ends up on that list.
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Mon 17 Nov, 2008 11:16 am
This one could have happened to anybody, i.e. a pure "there but for God's grace go I" deal.

Once again you see the bitter fruit of having professional prosecutors with a money and career incentive to put people in prison. We need to toss the entire "adversarial" system of justice and adopt something like the French use, which is called an "inquisitorial" system; in that system, the common incentive of all parties involved is to figure out what the **** actually happened, and then apply any applicable laws.
Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:13 pm
That's an interesting take on this, gungasnake.

Finding out what the **** actually happened should be the motivation.

I'm going to have to read up on the French criminal justice system!
Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:18 pm
Did you follow that Duke lacrosse "rape" case?

I mean, it's astonishing that one of those clowns finally did something so egregious that the entire legal establishment collectively washed their hands like Pontius Pilate and heaved his sorry ass under the bus. But the problem is, for every one case like that in which reality finally prevails sooner or later, there have to be twenty or thirty in which innocent people end up in prison, too often for **** which never even happened, to make somebody elses political career.
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Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:42 pm
sex offender lists should not exist, there is no compelling interest in systematically treating the violators of sex crimes differently from the violators of other crimes. We could have list of certain severity of crimes, such as class a felonies. But to have lists based upon the type of offense is unconstitutional, based upon the concept that crime is punished by the severity of the crime not any other factor. There is no way that a 15 year old kid groping his girlfriend (for instance) warrants measures that inhibit the creation of a new life for which a murderer (for instance) does not. The public fears sex criminals, and politicians have responded by making them a special class of criminal, which is a miscarriage of justice. The correct responce would have been to deal with the citizen fear head on, to not pander to it.
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