Should the sex offender registry be abolished?

Asked by: SamJay
  • Even more lives

    I am on the registry for a dumb mistake. Now my daughter will have to live with see her father online and deal with the bullying that will come with that. She did not do anything wrong but is being punished because of her dumb dad. How is that fair?

  • The sex offender registry does no good.

    This registry is nothing more than harassment and more punishment for people who have already satisfied the court system. It does nothing to protect children, only harms the offenders' children. It needs to be abolished so people who have this stigma attached to their name can have hopes of living a normal, law abiding life, just like all other released offenders.

  • Why the scarlet letter?

    Unless they are deeply violent offenders, why should they be forced to wear the scarlet letter after they have served their legal time? They repeat less then other offenses. If they are not violent rapists and child molesters, they should not continue to be tracked any more than any other offender.

  • I agree that the sex offender registry should be abolished, because God said forgive

    There is little evidence that this form of community notification prevents sexual violence. Residency restrictions banish former offenders from entire towns and cities, forcing them to live far from homes, families, jobs and treatment, and it hinders law-enforcement supervision. Residency restrictions are counterproductive to public safety and harmful to former offenders.

  • Just one child...

    When people discuss the registry list of sex offenders, they say "if it saves just one child".

    It seems however, that because of the portrait that the media has painted on sex offenders, that they tend to forget that this person also may have a family. A mother, father, wife, husband or children.

    While I can understand why the registry is there, I do not think it is used in the best interest of anyone.

    Let's say that your neighbor opened an unrecognized email, upon opening that email, it infected their computer with porn that they are unaware of. Somehow that porn is later discovered and they are arrested and charged with porn. Another example, your teenage child downloads music or videos from LimeWire, FrostWire, whatever the P2P sites are nowadays. When they open the file, they find it is filled with a sex video of little kids, that later it is traced and they are charged with porn.

    A bitter divorce battle, one parent doesn't want the other to have the children, so the only thing they think to do without concern or consequence to the other is make a false allegation that the child has been touched by the other parent. Later, they are charged, found guilty and have to carry that label.

    Your college student, out at the bar with friends, and walking home decides they need to urinate. Doesn't see anyone, whips it out and takes a leak on a tree. Unknown to him that there was a mother/father with a small child across the street, that saw him while he was exposed. They becomes charged and also becomes part of that list.

    Your children are playing doctor, as we all did as children, one parent has an argument with the other child's parent and says that while the children were playing together, there was inappropriate touching. Believe it or not, that child gets in trouble and will be required to register at the age of 18.

  • It needs reform

    The public sex offender registry is based on the myth of high sex offender recidivism, stranger-danger, and that all sex offenders pose a danger to children. This is false.

    Laws named for horrific crimes committed against child victims help perpetuate this myths. No one wants to be seen as "soft" on sex crime and who doesn't want to protect children against harm? Unfortunately, lawmakers and the media have ignored the extensive, empirical research on the subject of sex crime - which highlights the many problems with the broad-brush approach - and the public is incorrectly led to believe that the public registry somehow will prevent children from harm. The truth is that sex offender recidivism is the same low rate it has been since ten years before the public registry. It simply has had no impact on re-offense, which is precisely the opposite of what it was supposed to do.

    The registry - which paints all registrants as dangerous monsters - turns a blind eye to the 96% of sex crimes committed by someone who has never been caught, as well as 95% of child victims who are abused by family members, friends, and acquaintances. The registry is little more than a political placebo that gives community members a false sense of security.

    Publishing the names and personal information of the majority of sex offenders, who will never commit another sex crime, opens up the offender and their family - including minor children - to vigilante violence. This is exactly what the registry is supposed to protect against.

    Until the registry is based on research rather than emotion, it is not an effective safety tool.


  • 3 words: EX POST FACTO!

    Some of these "crimes" happened back in the 50's 60's 70's some of these people have already paid their debt to society they have families and to find out that if they do not register they will go to jail? What ever happened to the US Constitution? Some people say well they should have thought about that before they commented their crime.And it is not fair or right to have them on the registry now I think people who scream for other people to lose their rights need to read the US Constitution you do NOT lose your rights except if you are a ex felon then you lose the right to vote and bear arms.The registry has been in place how many years now? Has it helped save anyone? Is shaming someone family really important? I just do not think it is right for someone to have to pay over and over for something that happened years ago. How about bank robbers? Drug dealers? DUI offenders? Do you get to know where they live? Someone who likes to break into peoples homes where is the list for them? These laws do nothing! So much for "the land of the free"

  • It doesn't work.

    It causes more violence. It punishes families and children all the same. It shames offenders even more so it's punitive in general. It does NOT solve crime. Let police handle this w/o the online shame game. America managed to solve crime in the past without online registries. People get hurt.

  • Sex offender registry.

    The registry is continued punishment and public shame which serves no purpose. The re-offense rate is the lowest of all crimes with the exception of murder. Families are hurt by this stupid registry which only serves politicians who need to look tough on crime. How about we look and act smart instead of tough. When you can't get a job, when you are homeless, no friends, no family then what do you have to lose in a society that only believes in punishment? If we have to have a registry then put all criminals on it.

  • It's a lot of harm for almost no good.

    It costs way too much money for something that doesn't seem to prevent anything. Except a person being able to get on with their life. If it isn't cruel and unusual punishment than what is? Which is a violation of the 8th Amendment. The punishment should always fit the crime.

  • No, the sex offender registry should not be abolished.

    The sex offender registry is a very important tool for the public to use to protect their children or themselves from potential harm. It would be crazy to eliminate it. The majority of sex crimes are very serious crimes and they should not be overlooked or hidden. We, the public, have the right to know if a sex offender is living in our neighborhood.

  • Updated, not abolished.

    There are hardcore pedophiles out there that need to be tracked, but there are also people who made one mistake and paid for it. C.I.P. A teenager and his younger girlfriend, they come of age and get married. He has the stigma of being a sex offender when he's not.

  • Most Certainly not!

    A sex offender is not a simple, "oops, I made a mistake." It is someone whom is sick in the head and can't control their sexual drive. People have the right to know if a sexual offender lives in their neighborhood. They should not be around children, and parents should be aware.

  • No, it should not.

    The sex offender registry should not be abolished. It helps parents decide if they want to live in that area, and it helps the police narrow down what is going on if this is taking place somewhere near that town, or street. If anything it should be improved because not everyone on it did something worth being called a sex offender for, like peeing in a public place.

  • How does this have 94% support?

    Seriously, are you people insane? Do you really want a rapist to walk the streets and the police or anyone else knowing where they are? Do you seriously want child molesters to walk free without the police having any idea where they are? The sex offender registry should be maintained, though minor updates could probably be made.

  • Why would you?

    People have the right to know where a sex offender is.
    Sex offenders are extremely dangerous and unpredictable no matter what kind of crime the committed they should still be labeled as a sex offender. Would you want to also abolish websites and records that inform you of who has killed people in the past? It's baffles me as to why so many of you think it should be abolished.

  • No, it shouldn't

    Don't want to be on the sex offender list? Don't be a sex offender. It's that easy! If you commit a sex crime, parents have the right to know about that and plan accordingly. There is not way in hell a sex offender should be allowed near a school, and registries help that.

    Posted by: TN05
  • We need to protect women and children

    As a woman with young nieces, nephews, and cousins I feel I need to protect them and myself. If there is a sex offender in my neighborhood I have EVERY right to know about it. It's my decision to decide if I want to live next to a convicted rapist or child molester. By not telling the neighbors, that puts everyone in danger and my life and safety is more important than their privacy

  • It should NOT be abolished

    Many people are saying that it does no good and just hurts the people on the list. Okay, yes it may hurt the sex offenders, but would you want really want to live next to someone who has attacked another person? It is a way to show people that they could be unsafe and need to keep an eye out. They have done something wrong and not all mistakes can be undone. It keeps children and adults safe and needs to stay.

  • Safety first seriouslyyy

    Sex offender shouldn't be abolished it is important to have it on, who wouldn't want it for the safety of their own child, like seriously. If you commit the crime you got to deal it with yourself, in the first place why would you even commit the crime? Think before you act!

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Anonymous says2013-04-21T14:55:35.120
Only the worst of the worst should be on a list. The problem many people hear "sex offender" and think the worst. No one should be subject to this type of torture once they have served their time. The registry is just another way to make people feel safe, and the only think it does is make the offender who has served his/her time less safe. One day, one state will have enough guts to seriously consider removing this scarlet letter list. We seem to be people who are scared of everything and everyone, so we have to make a law to protect ourselves. Abolish the thing-it hurts everyone.
GeekiTheGreat says2013-04-26T18:54:18.480
I agree with anon. But why do most of these 'yes or nos' all talk about child sex offenders. Sex offender can also be someone who raped someone of age, not just a child.
iamanatheistandthisiswhy says2014-05-20T02:43:40.110
Is there no yes and no answer? Sometimes it deserves to be abolished, in other cases it does not. A pedophile and someone who slaps someones ass are not on the same level. Just as a rapist and someone making advances at the office are not the same. People need to use logic, but that never happens.
Turq says2014-06-23T00:23:53.683
I find the number of people who want to abolish the registry on here frightening, and suspect all the people behind those "yes" votes are on it.
iamanatheistandthisiswhy says2014-06-23T00:31:21.157
@Turq: I think you will find that a lot of people do not even live in the country were this is applicable. I think you will also find that people use their brains. Maybe you can answer this question: Is a pedophile/rapist the same as someone who slapped a work colleagues ass?
markpenfold says2014-07-27T21:33:29.217
The reason most Americans think "sex offender ALWAYS = PEDOPHILE" is because that gives them something to rally behind. Most of them DON'T CARE when someone points out that "sex offender DOESN'T always = PEDOPHILE" and shows them empirical evidence to back it up. The uneducated and proud need a population to blame for all the problems of their world, so they unthinkingly ASSUME (ASSUME = ASS out of U and ME) that the majority of sex offenders are pedophiles. They can't be bothered with inconvenient, troublesome FACTS and RESEARCH. They WANT to be ignorant so they can feel PROUD of themselves and THINK they're "protecting the children". I'd love to see how these same people would react if someone IN THEIR OWN HOUSEHOLD was a registered sex offender!!!! Not so easy to pass judgement when it arrives on YOUR OWN DOORSTEP, is it???!!!!
markpenfold says2014-07-27T21:37:04.450
Hey, Turq....Do you have EVIDENCE to back up that spurious claim? How do you "know" that the "yes" votes are "ALL" on the registries? If you don't have FACTS, then go jump in a lake.
For_the_good says2015-04-25T00:43:31.503
To the person who said implied it's a "choice" to be on the registry - do you think my client who 40 - yes FORTY years ago - spanked his stepson with his pants down and ended up with a conviction for sodomy and sexual molestation of a minor "chose" to be on the registry?
Or another who had sex with his girlfriend when both were underage "chose" to be on the list? Or how about another client who walked from the shower to her bedroom without a towel in front of her son and somehow ended up with a 10 year prison sentence and lifetime registration? Think these are atypical? You're wrong. I represent clients on the registry and, unlike you, I actually have all the facts. Consider the following FACTS:

"The sexual recidivism rate of identified sex offenders is lower than the recidivism rate of individuals who have committed any other type of crime except for murder.

Not all sex offenders are at equal risk to reoffend. Low risk offenders reoffend at low rates, high risk offenders at much higher rates.

Risk of a new sex offense drops each year the offender remains offense-free in the community. Eventually, for many offenders, the risk becomes so low as to be meaningless and the identification of these individuals through a registry becomes unhelpful due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Research has identified differing time frames of decreased risk for the various categories of offenders (i.E. Low, medium, high).

The research shows that, on average, after approximately 17 years living in the community free of any type of criminal offense, even high risk sex offenders are no more likely to commit a new sex offense than are individuals who had been convicted of some type of non-sexual crime."

("A Better Path To Community Safety" California Sex Offender Management Board. 2014.

Simplistic, ill-informed beliefs are manipulated by shameless, grandstanding politicians to seek and remain in office. Educate yourselves.

Michael A. Padgett, Attorney CA SBN 263587