Sex Offenders Must Have An Option

There’s no offense that I less care to discuss than sex offenders.  I can’t bring myself to represent anyone who offends relative to children, as I can’t bear to be in their presence.  It’s a fault of mine, but it’s my reality.  They make me retch.

That said, this New York Times article leaves me no choice but to discuss it.  This can’t happen.  Sex offenders leave prison and have no place to turn.  We have closed them off from society.  They can’t get jobs.  They can’t get a place to live.  And we constructed a set of rules that are nearly impossible to meet.  And so we fault them for their inability to satisfy the impossible demands placed on them and toss them back into prison for the rest of their lives.

Now before you say so what, bear in mind that if society doesn’t give sex offenders an option that doesn’t involve the end of any hope, we will force the really bad ones into the position of being the worst they can possibly be.  We will provide an incentive to kill children so that there are no witnesses.  We encourage them to rape and murder.  We create the scenario that pushed them over the edge.  We don’t wan to do that.  It is horrific that these animals touch anyone, but at least let us give them a reason to leave them alive and otherwise unharmed.  As much as we can.

Gideon also raises this subject today at A Public Defender.  His quote is quite remarkable, that “homelessness is not an excuse.”  As if the sex offender chose homelessness to beat the system.  That’s like saying death is not an excuse.  We have made the situation so bad, so untenable, and then bootstrapped our imposed conditions into a violation that justifies our putting them back in jail. 

Gid comes up with a solution, put up tents in the police department parking lots, and save a fortune in monitoring costs.  I’ve got another option.  Every cop should take a sex offender into his home and keep an eye on him.  Not too palatable?  Then start thinking through the rules, the ramifications and the unintended consequences of what we are doing with them so we have a real system that protects our children from these animals.  Simplistic solutions are going to explode in our faces, and someone else’s stupidity is not a good enough reason for my children to be put at risk.

6 comments on “Sex Offenders Must Have An Option

  1. Mark Bennett

    Scott,

    I’m surprised to read your first paragraph. Just yesterday I represented a sex offender — a guy who will have to register as a sex offender for life. When he was 20, he had consensual sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend.

  2. SHG

    You are right, I need to clarify it further.  I still don’t think of many things that today are denominated sex offenses as sex offenses.  What I find intolerable are rape and child molestation, meaning the real stuff rather than the malun prohibitum type.  And I will happily defende someone accused of anything if I am firmly convinced that they are not guilty, but I simply cannot tolerate being in the presence of anyone who has harmed a child.  It’s one of those lines I can’t cross.

    SHG

  3. SHG

    What?  If I don’t love Ronnie Reagan I’m not allowed to have feelings?  Everybody gets to draw their own line.  This is mine.  And Ronnie Reagan wasn’t really a president, he just played one on TV.

    SHG

  4. Matlock

    But he did it so damn well. Would you like me to have the RNC send your donation and membership material to your home or office?

  5. Defending People Blog

    Sex Offenders: Animals or Human Beings?

    Two posts:Scott Greenfield, in Sex Offenders Must Have an Option, calls sex offenders “animals.”Gideon, in Sex Offender Homelessness is not an Excuse, says (with, I suspect, more than a hint of irony) that some sex offenders are human.We are all animals,

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