New York Times to Sex Offenders: Drop Dead (Sorta)

When the New York Times is willing to sell out the amorphous groups collected under the heading “sex offender,” you know they have zero support.  This editorial shows how bad the problem is.

However useful [Megan’s Law may be], the law has always carried great potential for danger, and now a New Jersey court has taken a step toward making it a more sophisticated instrument of public safety.

A disturbing new development is the proliferation of local ordinances that go beyond the reporting requirements of legislation like Megan’s Law by restricting where sex offenders may live.

These bans can do more harm than good. They will not deter a determined predator. Many law enforcement officials, including parole officers, have observed that they tend to bunch sex offenders in drug-infested, rundown neighborhoods that are poorly suited for anyone trying to turn around a life.

We have long supported the registration requirement. But we also believe that officials should be aware that in the wrong hands, this information can lead to harassment or worse. And the decision about where a sex offender should live properly resides with law enforcement agencies.

While on the surface, it would appear that the Times is standing up for “sex offenders,” it conceals the fundamental position that Megan’s Law is good and that post-sentence “sex offenders” should live their lives as societal pariahs, to be herded into whatever areas they’re told by “law enforcement agencies.”

I note that I am no fan of people who do harm, sexual or other, to children, and I do not represent such defendants unless I am convinced that they are innocent.  My brethren in the defense bar think my position in wrong-headed, but it’s mine and I’m sticking with it.  However, I put the words “sex offenders” in quotes because it’s a characterization that is grossly misleading and pejorative.  And it continues to expand far beyond the caricature of the child molester that’s used to justify these restrictions.

It’s no surprise that lawmakers enjoy playing this card to prove their toughness.  It’s no surprise that the general public doesn’t comprehend what is actually happening, as a vast swath of defendants who pose neither risk of recidivism or harm to children have their lives ruined by being tossed into the same hole as those who in fact pose a threat. 

But one would expect just a little bit more thought from the New York Times.  Like I said, when the Times can’t be bothered to think it through, we know that there’s no hope for this group.  Eventually, this is going to catch up with us as more and more people become lumped into the social pariah class, and we have no place to put them and they have no place to go.

2 comments on “New York Times to Sex Offenders: Drop Dead (Sorta)

  1. David Hess

    Excellent comment! I have done a detailed analysis of sex offender recidivism in New York State. Megan’s Law has had no discernible impact on recidivism rates (always have been low). According to New York State’s own statistics 94% of sex crimes are committed by first time offenders (who are not listed on the registry). More info at

  2. S.O.

    Whether you agree with Sexual Offenders or not, can the basis of the argument be understood to anyone outside to the SO community? The offenders will agree with the greater community that punishment should be carried out at time of sentencing. Punishment at the time of sentencing IS the correct completion at the time of finding of guilt. That is the end of the case, and should remain the end of the sentence. With the onslaught of new restrictions, punishments, and banishments it becomes more difficult for any of us to re-integrate into society. It makes it almost impossible for us to raise our families with any sort of stability, and goes to allow those that are less stable to begin believing that re-offense is a real option.

    Think of the children has been the mantra, yet less than 1/3 of the sex offenders on the registry have been placed there for crimes against children. What about this? Why doesn’t Congress, state representatives, and the vigilante groups think of MY children. They are oh so happy to put my information up, have people deface my property, threaten my home and life; yet my children are innocent as well, and the continued punishment goes to punish and victimize them. Why is it not a crime to harm my children? Are they free game for the slime to threaten?

    It is said that all things bad come from the crime I committed. I cannot agree with that in regards to expost facto legislation. The people victimizing my children today, sit in Washington DC, the state’s capitols, and in vigilante roles nationwide.

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