Years ago, I wrote of the creation of a permanent underclass. No, not the one woke people are willing to fight for. Rather, the one we’ve created because as much as we can forgive a murder, especially if it was committed by a black man because they’re in fashion at hipster cocktail parties, there is no forgiveness of a sex crime.
Not when they get caught. Not when they get prosecuted. Not when they get convicted or sentenced. Not even when they get out. There are plenty of arguments, some sound and some idiotic, but pressed with a level of insipid passion that convinces no one of modest intelligence but so bores the rest of us that we walk away, leaving the interlocutor to believe they’ve won by attrition.
None of these arguments change anything. When a sex offender completes his sentence, pays his debt to society, and walks out of prison, what does his future look like? The “motion” below was forwarded to me. Even though it’s a public record, I’ve redacted the names and identifiers because there’s no good reason to contribute any more harm to its maker. His crime was bad, and so he was sentenced to imprisonment. But he served his sentence. This is what he faced coming out.
He had places to go, places to live, with family. But he couldn’t go there, live there, because rules proscribing where sex offenders can reside regularly preclude any home but the forest,* any bed but the ground.
He chose to violate his release so he would be put back in and get a bed for his final 220 days. He chose prison to “freedom” so at least he would have a place to sleep.
It appears that he hasn’t considered how sex offender restrictions will affect him when he’s maxed out his sentence and there’s no technical violation to return him to three hots and a cot. Either he can spend the rest of his life sleeping in the forest, or he’s going to have to figure out a way to get himself back into prison, perhaps the only place where he’ll be allowed to sleep in a bed.
Some will reply, “Well, if he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life like this, he shouldn’t have done the crime.” True but unhelpful, since saying this after the fact doesn’t make the fact go away.
Some will reply, “Screw the sex offender. Better he lives his wretched life in misery than harms another . . . hey wait, who did he harm, what was the actual crime, is he really a bad dude?” Some are. Some aren’t. But when we roll them altogether under the “sex offender” title, nobody knows or cares. More to the point, sex offender recidivism is mostly mythology. This is a remedy for a fake panic, but once one accepts the panic, the syllogism kicks in and nothing can be too harsh for the children.
Some will reply, “What about his victim?” What about his victim? He served his sentence, so to the extent there’s any retributive concern, it’s been satisfied. The victim got “justice,” if imprisonment is what their justice looked like. But once sated, it’s over. Then what?
Some will reply, “Sorry, but got my own problems and just don’t care enough about the problems of some sex offender to give a damn.” Fair enough, but consider that there is no cost to you for this guy to come out of prison, go live with his family, sleep in a bed, find a job and live out the rest of life in law-abiding productive obscurity. If you never hear of him again, so what?
But if he’s left with no choice but to sleep on the forest floor, what do you expect him to do, especially when the better option is to return to prison rather than face a future of worse misery until he dies. And what he does to return to prison may affect you or someone you love. You don’t need one more problem, do you? It costs you nothing to live and let live, but it can save someone from harm if he’s got a better option than returning to prison.
*Not sure if it’s true, but I’m told that there is only one place, under a bridge, where a sex offender in Miami can live without violating restrictions. But it has a nice view of Biscayne Bay. Who can complain about water views?