Tuesday, we asked you whether or not Maine should discontinue its sex-offender registry in light of the recent slaying of two offenders apparently located on the Web site. Most of our readers were adamant that the registry serves a purpose, but others disagreed. To participate in this discussion, or to read all of the responses, go to www.sunjournal.com and click on “Our View” under the Blogs menu. Or, you can send us an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or a letter at Editor, Sun Journal, 104 Park St., Lewiston, ME 04243-4400.
Offender Registry protects children
I am glad there is a sex offender registry in Maine. I was molested years ago and nothing was done. Iknow of others who were molested by a so-called family “friend.” He is now on the registry and, by God, he doesn’t need any more protecting!
As it was, the schools he lived across the street from at the time weren’t notified because he had children of his own attending them, and they didn’t want to embarrass his kids. How many other kids were at risk then?
This man went through all the counseling and court-mandated therapies. He swore up and down that he touched only one child. We later found out there were more than 40 other victims. He lied to everyone.
There is less than a 5 percent chance of rehabilitation of child molesters, and those “rehabilitated” are only so because of castration. The sentences for them are less than those found guilty of driving without a license. Where is the justice?
I say let them be afraid.
Public needs all of the facts
Approximately six to eight weeks ago, I found the Sex Offender Registry for Maine. I was curious as to how may offenders were in my small community. Much to my surprise, there were quite a few.
Much to my dismay, my husband informed me that our neighbor is an offender. He only realized it when I showed him the names on the SOR list. My husband reminded me of last summer when a friend of my husband came over to let us know that he was renting out the apartment above the garage. He never made mention of this person as his nephew, or that he was a registered sex offender.
We wondered how many people, neighbors and families with children knew about this. Or worse yet, didn’t know. Not every person or family has a computer let alone Internet access.
So we went to work on posting a couple of informative signs on our front lawn as to who our neighbor is, and what crimes he committed that requires him to be a registered sex offender. We could not in good conscience do nothing.
Some on list are no threat
I think the registry should be discontinued for two reasons. One, there are several ways to get on that registry and not all of these people are a threat to the community. Constant harassment from being on the registry can create a problem where none existed before.
Secondly, parents should not assume that their children are safe because the people on the registry are not in their neighborhood. Statistically, most child molestation comes from people who are already close to the child and not from strangers. Parents need to be vigilant to protect their children and not assume they are safe because of a registry. A false sense of security is worse than no warning at all.
Known to family
Claire, for true pedophiles (defined as those who only have an attraction to children) a standard way of gaining access to children is befriending the child and their family. The statistic that most pedophiles are known to the family or family members doesn’t accurately depict what is going on.
We can deal with your first objection by changing the standard for who gets on the list and who doesn’t. The list should be for those criminals who are most likely to re-offend, those criminals who used violence or the threat of violence and those criminals who used a position of authority.
Putting people on the registry who got caught peeing in an alley is silly.
Registry makes no distinctions
By providing extenuating details of the crime that prompted our state government to furnish Mr. Elliott’s murderer with both his status as an offender and directions to his residence, Kendra illustrates the problem of balancing the public interest in knowing the whereabouts of dangerous individuals against the needless persecution of persons who pose no particular threat to others.
The sex-offender registry makes no distinction between the dangerous persons likely to remain sexual predators and the others whose convictions carry no predictive value.
And then there’s the more subtle problem of balancing the prospective violence perpetrated by convicted sex offenders against the violence done against them by self-appointed public defenders like the late Mr. Marshall, whose public admirers are alarmingly preoccupied with sadistic fantasies of revenge killing and ritual torture. This event has revealed the previously unsuspected and bitter animus of one species of subhuman toward another.
To the degree that the registry mixes the dangerous among the harmless it is inaccurate. It is a signal injustice to the harmless whose names appear there. Apparently it is an incitement to additional violence.
Must be a better way
You would be surprised at the number of people in your close circle of acquaintances who have offended and not been caught. When you vilify these people, set them apart as a different class from the rest of us, you absolve yourself of the responsibility of really having to look at a problem that is more prevalent than you want to admit.
Sun Journal, two men may have lost their lives? Check again. They’re dead. Check a third time, they’re dead because Marshall was able to get their information from the site. Yes, secrecy is the biggest reason perps can keep hurting kids, but there has got to be a better way to protect children than to offer up offenders for revenge.
I know that most people feel the vigilantism is deserved. It is not, and I speak as a survivor of long-term childhood sexual abuse. My tormentor was a sad, ruined human being who ruined others on his way out. I dance on his grave, but never would I have murdered him or wanted anyone else to do it for me.
Instead of wasting our time pretending these tortured human beings are farther from the norm than they really are, let’s concentrate as well on stopping abuse before it happens.
There’s no rehabilitation
No. It’s the children! A hunting ground? Hardly!
Not only should they have to register, but a skull and crossbones should be tattooed on both cheeks. They should be forced to wear ankle bracelets and orange jumpsuits. If they own or drive a car they should have hot pink license plates.
These people can`t be rehabilitated or “cured,” and let’s not confuse mental illness with pure evil.
Why don`t you think about the innocent victims for a change? The kids are completely innocent. Think about that!