Should all Sex Offenders have to Register

Everyone hates a child molestor. There are instances of Romeo/Juliet type relationships where one party is a year older than the other meaning a minor and adult. These people are sex offenders under the law. They are required to live away from children. They will be limited as to whether or not they can ever have children. There are many more incidents of a parent/step parent molesting a child. Statistics show that most children who are molested are molested by a family member or relative. Who is being served with the residency restriction? I fear more with the residency restrictions in a state like Florida where there are so few places that a sex offender can live that the are absconding in droves, no longer reporting to a probation officer. Really, there is so few places they can live and with wording like “can not live within 2500 feet of where children might gather”, there is no solution. Children gather everywhere, look around. I wonder what the numbers are of the people labelled sex offenders who have been stopped by that law. Once you are labelled a sex offender, you may as well move off the planet. The ones who are guilty of this crime, they should be punished but I doubt that anyone in a society feels that depriving them of a place to live is what they mean by punishment. In Florida, there are men living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway because there is no place that they can live that meets the requirements. The few areas that do meet the requirement are in areas so expensive, that most people couldn’t and don’t afford to live there. Imagine that your employer is advised that you are a sex offender each time you are employed. After that notification it is simply a question of time before your employer wants to dismiss you. An employer is liable for the safety of their employees and hiring a sex offender threatens the safety of other employees. Period. So with no steady employment and no place to live, we can expect many more registered sex offenders to be off the radar of Department of Probation and fleeing. The saddest of the people labelled sex offenders are the ones who are just not capable of affording an attorney when charges of this type of filed against them. In truth, the ones that have lots of money and great attorneys are hardly ever labelled sex offenders. Mostly regular people who live paycheck to paycheck are labelled sex offenders. Who could afford $15,000 to fight the label and the system? Funding for appointed attorneys is always low and their clients are often told to accept a plea bargain which will keep them out of jail but label them for life. It seems like a good idea at the time given the option of jail but it means they are thrown into a pool of other people who cannot find jobs or homes. Oh yeah, it also means that you can no longer live with or have contact with your children. So, now your marriage is over if you had one when you were accused. The label guarantees that you are alone in no time. In the case where you are told, “yes we understand that you are not guilty but going to trial means you could get the wrong jury or a judge that thinks you are a liar, pleading out is a much better option”. Guess what, it could be anyone that you know. It happened at my church many years ago and after the girls who made the allegations recanted their story, he had alredy pled guilty to avoid further embarressment to his church. Too bad for him. I wonder what the real numbers looking at the sex offender list of who should not be on there. In cases where the offender is the type of molestor we all dread, maybe there should be a better system in place than we have. I can’t see where these restrictions are reducing numbers of children molested. If there is ever a second offense, I believe the person should be in jail the rest of their life. Leaving a true molestor out of jail with all these residency restrictions only causes them to flee giving them the freedom to get access to our children as a neighbor, bus driver or God forbid in a school system somewhere as I am not confident in checks that are done on school employees. What kind of society are we when our legal system forces innocent people to plead guilty as an alternative to jail. What does it say about us that unless you have lots of money to hire the best attorney, you will be labelled a sex offender if any such allegations are lodged against you. I find the whole issue very scary as a parent. I would like to see the residency restrictions removed entirely so that the department of corrections can keep track of all of them. I would like to see an independant review board determine if someone should be labelled a sex offender, if that label is justified before we take away someone’s abillity to work, to live, to have a family or to function. Some of the people labelled a sex offender would agree that jail is a better alternative than homeless. Just ask some of the guys living under the bridge at Julia Tuttle Causeway.