Wednesday, August 17, 2005

How much is too much?

With the current political and societal climate regarding sex crimes, we seem to be pushing beyond the pale. Headlines today involve Arnold's support for a California bill requiring lifetime sentences for those convicted of sex crimes.
Sacramento -- Tens of thousands of California sex offenders would be forced to wear electronic tracking devices for the rest of their lives under two new bills backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

That, however you look at it, is a life sentence. For what? What exactly IS a sex crime? It seems that we are not really sure what constitutes a sex crime. Here is the entry from Wikipedia, which I realize is NOT an authoritive source, but is presented as an illustration of the problem of defining a sex crime.
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Sex crimes are forms of human sexual behavior that are crimes. Someone who commits one is said to be a sex offender.

Some sex crimes are crimes of violence that involve sex. Others are violations of social taboos, such as indecent exposure or exhibitionism.

There is much variation among cultures as to what is considered a crime or not, and in what ways or to what extent crimes are punished.

Acts regarded as crimes almost universally include the following non-consensual sex crimes:

Liberal western cultures are far more tolerant of acts, such as oral sex or transvestism, that have traditionally been held to be crimes in some other cultures, but combine this with lesser tolerance for the remaining crimes.

Some activists perceive circumcision, a practice common in the U.S., as a crime against children in violation of human rights laws. However, circumcision advocates perceive it as a religious rite, or a helpful or essential health measure, and believe it does not violate any child abuse laws. Courts in the United States have tended to favor the circumcision advocates in the majority of cases.

Many consensual sexual actions or activities are only viewed as crimes in some jurisdictions, including:

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If we cannot specify, legally, a definition of an act that we can all agree is a crime, how then can we punish some and not others based on the locality of the act? What about this case?

A former White House deputy drug czar hoping to become the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate was found to have "engaged in lewd and abusive behavior" by joking about the sexual orientation of an underling at an office party.


Although the above was not a criminal conviction, it could well have been. In most locales prostitution, consorting with a prostitute, bodily exposure, and other acts are crimes... SEX crimes.

Should these people be required to wear GPS tracking devices for the rest of their lives? This appears to me to be a direct violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Would it be crueler and more unusual to brand these individuals? Execute them?

Arnold is wrong. Websites listing names, pictures and addresses of sex offenders is wrong. GPS tracking of sex offenders is wrong.

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