Is Sex Offender Sentencing Getting Harsher?
Sex crimes are taken very seriously by the state. Despite the harsh punishments that are attached to these crimes, they do nothing to deter the situation. In fact, in the past few years, sex offenders are some of the most harshly punished criminals in the country.
However, the punishment doesn’t always fit the crime. Instead of focusing on the harm that was caused, sex crime penalties are focused on deterring repeat offenses instead of actually fitting the crime committed.
How Sex Offenders are Prosecuted
Recent political discussions have seen arguments for reduced sentencing when it comes to firearm or drug possession. However, the top sex crime attorneys would agree that sex offender laws continue to become more severe.
For example, Megan’s Law was passed in 1996 and requires sex offenders to be put on a registry for the rest of their lives. The problem with the registry is that it doesn’t differentiate between different sexual crimes.
The Problem With the Sex Offender Registry
A person who urinates in public and another person who is a rapist are both placed on the sex offender registry, despite the fact that their crimes have very different implications. Another problem is that being on the registry severely limits a person’s ability to seek employment, be able to travel, use the Internet, or find housing. This often leaves those on the sex offender registry without jobs or homes, forcing them to live on the street.
The Additional Punishment of Chemical Castration
What most of the public doesn’t know is that chemical castration is legal in nine states. This is the administration of female hormones in order to lower testosterone levels and preventing arousal. This treatment is often done without medical oversight, despite the side effects of blood clots, diabetes, and gallstones.
Surgical castration is also legal in some states, which involves the complete removal of the testicles.
The Results Of These Punishments
Research demonstrates that sex crimes actually have lower recidivism rates than other crimes, sex crimes occur most often in the home by someone the victim knows, and laws are mostly a reflection of irrational fears than grounded realities. In addition, sex offenders on the registry are required to pay for and participate in polygraph testing, despite proof that these tests are unreliable and inadmissible in court.
Sex offenders are also not provided with any real counseling to help them overcome any mental conditions that could be the source of their actions. They are not offered any kind of rehabilitation or counseling.
Sex offenders are often labeled as monsters because of the lasting impressions they leave on their victims. However, the same could be said for murderers and other perpetrators of crimes as well. Yet, sex crimes are seeing increasingly higher and more serious punishments with each passing year. In actuality, fear-based policies do more harm than good to society. They become more about managing the far of the public than actually punishing dangerous offenders.