The problem with this debate is that very often, anyone departing from the current popular view is liable for a savaging, as those who object to them not agreeing can often fail to see that you can be on the same side of the arguement and have a different opinion.
Very often, someone who has had something undeniably dreadful happen to them or those they love can, understandably, be moved to extremes by the natural depths of their feelings. These extremes are often not the best guiding lights if we want justice, although they're great for revenge. That is not a condemnation of revenge, by the way. I would want to revenge anything like that happening to my kids, but I don't kid myself that my revenge would be, in any way, justice.
I suppose with 'popular view', I had best be explicit; I see the popular view at the moment as that people who sexually abuse children are in a special catagory of wickedness.
Quite frankly, having escaped being 'groomed' by a pedophile when younger, and having helped an x-gf with the issues she had from sexual abuse by children quite near her age, and having a friend at Seattle U who know more about the subject than most of us would want to, I don't see it so black and white.
Do the 14 year-olds who played 'doctors and nurses' with my x-gf when she was 11 (and quite happy to join in, not realising it was 'wrong') qualify for the death sentence? Hell, SHE didn't think so. What about Bill Wyman, ex of the Rolling Stones, or Roman Polanski, do we kill them? They've had sex with under-age girls. Do we distinguish between a promiscuous 15 year-old and a 10 year-old? Do we bomb countries, like Spain, Italy or Holland (or in the USA's case, States, as South Carolina still has an age of consent of 14, and nearly 40 States have modified their age of consent laws since 1999) which have an age of consent below what we concieve as right? Do we let Saudi Arabia off for allowing sex between married people, even if the girl is nine, because they are an important strategic partner? If a pre-teen boy and girl show each other their bits, who do we kill? Is someone who was abused themself less guilty than someone who wasn't abused? Is someone a wing-full of consultants agree on as being mentally ill as guilty as someone who specialiststs feel is 'normal'?
I agree it is extremely important to stop re-offending. But to have a one-cure treats all mentality, however satisfying on some levels, results in even more injustice on other levels.
Pedophiles have a horrible affliction; it is impossible for them to fulfill their abberant sexual desires in a manner which is acceptable morally, legally or socially. This is why they explode and ruin lives; it's impossible for them to do otherwise. And unlike other sexual oriontations, such as heterosexual and homosexual, which are capable of being loving and consensual, their sexual oriontation is harmful and reliant upon peer pressure or force.
Their victims suffer more than them, obviously. But equally obviously, that doesn't mean that pedophiles are not victims of their own psychology or background.
We have made a majo r step in the recognition of the sexual abuse of children in the past decade, compared to ten or fifteen years ago when we had far less awareness of the problem.
The next step to take is to make it possible for those with the affliction to get treatment, and that's only going to be possible when we stop treating them like a modern-day equivalent of a vampire; stop the angry mobs, stop the ignorance, and make it possible through education for those with the problem to realise they can get help before they ruin their own lives and someone else's.
At the moment society's reactions to them is so universally negative, and filled with unreasoned talk of good, evil, animals, and KILL THEM, that most pedophiles don't have the courage to seek treatment, as they learn from the earliest age to hide it because of how people react to it.
Ironically this could be the cause of of people NOT getting help in time to stop the crime they carry within them.