Like with every law, there have been misuse and abuse of it, and there are circumstances in which some people have been in that registry as a consequence of it. However, so is the case with laws around other crimes.
Personally I'm not completely sure why the law singles out sex offenses and creates a registry for them. Why not murderers, arsonists, other criminals? Furthermore, is sex offenses are so extra heinous, then why there's a statue of limitations for child sexual abuse and rape, and not for murder, yet there's no "murderer registry"?
As it is, things don't make sense from any angle. What's more, the entire justice system is about reaction and punishment. How does such registry contributes to reforming, and even if the offender cannot be reformed, how does the registry make things better for other crimes? It does have the convenience of people knowing that some person has committed a sex offense and therefore must take precautions, but really? Are people supposed to take precautions only when they know that the person is a registered sex offender? What is worse, some people have been able to get out of the list, what does that mean? That the person was a sex offender but it's now ok to have children around him?
As I said, as is, the sex offender registry doesn't do what it's meant to do. There are no easy answers, but what we have certainly hasn't reduced nor stopped sex crimes at all.
As for what those people believe:
No sexual abuse is ever acceptable.
Sex offense laws and policies should be based on sound research and common sense, not fear, panic or paranoia.
I agree, but I wouldn't call what we have now panic or paranoia. There are always going to be people who will misuse and abuse the law, that's a different issue.
Current laws and policies that paint all sex offenders with one broad brush are counter- productive, wasteful, and cause needless harm.
Yes, I agree. However, sex offenses should be punished just like any other crime.
Each offense must be judged on its own merits with a punishment that fits the crime and does not waste taxpayer dollars.
Agreed, but it's kind of difficult to define what that "merit" is for a given offense. A person who has been traumatized by being sexually attacked may see a sex offense differently than the owner of a porn shop.
The public sex offender registry and residency restriction laws do not protect children but instead ostracize and dehumanize individuals and their families.
Agree. I still don't see why singling out sex offenses over murder and other crimes.
Money spent on purely punitive measures would be better used for prevention, healing, and rehabilitation.
This goes to the core of the problem with all crime in USA. Laws are not designed with crime prevention in mind. Everything is reactive and corrective, never preventive.
We do not now nor have we ever had a relationship with the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA)
I find it sad that they have to make this clarification in order for people to pay attention to them. Advocacy for law reform should not have to be judged so harshly.