Let's focus on the most dangerous sex offenders

March 03, 2010

Many thanks to Dan Rodricks for his recent article about the negative impact of sex offender laws ("Is state wise to treat all sex offenders the same?" Mar. 2). We need to stop taking tragic events and turning them into opportunities to broaden the laws restricting every person who has committed a sexual offense; instead why not focus on the truly violent, dangerous offenders?

The person who downloads a pornographic video of minors, the drunken college students caught streaking and the people solliciting prostitutes are not the people we need to be worrying about. Yes, they're breaking the law and should be punished, assigned therapists, etc. But when we start mandating that they register for life or restricting where they can live, we give them no opportunity to rejoin society when many are fully capable of doing so.

It really makes me wonder how many of the rapes and murders of children could have been prevented if law enforcement officials hadn't been so overwhelmed with trying to hunt down people who made mistakes 25 years ago, or trying to keep track of the ever-increasing number of offenders on the registry, many of whom never even had contact with a minor. These laws are in desperate need of a reform, and I'm grateful that Mr. Rodricks is helping the public to acknowledge that.

Rachel Lee, Hagerstown

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