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May 4, 2005 5:12 PM   Subscribe

Do you have a vanity/special license plate? What if you were required by the state to have a certain plate because of your past?
posted by robbyrobs (60 comments total)

 
Well, this should be easy to enforce. Not.
posted by dg at 5:17 PM on May 4, 2005


Hell, why not a scarlet D and a scarlet Ped on their foreheads? I know these plates are useful to police, but aren't there better ways to monitor repeat offenders?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:19 PM on May 4, 2005


I propose one of these...


posted by Witty at 5:21 PM on May 4, 2005


Actually, on second thought, blue might be better for pedophiles. They can use pink for people not eligible for spousal benefits.

Fucking Ohio.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:21 PM on May 4, 2005


Don't they run the risk of driving Mary Kay saleswomen to committing sex offenses on purpose for the matching license plate?
Maybe it's all part of a nefarious plan...
posted by numlok at 5:29 PM on May 4, 2005


H.B. 217
posted by smackfu at 5:30 PM on May 4, 2005


It's not much of a step between this and ordering that people convicted get a special tattoo in the face so that everyone can see what they've been up to.

I don't think there would be a President Bush now if he had a big red "DUI" tattoo on his forehead... do you?
posted by clevershark at 5:32 PM on May 4, 2005



posted by AlexReynolds at 5:35 PM on May 4, 2005



posted by fionab at 5:50 PM on May 4, 2005


No fucking way.

I fucking HAD THIS IDEA in traffic literally HOURS ago. I was sitting behind someone with AMATEUR RADIO on their plate, and I just thought, you know... it's only a matter of time before some legislator thinks it's a good idea to start putting required information on these things, like PEDOPHILE, in the case of sex offenders, etc. I cannot believe this is a FPP right now.
posted by odinsdream at 5:51 PM on May 4, 2005


Ohio already has a special orange plate for DUI offenders. We call them "party plates".
posted by sohcahtoa at 5:52 PM on May 4, 2005


I would like to think that there is still a 4th amendment. Why not just paint targets on them. Isn't that what the plate is for?
posted by beelzbubba at 5:53 PM on May 4, 2005


Not a big fan of this. I second that, gesamtkunstwerk - fucking Ohio.
posted by shoppingforsanity at 5:56 PM on May 4, 2005


Can it be? Do we long suffering Floridians finally get a state to look down on?
posted by oddman at 6:01 PM on May 4, 2005


How about a special plate for Bush voters and that yahoo that runs Diebold?
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:03 PM on May 4, 2005


AlexReynolds writes " How about a special plate for Bush voters and that yahoo that runs Diebold?"

It would have to be a red plate, obviously!
posted by clevershark at 6:05 PM on May 4, 2005


Oddman: Within a week, someone here in Florida will do something even more ridiculous. Our Ohio-centric schadenfreude will be shortlived.
posted by the_bone at 6:11 PM on May 4, 2005


oddman: Can it be? Do we long suffering Floridians finally get a state to look down on?

I'm a native Floridan who recently visited Ohio. We already can look down on it. Trust me.
posted by cmyk at 6:11 PM on May 4, 2005


I seem to recall that a few years ago in Texas, one of those "creative sentence" judges declared that a convicted sex offender place a sign on his house and car indicating as such. Both were vandalized within 24 hours.

All of these judgements and law proposals are simply cowardly ways for people to say they think sex offenders should be removed from society because they don't know how to address a serious issue of mental and physical illness without succumbing to blind mob rage. Either send them to treatment or send them to jail if you still think they're a threat to society, but finding new ways to torture them for the rest of their lives is a sign of one's own psychological issues.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:17 PM on May 4, 2005


This could be a very convenient way to identify members of the clergy.
posted by alms at 6:24 PM on May 4, 2005


These are not about safety, it's about humilating bad people. They just set up straw men. I dread seeing the headline:

"He looked safe. He didn't have a pink or a yellow license plate"
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:29 PM on May 4, 2005


Careful, Ohio. Pink is in.
posted by sellout at 6:35 PM on May 4, 2005


I thought they had already implemented this policy with those yellow ribbons that say "Support Our Troops"...
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:37 PM on May 4, 2005


This is a great idea. Keying cars in the parking lot used to be so arbitrary.
posted by rafter at 6:42 PM on May 4, 2005


I have mixed opinions on this.

I support the idea of scarlet letters, particularly for child sex offenders (which are particularly repugnant). It is interesting that they already do it for drunk drivers.

It is obviously doubtful that it actually helps reform offenders, but I do think that social opinion it is probably amongst the best deterents to the crimes themselves. Perhaps sad to say, but I think would be offenders really would think twice about committing a crime if they knew they would be labeled for the rest of their lives. What if the same rule were applied to convicted murderers? If so what color plates?

And on the other side, there is of course the very real and serious question of what about the people who are actually innocent. It then becomes a question of how much faith we put in the justice system.
posted by gnash at 6:52 PM on May 4, 2005


Why have license plates always been so controversial? It seems odd how they can make you have a certain plate, although apparently you might not always have freedom of choice when given the option. Designating special plates for groups of people is nothing new though, and I found some interesting license plate trivia over at ALPCA online.
posted by Guerilla at 6:53 PM on May 4, 2005


There are yellow license plates already out ?
I live in Ohio and dont recall seeing any yellow license plates. . . .
posted by mikeinclifton at 6:54 PM on May 4, 2005


What if the same rule were applied to convicted murderers?

Ask your grocery store (for example, or any other source of minimum wage work) for a job application. Take a look at the part where they ask you about any felonies you've committed.
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:57 PM on May 4, 2005


What XQUZYPHYR said. Let's say an 18-year old gets convicted for sleeping with his 17-year old girlfriend of 2 years and has a statutory rape charge that follows him around. Let's say the two stick it out and get married a few years later, because it was really love.

I'm not at all attempting to suggest that this scenario is common, but a good, just law,would take such exceptions into consideration.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:27 PM on May 4, 2005


I think that treatment and imprisonment are just fine, as far as sex offenders (or any criminals) go. If the courts notice that a particular offender has a real serious problem, they can issue one of those radio-bracelets/anklets that they give to the folks under house arrest. It's the State's job to keep track of these people.

This sort of public display is cutting it a little to close to sewing yellow stars on clothing.
I'm not even thinking about hinting at comparing sex offenders to victims of the Holocaust, but requiring anyone to display some sort of insignia to notify the public of their social status is pretty creepy, no matter how you cut it.

What if they required gays display some paraphernalia in order to warn their christian, God-fearing, neighbors of the "hazard" they posed?

It's a fine line. The only reason they can get away with this is that nobody likes pedophiles. Nobody, including myself, is going to shed a tear if some perv's car gets vandalized.
However, when my car gets torched because I had to put a Star of David on my bumper, I'll remember the day that Ohio started making ex-cons color code their license plates.
posted by Jon-o at 7:37 PM on May 4, 2005


I'm not a fan of pedophiles, but where does it stop? /devils_advocate_voice
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:40 PM on May 4, 2005


To follow up on eustacescrubb's point take a look here. In this instance a secondary school teacher has been sacked because of a sexual assault charge that he pled guilty to when he was 20. The assault was a consensual act with his 15 year old girlfriend that didn't involve intercourse. He can now no longer work in the school system in his state despite the fact that his local community has lobbied to have him reinstated.

Bad laws don't fix social problems.
posted by bangalla at 7:41 PM on May 4, 2005



posted by quonsar at 7:45 PM on May 4, 2005


eustacescrubb: it's a lot more common than you think...

that's been my general problem with the registered sex offender lists... there are some pretty stupid abnormalities in law (a 24 year old can have sex with a 16 y/o but a 18 y/o can't have sex with a 15 y/o in Florida) and it's a shame to put people like that on the same lists as a child molester.
posted by trinarian at 7:58 PM on May 4, 2005


One big problem... it's to easy to have your car registered in someone else name and I'm sure people would pay to do it.

Besides, there is no cure for pedophilia, so the only real solution is to send them to jail for life. Period.
posted by The Infamous Jay at 8:11 PM on May 4, 2005


Why not just shoot them in the back of the head, The Infamous Jay? And potential pedos too. And don't forget the witches.

If I had a yellow plate, by the way, I'd insist that any accident I got in was the other guy's fault, as he obviously should have known I was a dangerous driver. Same goes for the pink plate.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:32 PM on May 4, 2005


Interesting useless facts: Illinois has the largest amount of personalized license plates in the country. I'd bet cold, hard money that New Hampshire has the highest percentage, though.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:42 PM on May 4, 2005


The trick is how long someone is sentenced for... I'd only be in favor of this during the sentence term, otherwise, it's a long-term scarring of a person's potentially rehabilitated reputation.

Of course, pedophiles rank in my book somewhere slightly below Pat Sajak, so perhaps instant vaporising death is a more dignified option.
posted by moonbird at 8:47 PM on May 4, 2005


And that's how all of Ohio's registered sex offenders started riding the bus, thereby putting them in close proximity to a buffet of potential new victims. Hooray for America!
posted by aaronetc at 9:03 PM on May 4, 2005


I can see how this is effective to some extent for repeat DUI offenders, as it is tied to the activity that they continue offending in (but it would be more sensible, surely, to take their driving rights away forever, as they do here). But how do you tie sexual activity to driving a car? It is just bizarre and ridiculous.
posted by dg at 9:21 PM on May 4, 2005


I know a guy who got two sex offender strikes: 1) he mooned someone in a McDonalds, and 2) a nosy neighbor looked in his window and saw him kiss a fully clothed underage babysitter. The guy has problems, and what he did was wrong. But his life is destroyed now, he will have a hard time making any more contributions to society.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:24 PM on May 4, 2005


As Moonbird mentioned, how is someone who commited a sex offense supposed to recover when every day he's reminded of his crime and or urges?
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:45 PM on May 4, 2005


So for pedophiles with DUI offenses, does one color take precedence, or do they recieve something like a special Timor-Chestnut plate?
posted by Demogorgon at 10:04 PM on May 4, 2005


Demogorgon writes " So for pedophiles with DUI offenses, does one color take precedence"

They'll probably come up with more colors for more offenses, so one could end up with a veritable rainbow.
posted by clevershark at 11:30 PM on May 4, 2005


sex offenders today.....

.... and tomorrow?
posted by quarsan at 11:32 PM on May 4, 2005



posted by seanyboy at 12:27 AM on May 5, 2005


the infamous jay - what's to stop someone from registering a car as belonging to a business? ... only a little paperwork, and a few bucks ... no worry about taxes because the business wouldn't make any money, no worry about tax write-offs because you wouldn't take any

i'd like to suggest bright yellow and red flames on license plates for drag racers ...
posted by pyramid termite at 12:38 AM on May 5, 2005


you let paedophiles have cars? In the UK we make them walk.
posted by johnny novak at 1:47 AM on May 5, 2005


Most sex offenders abuse someone they already know, so this doesn't exactly protect "the public."

I feel the drunk driver yellow license plates aren't a bad thing though. That actually works towards more wariness on the road.
posted by agregoli at 6:57 AM on May 5, 2005


How about a special plate for Bush voters and that yahoo that runs Diebold?
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:03 PM EST


Many states already have those, with a flag on it too!
posted by nofundy at 7:32 AM on May 5, 2005



posted by klangklangston at 7:43 AM on May 5, 2005


What happens if you're sexualy molest someone while driving drunk!?!?!?!

Will this cause sex offenders to go out driving drunk in order to switch up their plates?
posted by delmoi at 7:59 AM on May 5, 2005


Oh yeah, also green plates for people with Marijuana convictions, it'll make shopping for drugs so much easier!
posted by delmoi at 8:00 AM on May 5, 2005


Thanks for that tip, sellout--it's off to the mall for me!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:04 AM on May 5, 2005


And yeah, the real problem is that the "sex offender" catagory is so broad, and often includes things that are not abnormal at all.
posted by delmoi at 8:04 AM on May 5, 2005


Besides, there is no cure for pedophilia, so the only real solution is to send them to jail for life. Period.

Actually, there is no cure for a certain kind of pedophilia as a mental fixation/inability to be aroused unless there is a certain prepubescent body type/style/size involved. (Well, there's chemical castration.) However, the laws aren't designed to determine that, right?

The law casts a wider net, looking also for people who were attracted to normally proportioned, adult-shaped partners who also happened to be under whatever the age of consent is.

As I parent, I'm happy to have access to the neighborhood offender list so I can be aware. But I'm also happy to jump through a few little hoops to do it so that vigalante justice and random assholery doesn't serve as part of the punishment.
posted by Gucky at 9:51 AM on May 5, 2005


"But how do you tie sexual activity to driving a car?"

Cars dramatically increase the ability of sex offenders to mosey out of neigborhoods where "everyone knows" to places where the person is a stranger.

Say you're a parent and you see a pinked van parked at the Little Leauge game. It's going to make you more vigilant then you were before, and glad to have the warning.

At least, I suppose that's the reasoning behind it.
posted by catachresoid at 2:34 PM on May 5, 2005


Say you're a parent and you see a pinked van parked at the Little Leauge game. It's going to make you more vigilant then you were before, and glad to have the warning.
At least, I suppose that's the reasoning behind it.

Well, sure. But use some logic here and you will see that is nothing more than a way for people to feel good about "warning the community" without doing anything to solve the perceived problem. Do you really think that a paedophile is going to go "on the prowl" in his/her tagged car? It would be so easy for someone to use another car (borrowed, rented, company, registered in another name ....) that the most likely result of this would be to lull parents into a false sense of security - "there are no pink number plates around, so my kids are safe".

Lets be honest, this is nothing more than an attempt to add to the punishment rather than any serious attempt at addressing the problem.
posted by dg at 3:19 PM on May 5, 2005


I'm already aboard that train, dg.

Though I think many of the people involved do see this as a step forward in addressing the problem. We don't seem to live in a world where legislation is examined critically and carefully by many.
posted by catachresoid at 4:56 PM on May 5, 2005


Yeah, I guess we are pretty much in agreement. It would be nice to think that proposed legislation such as this could never manage to become law, but it just happens too many times. This is one of those issues that politicians cannot be seen as opposing, because they are then branded as supporting paedophiles, even though they must know that the whole thing is ridiculous, unenforceable and a denial of natural justice (not that I support paedophiles, but the term "sexual offender" casts too wide a net).
posted by dg at 5:37 PM on May 5, 2005


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