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The Kevin Bacon Game-Is-Up
November 13, 2005 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Is Kevin Bacon living near you? I just watched Bacon's amazing performance as a paedophile returning home after 12 years inside, where the public accessibility of the Sex Offenders Register brought about by (amongst other things) Megan's Law is a plot-point. mapsexoffenders.com is a google maps powered site which enables you to see just who is living on your block, and what they did to end up being tracked for life, even after paying their debt to society. Is this information just becoming too easily accessible - is it making the chances of lumpheaded reprisals too high?
posted by benzo8 (100 comments total)

 
Wow. There are way, way, way more sex offenders near my old house than I ever imagined.
posted by Bugbread at 10:54 AM on November 13, 2005


Is Kevin Bacon living near you?

By six degrees of neighbor. That's Bacon's Law.
posted by dgaicun at 10:58 AM on November 13, 2005


This is kinda terrifying, I guess. Is there a UK version?
posted by armoured-ant at 11:01 AM on November 13, 2005


Would be useful if "sex offender" was selectively assigned. I found one living two blocks to the East. Her crime is "sexual misconduct with a minor". Current age is 31. Released from jail when she was 25. Depending on circumstances, this was a Class B or C felony. Assuming she spent a year in jail, 23 when caught. Do I really need to be told about a 23 year old who probably fucked a 16 year old? And should she be branded for life as a "sex offender"?
posted by Gyan at 11:02 AM on November 13, 2005


Okay, what really squicked me out is that there are 5 sex offenders living within walking distance of the closest elementary school. Regardless of the details of their crimes, that don't seem right.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:13 AM on November 13, 2005


This seems to be incapable of interacting with the local database for my state, which has much more information, such as whether someone is a Level II (high risk) or Level III (moderate risk).
posted by iamck at 11:21 AM on November 13, 2005


Okay, what really squicked me out is that there are 5 sex offenders living within walking distance of the closest elementary school. Regardless of the details of their crimes, that don't seem right.

Really? What if the details are as Gyan outlines above - say, an 18 year old who got caught fucking her 16 year old boyfriend? Should she really not be allowed to live near a school at age 30?
posted by tristeza at 11:23 AM on November 13, 2005


I bet there are bank robbers living within walking distance of banks, too --- and car thieves within walking distance of car dealerships. I bet there are even some murderers among us living within walking distance of living, breathing people.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:27 AM on November 13, 2005


I like how it has three for DC, two live within a few blocks of "The Calthedral School for Girls" (one right across the street) and the other is right next to the biggest high school in the city.
posted by borkingchikapa at 11:28 AM on November 13, 2005


This is very odd. There were 7 registered offenders within four blocks of my street when I initially plugged in my address (their pictures were quite scary). Then, when I went back to run it again for my husband's benefit only 2 offenders popped up on the list. Odd.
posted by tidecat at 11:29 AM on November 13, 2005


If you're a sex offender, you can't pay your debt to society.

You literally cannot ever be forgiven for such evil crimes as pissing on a tire.
posted by Malor at 11:32 AM on November 13, 2005


I don't know that we really need to know about the twenty-something guy who had consentual sex with a 16 year old girl. I mean, come on, who cares.

Do they have a special terror alert colour for this too?
posted by Hildegarde at 11:33 AM on November 13, 2005


"I bet there are bank robbers living within walking distance of banks, too..."

Bank robbery isn't the most heinous crime imaginable, raping a child under 12 (like my three newly-found neighbors) is.
posted by pg at 11:45 AM on November 13, 2005


or neighbours, whichever.
posted by pg at 11:48 AM on November 13, 2005


Hey! I can see my house from here!...Ur...nebbermind.
posted by ColdChef at 11:51 AM on November 13, 2005


The data for this seems to be sketchy.

Two of the sex offenders who live on my street don't show up on this.
posted by ColdChef at 11:53 AM on November 13, 2005


Really? What if the details are as Gyan outlines above - say, an 18 year old who got caught fucking her 16 year old boyfriend? Should she really not be allowed to live near a school at age 30?

I didn't say it should be illegal, I said it squicked me out and that "it don't seem right", that is to say that it will seem suspicious to people (regardless of whether having said suspicions is a fair thing to do). If a 30 year old on a sex offender list had a choice between living near a school and not, I'd suggest that they don't do it, as it would probably save them some grief when local news programs run out of stories about local health code violations and recycle reactionary nonstories like "Are Sex Offenders in Your Neighborhood?"
posted by 23skidoo at 11:53 AM on November 13, 2005


I remember reading, earlier this year, about a man who almost hit a teen who wandered carelessly into an intersection. He pulled over the car, grabbed her arm, and chided her.

He's now a registered sex offender because in the state where he grabbed her arm, "restraining someone under 18" is a sex offense.

In short, I imagine much of this information is blown out of proportion as there are many stupid laws which can peg someone as something far worse than what they really "are".
posted by dobbs at 11:53 AM on November 13, 2005


Raping a child under 12 isn't the most heinous crime imaginable.
posted by I Foody at 11:54 AM on November 13, 2005


Is this information just becoming too easily accessible

yes
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:55 AM on November 13, 2005


Raping a child under 12 isn't the most heinous crime imaginable.

That's true. Is it relevent?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:55 AM on November 13, 2005


Oh, I see the context now, sorry.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:57 AM on November 13, 2005


P_G: That's taking the "lumpheaded" comment too far, I fear...
posted by benzo8 at 12:08 PM on November 13, 2005


I see some folks indicating that they don't know what kind of sex offender the person was (i.e. was it a 20 year old having sex with a 16 year old, or a 40 year old having sex with a 10 year old, etc.). Is the Texas section just different, or what? It lists the type of crime, sentence length, age of victim, age of perpetrator, date of incident, and more. Do other states not have this info?

(Note: to see the info, you click the dot, and it comes up with a face, name, and address. Clicking on the name, which is a hyperlink, brings you to a page like this one)
posted by Bugbread at 12:08 PM on November 13, 2005


Does this not work for anyone else?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:17 PM on November 13, 2005


It has caused Firefox to crash on me a few times, but not before I discovered that there are several sex offenders in my neck of the woods too. But in my neck of the woods we don't get the specific details of the crime (age of victim, date of offense, etc.) like bugbread does.
posted by Gator at 12:24 PM on November 13, 2005


I hope they start mapping college professors who are soft on terrorism or sympathetic to Muslim so-called beliefs too. You can't be too safe these days!

This site is a crock of shit. It's more about raising the general level of misleading panic about a set of awful crimes that are, nine times out of ten, committed by family members, rather than the creepy guy down the block. Sites like this are an elaborate form of denial, not a solution.
posted by digaman at 12:32 PM on November 13, 2005


digaman is right. Enough said.
posted by funambulist at 12:36 PM on November 13, 2005


Odd, I was trying to see what it reports for where I did my undergrad - Iowa isn't on the list of states in the dropdown menu.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:45 PM on November 13, 2005


Civil_Disobedient, it doesn't work for me, either. Not in Firefox or IE. It keeps insisting that I live in Utah.
posted by Morrigan at 12:54 PM on November 13, 2005


Won't it be easier if we just make them sew some sort of symbol or lettering onto their clothing?
posted by flarbuse at 12:59 PM on November 13, 2005


Let me state the obvious:

We need clearer guidelines about what constitutes a sex offender. Rapists and child molestors are worth worrying about. Public pissers and statutory offenders, not so much. Peeping toms and flashers, somewhere in between.
posted by jonmc at 1:02 PM on November 13, 2005


i just hate this mapping of so-called sex offenders. in my opinion, they've paid their dues to society so let them be. why not just brand them with the scarlet letter.
posted by brandz at 1:05 PM on November 13, 2005


What Jon said. Also, the offender who ives across the street from my son's elementary school is scary looking.
posted by LarryC at 1:08 PM on November 13, 2005


It's the ones who arent "scary looking," that'll get you, LarryC. Only the least successful (or paradoxically the most succesfull like color-wearing gangbangers, bikers, and flashy mafiosi) wear signs saying "I'm a bad guy."
posted by jonmc at 1:11 PM on November 13, 2005


On a more techie end, it's pretty well made. Far better than I expected before I clicked the link.
posted by Bugbread at 1:19 PM on November 13, 2005


I'm pretty impressed by how few people were registered in the areas in which I used to live. I guess I did have a knack for picking good neighborhoods to live in.
posted by clevershark at 1:30 PM on November 13, 2005


In an ideal world, brandz, you'd be right; once someone has served their time, let them be. But then, on the other hand, you've got your Joseph Edward Duncan III, who served his time, blended in nicely with his neighbors for a while, and then (allegedly) abducted and repeatedly raped Shasta and Dylan Groene, in addition to killing Dylan and members of the family. Not to mention Jesse Timmendequas, who raped and killed Megan Kanka, for whom Megan's Law is named.

I like to believe in finding a happy medium in all things. I don't know what the answer is. But I know that we don't, at this time, live in an ideal world.
posted by Gator at 1:37 PM on November 13, 2005


If you're worried about registered sex offenders, think of all the ones that haven't been caught yet!

Better send your kids to live in the desert, just to be safe.
posted by funambulist at 1:50 PM on November 13, 2005


...there are only 39 states available from the drop down. I'm in Michigan, it's not mapped. Also, what y'all are saying about too much information.

So we should round em all up and keep them in a pen someplace, right? Mandatory sentencing for a sex offense: life, no chance of parole, no chance of ever getting better? Or maybe we should just kill them. Kill them all.

I'm a dick when it comes to criminality, but sheesh. I'm with jon on this one.
posted by Slap Incognito at 1:58 PM on November 13, 2005


This is very odd. There were 7 registered offenders within four blocks of my street when I initially plugged in my address (their pictures were quite scary). Then, when I went back to run it again for my husband's benefit only 2 offenders popped up on the list. Odd.

According to California's own Megan's Law website, there are half a dozen sexual offenders living within a half mile of here. According to mapsexoffenders.com, none. Great dataset they're using.

Regarding schools--last month a town in Ohio voted in a ban on registered sex offenders living with 2500 feet of any school, park, pool, library, day-care center or preschool. If similar laws are allowed to go into effect in every town, it would create de facto ghettos for sexual offenders, forcing them to crowd into the few inhabited areas that can meet all of these requirements. But as digiman noted, focusing on where known offenders live is a red herring anyway,
'They're the kind of laws that sound good in theory,' said Jill Levenson, a sexual-violence researcher.... 'But...[n]o one has found any connection between proximity to schools and recidivism or sex offending.'

If anything, Levenson said, communities might be putting themselves more at risk by creating a false sense of security and isolating offenders from their support systems.

Up to 90 percent of child victims are molested not by strangers hanging out near schools but by friends and relatives... [emphasis added]
So while parents are casting the evil eye at the guy down the block who once upon a time got arrested for flashing, they're failing to notice that Grampa or good old lovable Uncle Vic is the greater threat to their kids' innocence.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 1:59 PM on November 13, 2005


5 sex offenders living within walking distance of the closest elementary school.

I just want to point out that's what the movie The Woodsman is pretty much about. Kevin Bacon's character lives across the street from an elementary school.
posted by fungible at 2:00 PM on November 13, 2005


Up to 90 percent of child victims are molested not by strangers hanging out near schools but by friends and relatives... [emphasis added]

and in every thread about pedophilia someone reminds us of this fact. No offense, nakedcodemonkey, but we know that. Criminals of all kinds choose targets of convenience. Why should we assume that once the family removes the victim from the pedophiles proximity that his basic proclivities have changed?

I'm iffy on these registries, because of the aforementioned failure to delineate between different offenses and because people can get hysterical. That dosen't mean I'm crazy about the idea of these creeps walking around unsupervised. Perhaps stronger sentences or more strictly supervised paroles and probations might be a better solution.
posted by jonmc at 2:04 PM on November 13, 2005


I want a map that shows where all the car thieves live. And the kids who break into your garage and steal shit. And a map that shows all the drunk drivers, too.
All criminals should be branded - so that us GOOD FOLK can continue living in fear of our neighbors.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 2:17 PM on November 13, 2005


I want a map that shows where all the car thieves live. And the kids who break into your garage and steal shit. And a map that shows all the drunk drivers, too.

I have this image in my head now of the creepiest Google Earth options toolbar ever.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:22 PM on November 13, 2005


So where's the map-murderers.com website? We can never be too safe, you know.
posted by rolypolyman at 2:35 PM on November 13, 2005


You can probably find it at the pro-life headquarters.
Or so they'll tell you.

I wonder how long a democracy can function when the people actually know how different their neighbors are, in specific detail.

I wonder how long til someone starts sorting consumer data to find all the most attractive burglary targets who vote the wrong way and routing the info to the nearest professional burglar, for example.

Just messing with people you don't like is going to be getting a hell of a lot easier, with this stuff available. And there are people who are real professionals able to use it.

Think "enemies list" ...
posted by hank at 2:45 PM on November 13, 2005


jonmc, the thing about 90 percent of child abuse happening in the family is brought up because one of the effects of paedophile hysteria is to make people conveniently forget about that much more horrifying fact.
posted by funambulist at 2:49 PM on November 13, 2005


I don't deny that, funambulist, but perhaps in this conversation we can find some ideas between hysteria and blithe dismissal about how to deal with this problem is all I'm saying.
posted by jonmc at 2:56 PM on November 13, 2005


jonmc: I'm iffy on these registries, because of the aforementioned failure to delineate between different offenses and because people can get hysterical. That dosen't mean I'm crazy about the idea of these creeps walking around unsupervised. Perhaps stronger sentences or more strictly supervised paroles and probations might be a better solution.

Why? Are there really legions of released molesters out there abusing children? Do you have proof? Because if not, I'm going to vote for leave them all alone.
posted by dame at 3:03 PM on November 13, 2005


dame: It's not so cut and dry as that. It's a tradeoff.

Publishing something like this is loss of privacy for these individuals -- and in some cases, like the one Gyan describes, it's an egregious loss of privacy. But the other side of the tradeoff is that it could prevent or reduce sexual offenses in certain cases.

Is the tradeoff truly worthwhile? It depends on how important the loss of privacy is, and how much it reduces sex offenses. The problem is that the loss of privacy is nebulous, and doesn't (directly) affect the politicians or citizens groups pushing such a law.

Can you really say that the loss of privacy this list provides is not worth the prevention of one single rape? I tend to think that privacy is important, and there are long term societal consequences from its loss -- but having sex offenders in your neighborhood could have long term conequences, too.
posted by event at 3:29 PM on November 13, 2005


jonmc, I don't think that was a dismissal of the problem. Depends on what you consider the problem is, child abuse in general or the fact that sex offenders don't get locked up for life?

Because unless the idea is to do that to everyone who has confirmed paedophiliac tendencies, whatever the degree of seriousness of their crime, then there's not much that can be done once they're released. Or if there is something that can be done, like surveillance or monitoring or anything to prevent repeated offenses, then it should not be in the hands of citizens and there's no point deluding people it should be so.

Lists of names of people convicted on a sex offense, which can include a lot of different things, as has already been pointed out, can turn out to have very nasty consequences, as happened in the UK when a tabloid published something like that.

And even when it doesn't get to that, it just keeps fueling that denial about the extent of child abuse within families and also a paranoid vigilante mentality which has zero practical benefits. It's just exploitment of strong emotions about a sad issue, nothing more.
posted by funambulist at 3:32 PM on November 13, 2005


I really don't understand any good reason for this to only be applied to sex crimes. Crimes that very radically in magnitude and have little in common other than they have something to do directly or tangentially with sex. I could even see the benefits (and costs) of a violent crimes registry, but they don't make those available to the public. I would much prefer to live next to a guy that touched his kid's cock than a guy that beat his wife to death. That these databases exist only for sex criminals seems like a clue that they aren't there to protect people but to titillate and scapegoat.
posted by I Foody at 3:36 PM on November 13, 2005


Well there are no sex offenders in my neighbourhood. Not a one. There do appear to be 3 in the greater Boston area.

But of course this is stupid. What exactly is the point of this? Am I supposed to somehow relax cause there are no bogeymen in my neighbourhood? Well that's dumb. There surely are sex offenders living within a few blocks of me, they're probably just not convicted sex offenders. Should I not worry about them because they're not in the database?

And if I had found out that my neighbour was a convicted sex offender, well how would that change anything, really? I hear people with kids on tv saying "Well we wouldn't let our kids, blah, blah, blah..." but would they otherwise "let their kids..."? Presumably not, and if this somehow makes them think they can trust people so long as they've confirmed they're not a sex offender, then these registries are more dangerous than helpful.

And then there's the NIMBY people...*sigh* "But there's a school not 3 blocks away!" Umm...yes...isn't there a school within 3 blocks of pretty much everywhere? They have to live somewhere.

Again, this is stupid.
posted by duck at 3:42 PM on November 13, 2005


event: how does it prevent or reduce sexual offenses? examples? any evidence?

Keep in mind anyone who's been convicted for a sexual offense will have it on their record so if they apply for a job it'll come up, if they want to adopt it'll come up, if they want to become teachers it'll come up, and so on.

What is gained by broadcasting that information to the whole population rather than bring it up when necessary? Just so you can avoid sending your children round to have tea with that strange guy round the corner, as you do? What about the other guy who's never been reported and there's no record of his offenses? No handy list will help you there.

Unless we're talking abducting children in the middle of the day right outside school, parents will already have to keep an eye on their kids and kids will already learn not to give too much trust complete strangers when no one else is around, the rest is only useless paranoia.

Unfortunately it is a lot more difficult for a kid to avoid the offenders when they're not strangers but in the family and it's also a lot more traumatic to deal with not to mention a lot harder to report.
posted by funambulist at 3:52 PM on November 13, 2005


So how is this a game? Can we compete to see which MeFite lives in the scariest neighbourhood?
posted by nowonmai at 3:53 PM on November 13, 2005


nowonmai : "Can we compete to see which MeFite lives in the scariest neighbourhood?"

Not my neighborhood, but I raise your 28 offenders to 30.
posted by Bugbread at 4:07 PM on November 13, 2005


Make that 57.
posted by Bugbread at 4:09 PM on November 13, 2005


"What is gained by broadcasting that information to the whole population rather than bring it up when necessary?"

Just ask your friendly local news station about that. Don't you know?? Isn't the idea of a sex offender registry about keeping the family SAFE? Isn't this about "know where the predators that will assrape your children are: see our special newsbroadcast with team sex offender coverage, live at five! Here on channel 7! Your children are in STRANGER DANGER!! You are a horrible parent if you don't watch our newscast and understand where the child rapers live! Watch our newscast, we'll tell you where to find the information you need! Only at 11! Only on 7! Team coverage! News trucks! Sex offenders! Child molesters! Danger Danger Danger!

Sorry, I just caught the local news....
posted by Slap Incognito at 4:15 PM on November 13, 2005


69.

I probably should not be enjoying this this much.
posted by Bugbread at 4:15 PM on November 13, 2005


Slap Incognito : "Team coverage! News trucks! Sex offenders! Child molesters! Danger Danger Danger!"

Team sex! Truck coverage! News offenders! Danger molesters! Child Child Child!
posted by Bugbread at 4:16 PM on November 13, 2005


funambulist: how does it prevent or reduce sexual offenses? examples? any evidence?

That's not what I said. I said: "it could prevent or reduce sexual offenses in certain cases." Are those cases likely? I don't know, but you would have a hard time convincing me that it never happens. And there are some (perfectly rational) people who would say that if these lists prevent only one single sexual assault, it would be worthwhile.

I do want to make it clear, though, that I think these lists are stupid. I just don't think that the issue is as cut and dry as a lot of people here seem to think.
posted by event at 4:19 PM on November 13, 2005


Zooming in and then zooming out is cheating, right?
Otherwise:

posted by Bugbread at 4:21 PM on November 13, 2005


Thank goodness the legal age in Canada is 14. I'm sure there are teen girls who are harmed by this, taken advantage of at a naive stage of their life... but it sure sounds like there are far more adults being harmed by having been an older teen (16-20yrs old, inclusive) in a relationship with an under-18 teen.

It sounds like there are a lot of adults being harmed by having been an older teen (18 to 20th birthday) in a relationship with an under-18 teen.

In Canada the legal age is 14. I wonder if we've weighed the balance of harm, and decided there are few young teens experiencing long-term harm in having sex with late teens/adults. Maybe the balance of least harm tilts in favour of our age-14 limit, instead of the age-18 limit in most of the US?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:25 PM on November 13, 2005


Thanks bugbread, now I'm gonna have 99 luftballons stuck in my head all night.
posted by Gator at 4:26 PM on November 13, 2005


Arrrrg! Ignore the first paragraph. That was the brain-blurt before I rewrote it to come out far more sensibly/less-offensively. Guh.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:26 PM on November 13, 2005


FFF, keep in mind that, in some states, the block at 18 is not absolute. That is, in Texas, if memory serves, it's someone over 18 having sex with someone under 18 and more than two years younger. That is, 22 and 19, OK (both over 18, 3 years apart). 20 and 17, NG (one under 18, 3 years apart). 19 and 17, OK (one under 18, but 2 or less years apart). 17 and 14, NG (both under 18, 3 years apart). 17 and 15, OK (both under 18, but 2 or less years apart).
posted by Bugbread at 4:30 PM on November 13, 2005


It absolutely flabbergasts me that the limit could be higher than sixteen in any case. Canada's 14 seems a little low.

The age difference should be mathematically defined: (older - 14) * 7 <= younger.

(14 - 14) * 7 = 0 : no sex under age 14
(15 - 14) * 7 = 7 : okay
(16 - 14) * 7 = 14 : okay
(17 - 14) * 7 = 21 : not okay
(18 - 14) * 7 = 28 : not okay

(21 - 18) * 7 = 21 : okay
(22 - 18) * 7 = 28 : not okay. wait a half-year.

(40 - 24) * 7 = not okay, and icky to boot.

(65 - 33) * 7 = not okay, and even more icky. Quit it, Donald Trump.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:19 PM on November 13, 2005


Hmm. Guess that's < younger &>= 0.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:20 PM on November 13, 2005


event: And there are some (perfectly rational) people who would say that if these lists prevent only one single sexual assault, it would be worthwhile.

I would say that thinking such is, by definition, irrational. There are trade-offs to everything, but saying that putting any number of adults, even adults who did bad things, at risk in order to maybe stop one hypothetical attack is unreasonable. Otherwise, why not jail all men and simply milk their sperm when they are sedated in order to continue to propagate. That would certainly bring instances of sexual assault way down, and to stop only one . . .
posted by dame at 5:30 PM on November 13, 2005


ooh that's creepy, child porn is registered as well. Hmm, time to secure the wireless connection.
posted by wilful at 5:45 PM on November 13, 2005


putting any number of adults, even adults who did bad things, at risk

But dame, that risk is just as hypothetical as the attacks.

Regardless, we can apply the exact same trade-off logic to your slippery-slope scenario. Is society better off if we jail all men, in order to prevent a sexual assault? Do the net benefits and losses from the first outweight the net benefits and losses from the latter?

The answer is easier to come by here, but the calculus is the same.
posted by event at 5:46 PM on November 13, 2005


Yeah, that was my point. Unless I misunderstand you.

And yes, the attacks are hypothetical in either case, but only one results in certain persecution: the loss of privacy, the backhanded permanent punishment. I would say that weighs out worse.
posted by dame at 5:53 PM on November 13, 2005


So where's the map-murderers.com website? We can never be too safe, you know.

markofcain.com is, unfortunately, already taken.
posted by spazzm at 5:55 PM on November 13, 2005


Now that I think of it, I don't know that they are equivalent. Setting someone at risk of reprisals, etc., in this case is something society is choosing to do, something it is setting up an apparatus to make possible. It's a sin of comission. Whereas not preventing every sexual assult is a sin of comission only to people who think it is possible to be perfectly safe--something any rational person would realize is impossible. Does that make sense?
posted by dame at 6:01 PM on November 13, 2005


I would say that weighs out worse.

And somebody else might disagree and say no, it doesn't weigh out worse. It just means that they have different weights for the values on each side of the equation. That doesn't mean they (or you) are irrational, it just means they have different inputs to the equation.
posted by event at 6:02 PM on November 13, 2005


They want something that is impossible.
posted by dame at 6:10 PM on November 13, 2005


Who doesn't want to prevent every sexual assault?

Of course it's impossible. The question is how close can we get to that ideal, while balancing out against other things. Like privacy. And freedom.
posted by event at 6:19 PM on November 13, 2005


The age difference should be mathematically defined: (older - 14) * 7 [left arrow] younger. (quote change is in brackets. The html was getting wonkey...)

Nothing kills the mood like needing to bring along a condom and an abacus.
posted by Cyrano at 6:20 PM on November 13, 2005


No the question is what can you do in practice, reality, that's where you have to start from.

Someone is reported for sexual assault, gets arrested, tried, sentenced, jailed. Then at some point gets released. What do you want to be done from that point onwards that isn't already being done?
And who do you want it done by?
posted by funambulist at 6:34 PM on November 13, 2005


Cyrano, the problem is that before the age of 18 is the only time in their lives when women will claim to be older than they are.

Age of consent, such a useful idea.
posted by funambulist at 6:36 PM on November 13, 2005


tobeornotto and 2beornot2 are both taken.
posted by theora55 at 6:50 PM on November 13, 2005


doh. wrong thread.
posted by theora55 at 6:50 PM on November 13, 2005


It's the exact same question, funambulist.

I think you keep misunderstanding my point. Like I said, I think the current tradeoff is a poor one -- but it's not a simple calculus like some seem to think.
posted by event at 6:53 PM on November 13, 2005


The current trade-off seems to be completely off-the-mark in the USA. As far as I know, we basically do not have the problems you are describing: at age 14, teenagers become responsible for their sexual decisions, save some commonsense exceptions like abuse of authority.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:44 PM on November 13, 2005


Could you use google maps to organise a lynching party?
posted by wilful at 7:45 PM on November 13, 2005


i reject the surveillance state flatout. if you feel safer because someone, somewhere, is keeping a list, for whatever reason, you are are deceiving yourself. as benjamin franklin said ' he who sacrifices liberty to obtain safety deserves neither safety nor liberty'.
posted by brandz at 8:18 PM on November 13, 2005


Gives the term "smart mobs" a whole new twist, I suppose.

As my hyper-vigilant neighborhood-watch supervisor says, "it's the unregistered pedophiles you have to worry about." They just register the careless ones that get caught. I'm pretty sure John Wayne Gacy wasn't on a map.
posted by craniac at 8:19 PM on November 13, 2005


I think if you molest children you shouldn't be able to run a bicycle shop.
posted by I Foody at 8:34 PM on November 13, 2005


Btw, we seem to be equating sex offenders with pedophiles. I would venture that most sex offenders probably aren't pedophiles. Not that I think raping adults is ok...just sayin'.
posted by duck at 8:37 PM on November 13, 2005


Ah, but how many fat people live near you?
posted by Joeforking at 12:00 AM on November 14, 2005


So if most sex offenders aren't pedophiles, and most pedophiles aren't strangers, we can do away with the map, right? Having a creepy mustache is probably a better way of tracking threats to the family than this.
posted by mek at 12:51 AM on November 14, 2005


If they're doing it for the welfare of the kids, why not throw in there a list of the local bullies as well?

/;-)
posted by magullo at 5:24 AM on November 14, 2005


Is there a paedophile version of this map that lists all the pre-adolescents in your neighborhood?

It could use the same URL; just remember, mapsexoffenders.com is for paedophiles and mapsexoffenders.org is for paedophiles.
posted by dgaicun at 5:59 AM on November 14, 2005


Duck, won't someone please think of the children?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:08 AM on November 14, 2005


23skidoo writes "Okay, what really squicked me out is that there are 5 sex offenders living within walking distance of the closest elementary school."

Why? Sex offenders are just as able to buy a car/bus pass as anyone else.

Gator writes ". But then, on the other hand, you've got your Joseph Edward Duncan III, who served his time, blended in nicely with his neighbors for a while, and then (allegedly) abducted and repeatedly raped Shasta and Dylan Groene, in addition to killing Dylan and members of the family. Not to mention Jesse Timmendequas, who raped and killed Megan Kanka, for whom Megan's Law is named. "

Why not make everyone convictted of anything, civil and criminal, register there every move. Then you could go down your street and know who you can lend your lawnmower to, the go to guy for cannibis, who you shouldn't trust with the neighbourhood watch fees, and who should just be blown away with a shotgun for daring to ring the bell.

duck writes "'But there's a school not 3 blocks away!' Umm...yes...isn't there a school within 3 blocks of pretty much everywhere? They have to live somewhere."

I read a report on an interesting finding of a GIS study. It turned out that all the registered sex offenders in this one town lived on the same two blocks of a single street. Turned out that it was the only place in town they could live once all the overlapping no go zones were mapped.

event writes "Can you really say that the loss of privacy this list provides is not worth the prevention of one single rape? "

I can. At some point when applying the "prevent even one" metric of goodness you've got every single person living in a box being fed by a tube.
posted by Mitheral at 7:36 AM on November 14, 2005


Right, and then some sex offender inevitably goes and sticks his sacrament where your tube is supposed to go, and it was all for naught anyway.

Three quips and I'm out rule. Fine.
posted by dgaicun at 8:30 AM on November 14, 2005


Some poor nonce is going to end up quadraspazzed on a lifeglug. Then, how do we know pervert mechanics won't construct for him a cybernetic exoskeleton, transforming him into a roboplegic wrong-cock?

Anyone who hasn't seen the Brasseye paedophilia special is totally missing out.
posted by Soulfather at 1:02 PM on November 14, 2005



“you've got every single person living in a box being fed by a tube.”
posted by Mitheral
That’d be sweeeet, man. I could use a vacation.


“Is the tradeoff truly worthwhile?”
posted by event

Exactly. Is it?

“Can you really say that the loss of privacy this list provides is not worth the prevention of one single rape?....having sex offenders in your neighborhood could have long term conequences, too”
posted by event

Dead on. What are they?
as nakedcodemonkey pointed out in his comment:
“But...[n]o one has found any connection between proximity to schools and recidivism or sex offending.”

So, what is the advantage of having a list like this? As opposed to say, something that addresses the 90% of people doing the crimes? I don’t know. Counseling? A ‘how to spot signs of abuse within your family’ website? How to approach police if you or a loved one is being molested? Support systems for parents if one’s spouse is a molester?
Honestly - aren’t there better ways to address the problem that pointing out that people aren’t hurt *much* by this invasion of privacy and justifying it because it *might* do some good?

I suspect the justification I can empathize with is that if you are a parent, you don’t want to have your kids near that house, trick-or-treating or whatnot.
I would apply the reverse argument though, is the possibility of vigilantism (and fact of it in the past) worth the possibility that the site *might* do some good?

I’d say folks should probably pay more attention to their kids.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:31 PM on November 14, 2005


Why? Sex offenders are just as able to buy a car/bus pass as anyone else.

I know. I didn't say that I had equivically proven that it was more dangerous than not to have 5 sex offenders be living by the school. I said I was squicked out by it.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:55 PM on November 14, 2005


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