Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The World's Worst Idea Ever
September 1, 2006 9:06 AM   Subscribe

"An Ohio legislative panel yesterday rubber-stamped an unprecedented process that would allow sex offenders to be publicly identified and tracked even if they've never been charged with a crime... [t]he concept was offered by Roman Catholic bishops as an alternative to opening a one-time window for the filing of civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse that occurred as long as 35 years ago." From Megan and Sarah to Amie to...well...this.
posted by Sticherbeast (78 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
oh, hell, no ... let's hope the courts squash this quick
posted by pyramid termite at 9:12 AM on September 1, 2006


What's going to be really awesome is when some law comes along that is meant to monitor child molesters but interferes with the Patriot Act, or vice-versa. Then all the suburban white people will have to engage in violent conflict over whose useless rhetoric is stronger; the "9/11!" and "Think of the Children!" armies ripping each other to shreds, one by one. God, it'll be beautiful.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:13 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh, and that was via Reason, FWIW.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:15 AM on September 1, 2006


Why not go all the way and reintroduce these?

I thought one of the hallmarks of modern civilization was that punishment is not supposed to be revenge.
posted by uncle harold at 9:18 AM on September 1, 2006


So a judge can just declare someone a sex offender when no crime has been commited?
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:20 AM on September 1, 2006


Wait, so the Catholic church wants to appear tough on sexual abuse towards children? One has to ask the obvious question: Will this law apply to them as well?

Even if this wasn't being forwarded by the Church it would be appalling. As it is, it feels hypocritical and appalling.
posted by quin at 9:20 AM on September 1, 2006


I don't get it, how do you become an 'official' sex offender if you have not been charged with the crime? Let alone convicted?
posted by beno at 9:26 AM on September 1, 2006


...

I think the text of this law is necessary to form a complete opinion on it (for instance, criteria it may have), but it can't possibly be legitimate. It is basically an end-run around existing sex offender laws. If you can't put someone on trial for the crime, and prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, they don't belong on a sex offender list. The "reasonable doubt" criterion is there for a reason. Idiocy.
posted by graymouser at 9:36 AM on September 1, 2006


This is ridiculous. The standard of proof in civil cases is much less than "beyond a reasonable doubt" and is usually a "preponderance of the evidence standard." That would be the new bar to how difficult it is for someone to absolutely ruin your life forever (or at least six years until you're allowed to ask for you name to be removed from the watch list).

I hope to god this is scuttled soon and doesn't move beyond the legislative panel stage.
posted by Falconetti at 9:38 AM on September 1, 2006


No, no, no. Don't you see?

Only the guilty have anything to fear.

If you're accused but innocent, then you won't MIND having your face and address plastered all over the internet. After all, you've got nothing to hide, have you?

I wonder what's next?
posted by unSane at 9:38 AM on September 1, 2006


Why not just march them to the square in the center of town and stone them?
posted by sfts2 at 9:38 AM on September 1, 2006


On preview, what graymouser said.
posted by Falconetti at 9:39 AM on September 1, 2006


A witch!
posted by mischief at 9:39 AM on September 1, 2006


Even if this wasn't being forwarded by the Church it would be appalling. As it is, it feels hypocritical and appalling.

Once upon a time, there was a leprechaun, and this leprechaun had gold, as you know all leprechauns do. A boy named Seamus spied this leprechaun and thought to take his gold, and as you know, a leprechaun, once caught, must lead you to his gold.

So, clever little Seamus thought of a neat trick: he filled a bowl with whisky and placed a mirror at the bottom. The leprechaun, upon seeing the "handsome young fellow" at the bottom of the wonderful bowl, just kept on drinking, until he fell drunk asleep in the bowl itself.

And so Seamus put a saucer on the bowl, making a full trap of it, and he rattled it up and down to wake the leprechaun. Seamus demanded where the gold was. And the leprechaun, having no other choice, squeaked the answer, and directed him to a clover on a hill, underneath which was buried all his precious gold.

So Seamus tied a a ribbon to the clover and he ran to the house for a shovel.

And wouldn't you know. After he'd come back, that clever little leprechaun had bested him: he'd tied a ribbon to every clover on the field.

...

And that's sort of what I imagine is going on here.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:40 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


From the Toledo Blade story: "A recently enacted law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit."

Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? Under this plan not only will there have been no criminal conviction or civil judgment but not even any criminal charges or civil suit. All somebody had to do is declare that somebody is a child molester and he'd be tainted and deprived of many of his basic freedoms -- publicly. For at least six years, according to the Blade story's 8th paragraph.

What's next? Forcing anybody who somebody thinks looks like a pedophile to wear a big yellow patch? Maybe forced medication and/or preventive detention? And how would one protect oneself against such allegations -- maybe by making friends with and bribing lots of neighborhood kids? Imagine "You'd better give me $20 a week or else!"

(On preview: haven't I said I type even slower than I think?)
posted by davy at 9:40 AM on September 1, 2006


How can this be legal? I don't get it--I thought that's what trials were for.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:41 AM on September 1, 2006


Crafty way of bypassing double jeopardy and instead convicting in the court of the uninformed public eye, no?
posted by vanadium at 9:41 AM on September 1, 2006


So, was it Seamus or the leprechaun that liked to fuck kids?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:41 AM on September 1, 2006


What sfts2 suggested. Except borrow a page from the Taliban and march them into the square in the center of town and drop an entire brick wall on them.
posted by blucevalo at 9:43 AM on September 1, 2006


So, was it Seamus or the leprechaun that liked to fuck kids?
posted by mr_crash_davis


Doesn't matter--put 'em both on the list just to be safe.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:43 AM on September 1, 2006


A recently enacted law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit.

Is this constitutional?
Is it worth the trouble?

I can see this databawse getting too large and filled with people that are only there because they pissed someone off or became a political enemy.

At that point ... why not just track everybody?
posted by Dillenger69 at 9:44 AM on September 1, 2006


I don't get it, how do you become an 'official' sex offender if you have not been charged with the crime? Let alone convicted?

This almost makes me want there to be t-shirts that say "official sex offender" on them. Almost.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:46 AM on September 1, 2006


Is this constitutional?
Is it worth the trouble?


Wrong questions to be asking in the New American Century.
posted by blucevalo at 9:49 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


WHO KNEW THIS COUNTRY COULD BE SO THOROUGHLY FUCKED BY A COUPLA FALLING BUILDINGS AND SOME KIDDIE DIDDLING?
posted by quonsar at 9:50 AM on September 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


A civilly declared offender, however, could petition the court to have the person's name removed from the new list after six years if there have been no new problems and the judge believes the person is unlikely to abuse again.

new problems? abuse again? how could someone put this in an article without even mentioning that the person may not have had any old problems?
posted by snofoam at 9:59 AM on September 1, 2006


it's the new trickle-down journalism!
posted by quonsar at 10:01 AM on September 1, 2006


The Ohio Suspect Sex Registry
(Note 1: none of the following have been charged with any crime in connection with this registry.)
(Note 2: Sex Offender is hereby defined as anyone who has committed a sex act in any position other than doggy-style, has ever used birth control including the rhythm method, or has masturbated to orgasm.)

Bob Taft - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Hope Taft - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Bruce Johnson - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Jim Petro - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Allen, Dixie J. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Aslanides, James - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Barrett, Catherine L. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Beatty, Joyce - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Blasdel, Charles R. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Blessing, Louis W., Jr. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Boccieri, John A. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Book, Todd - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Brinkman, Tom, Jr. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Brown, Edna - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Bubp, Danny R. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Buehrer, Stephen - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Calvert, Charles - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Carano, Kenneth A. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Carmichael, Jim - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Cassell, Timothy J. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Chandler, Kathleen - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Coley, Bill - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Collier, Thom - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Combs, Courtney - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Core, Tony - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Daniels, David - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
DeBose, Michael - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
DeGeeter, Timothy - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
DeWine, Kevin - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Distel, George - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Dolan, Matthew J. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Domenick, John - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Driehaus, Steve - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Evans, Clyde - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Evans, David R. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Faber, Keith L. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Fende, Lorraine M. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Fessler, Diana M. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Flowers, Larry L. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Foley, Mike - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Garrison, Jennifer - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Gibbs, Bob - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Gilb, Mike - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Hagan, John P. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Hartnett, William J. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Harwood, Sandra - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Healy, William J., II - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Hood, Ron - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Hoops, James M. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Hughes, Jim - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Husted, Jon - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Key, Annie L. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Kilbane, Sally Conway - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Koziura, Joseph - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Latta, Robert E. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Law, Randy - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Martin, Earl - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Mason, Lance - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
McGregor, Jim - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
McGregor, Ross - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Mitchell, Mike - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Oelslager, W. Scott - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Otterman, Robert J. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Patton, Sylvester - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Patton, Thomas - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Perry, Jeanine - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Peterson, Jon M. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Raga, Tom - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Raussen, Jim - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Redfern, Chris - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Reidelbach, Linda - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Reinhard, Steve - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Sayre, Allan R. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Schaffer, Tim - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Schlichter, John - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Schneider, Michelle G. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Seaver, Derrick - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Seitz, Bill - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Setzer, Arlene J. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Skindell, Michael - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Smith, Geoffrey C. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Smith, Shirley A. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Stewart, Dan - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Stewart, Jimmy - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Strahorn, Fred - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Sykes, Barbara - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Taylor, Mary - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Trakas, James P. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Uecker, Joseph - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Ujvagi, Peter - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Wagner, Jeff - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Wagoner, Mark - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Webster, Shawn N. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
White, Dan - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
White, John J. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Widener, Chris - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Widowfield, John - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Willamowski, John - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Williams, Brian G. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Wolpert, Larry - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Woodard, Claudette J. - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Yates, Tyrone - Sex Offender (or maybe not)
Yuko, Kenny - Sex Offender (or maybe not)


Thank you, that is all.
posted by mischief at 10:04 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


new problems? abuse again? how could someone put this in an article without even mentioning that the person may not have had any old problems?

The linked article's vagueness is why I prefaced my previous comment with a note about how we need to see what the actual law is; it's not clear whether there is some provision of evidence or other in the law. However, even if there is, it's still an endrun: if someone is a sex offender, the state is obligated to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt before labelling them as, for all intents and purposes, a dangerous criminal.
posted by graymouser at 10:05 AM on September 1, 2006


Hate to throw a wrench into everyone's ideas that things like the Constitution still matter around here, but if you're thinking that this is just a stupid idea and that no judge anywhere would uphold this, keep in mind that in many cities across the country, the police can seize your car if they suspect that you are using it to solicit prostitutes, and they can then sell your car at auction - even if you are not convicted or even charged with the crime. This also applies if you are using someone else's car, and they had no knowledge of what you are doing. These car seizure laws - very similar in intent, certainly, to the law in discussion here - has been upheld time and again by the courts in the interest of 'protecting the public good'.


Everyone needs to keep in mind that there is nothing worse in this country than thinking about sex, except actually having sex, of course. And no law, no silly 200-year-old founding document, no moral or ethical standard can get in the way of protecting everyone from anything and everything sexual.
So my prediction is that not only will this law be passed, it will be upheld by the courts and become a standard by which every other state passes similar laws.
posted by robhuddles at 10:06 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


I used to think that what Protestant evangelicals said about the Catholic Church was crazy. But it hasn't been that way for a few years. How anyone could still give money to the world's biggest pedophile ring I will never understand.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:07 AM on September 1, 2006


keep in mind that in many cities across the country, the police can seize your car if they suspect that you are using it to solicit prostitutes, and they can then sell your car at auction - even if you are not convicted or even charged with the crime.

yes, but as i understand it, part of the legal reasoning behind this is that cars and other property have no legal rights ... which is, of course, the kind of disingenuousness that is corrupting our legal system, as it's actually the owner of the car that is being moved against

in this case, a person is the target of the law, which makes it quite different
posted by pyramid termite at 10:22 AM on September 1, 2006


From the hearing six years later:

The answer to the following question will determine whether or not you are taken off the sex offender list.

Have you quit molesting children?

Answer "yes," and you've just admitted to the crime and you will be sentenced.

Answer "no," and you're on the list for another six years.

Choose wisely.
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:26 AM on September 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


in many cities across the country, the police can seize your car if they suspect that you are using it to solicit prostitutes, and they can then sell your car at auction - even if you are not convicted or even charged with the crime.

What?! cite, please!
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:29 AM on September 1, 2006


From the hearing six years later:

Have you ever abstained from sex to avoid pregnancy?
posted by mischief at 10:35 AM on September 1, 2006


How long until we see lots of this?
posted by sfts2 at 10:41 AM on September 1, 2006


.
posted by raedyn at 10:43 AM on September 1, 2006


From the hearing six years later:

Have you ever abstained from sex to avoid pregnancy?
posted by mischief


Huh?
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:50 AM on September 1, 2006


You have failed to mention how horrible the original laws are to begin with. If someone is charged with a sex crime, let him (or her) serve their sentence and then go free. This sex offenders list is so wrong. It is like the modern-day scarlet letter. I am a mother of 4 children, including 2 teenage girls. I know so many moms who look up that list all the time thinking that they can protect their little girls by seeing the list when over 90% of all sex crimes are committed by people not on that list.

A murderer can go free after he serves his time, but if an 18 year old boy has sex with his 16 year old girlfriend and is charge with a crime by an angry father, he must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
posted by davenportmom at 10:54 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Fuck. Ohio.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:55 AM on September 1, 2006


I know so many moms who look up that list all the time thinking that they can protect their little girls by seeing the list when over 90% of all sex crimes are committed by people not on that list.

Quoted for truth. A quick Google for stats shows that 11% of molested children are in fact molested by strangers. The sex offender list is essentially part and parcel of how police states are built by accretion; the state has figured out that it can get whatever it likes by screaming about "the children."
posted by graymouser at 11:11 AM on September 1, 2006


Fuck. Ohio.

you can be registered as a sex offender for fucking the mentally incompetent
posted by pyramid termite at 11:13 AM on September 1, 2006


I wonder if people on the list will get the pretty pink plates?
posted by Otis at 11:16 AM on September 1, 2006


Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"?

As far as I can tell, the kill-all-child-molesters lobby was able to get rid of that charming chestnut early in the game. I've heard lots of horror stories frompeople getting divorced and a couple day care center folks I know.

If the accusation is leveled, everyone assumes it's true (even though there's good evidence that a number of accusations are false or misunderstandings (like someone made a kid feel creepy vs. actually doing anything to them) or some are even outright lies).

I'm still not even convinced that it (pedophillia, etc.) is as rampant and problematic as the government makes it out to be. Make no mistake -- I think it's a terrible crime and all that, I just wonder if the resources spent on its prevention and amelioration are out of whack with what the US spends on other problems.

But anyway, yeah. I sort of expect this law to pass and stand for a while myself, at least until someone who is on the list by mistake is murdered. But then anyone who wants to change the law just so it's in compliance with our supposed legal philosophy will be tarred and feathered as being "pro-child molester" no doubt.
posted by illovich at 11:25 AM on September 1, 2006


Of course there are always some exciting ideas from the world of sketch comedy.
posted by illovich at 11:27 AM on September 1, 2006


Have you ever abstained from sex to avoid pregnancy?
posted by mischief

Huh?


pre-emptive abortion is murder.
posted by quonsar at 11:27 AM on September 1, 2006


> I thought one of the hallmarks of modern civilization was that punishment is not
> supposed to be revenge.

That's right, and it's one core reason modern civilization is so helpless and fucked. Actions demanded by fairness and equity are prevented because some milquetoast decided that these actions were distastefully "vengeful." So we disallow anything "vengeful," at the cost of giving up on fairness and equity.
posted by jfuller at 11:34 AM on September 1, 2006


Have you ever abstained from sex to avoid pregnancy?
posted by mischief

Huh?

pre-emptive abortion is murder.



and masturbation is genocide.
posted by facapulco at 11:39 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


yes, jfuller. a 'correctional' penal system based on vengeance would be wonderful.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:40 AM on September 1, 2006


I also like your use of the word, milquetoast. Why don't you just come out and say it - "Pussy."
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:41 AM on September 1, 2006


Just an idea but why doesn't someone create a fake sex offender website and put these legislators on it? I can see it now... "Representative Bob's coming to our venue... let me Google his name to find more about him.... OMG, he's on this sex offender site... wait until the district office and all their friends find out!" The average dumbass will not know an official sex registry from a fake one.

When you get lemons, make lemonade!
posted by chef_boyardee at 11:44 AM on September 1, 2006


Actions demanded by fairness and equity are prevented because some milquetoast decided that these actions were distastefully "vengeful."

well, we all know the stories of barbarians and their endless registries of people they don't like ... attila the hun's list required 6 litter bearers to carry it
posted by pyramid termite at 11:46 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


unSane: I wonder what's next?

Forced microchip implantation.

Then the practice will spread to all convicted criminals, the program having been such a smashing success with the sex offenders, and besides they're criminals. Then to the elderly because they've fallen down and can't get up. And finally, mandated for all newborn babies because someone is thinking about the children.

And you're done.
posted by oncogenesis at 11:49 AM on September 1, 2006


Supposedly things were even worse in the 1980s; people were getting put away with all kinds of wild accusations. It was a real hysteria.

So now we have these sex offender lists. I think they're stupid, because a lot of the people get on the list for things other then pedophilia. Like someone mentioned, an 18 year old sleeping with a 16-year-old girlfriend could be on the list. I've even heard of a person needing to be put on the list for mooning someone. It's idiotic.

Now here in Iowa they want to change the laws so that Sex Offenders are not allowed to live in certain areas, like within 1000 feet of a school, such that they can't actually live anywhere other then a few tiny pockets.

People are all just "kill kill kill" without any sense or concern about what they're doing, because who wants to stick up for sex offenders?
posted by delmoi at 11:58 AM on September 1, 2006


Actually what we need to do is just execute them during the super bowl.
posted by delmoi at 12:00 PM on September 1, 2006


Actually what we need to do is just execute them during the super bowl.
posted by delmoi

Who? The entire Ohio legislature?
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:17 PM on September 1, 2006


“So a judge can just declare someone a sex offender when no crime has been commited?”

Whoh, that’d be way too easy on the (alleged) perverts there Caligula - county prosecutors, the state AG or even alleged victims absent a successful civil suit can too!

What really pisses me off is how this dilutes and distorts the issue from actual dangerous real sex offenders (+ what davenportmom sed).

/and seizure laws suck too.

I can empathize with the ‘kill child molesters’ folks. If someone raped my kid I’d torture him so long he’d think it was a career. But me losing my mind and rationally putting into place a government policy are two very very different things. Which apparently folks in Ohio (et.al) can’t differentiate.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2006


Sfts2 said: How long until we see lots of this?

Alfred Hitchcock's Revenge, 1955.
posted by cenoxo at 12:24 PM on September 1, 2006


delmoi writes "So now we have these sex offender lists. I think they're stupid, because a lot of the people get on the list for things other then pedophilia. Like someone mentioned, an 18 year old sleeping with a 16-year-old girlfriend could be on the list. I've even heard of a person needing to be put on the list for mooning someone. It's idiotic."

A common reason for registration on these lists is public urination.
posted by Mitheral at 12:39 PM on September 1, 2006


I went to the OHIO JCARR site to see if I could get a summary, and then contact them for details, but the weekly filing only goes through last week. We are going to have to wait until next week (Tuesday maybe?) to actually get a look at the proposed legislation....
posted by das_2099 at 12:45 PM on September 1, 2006


And I can't find anything about the filing presented on Pietro's site either, for the record.

I am having a hell of a time believing this is all of the story...I mean, people can just claim that someone is a sex offender, and they are on the list? there has to be something more...
posted by das_2099 at 12:51 PM on September 1, 2006


So let's get the ball rolling:

"Your honor, I was molested as a child by Donald Rumsfeld. Dick Cheney and George Bush (not sure which one, let's do both of them) held me down while it was happening. And here's a list of people who have exposed themselves to me. Yes, I realize that's the Notre Dame football team -- do you think we can add them to the registry right before the SC game this year? Kind of give me an edge with my bookie? While we're on the subject, your bailiff brushed my butt in the elevator (I'll teach that asshole not to lend me a cigarette). And Idaho, too, all those potatos just has to mean they're perverts of some sort."
posted by forrest at 12:59 PM on September 1, 2006



A common reason for registration on these lists is public urination.


please, please, please, please tell me you're joking.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:13 PM on September 1, 2006


I'd dearly love for somebody to tell me how on earth anyone could, with a straight face, stand up in any public venue and claim this was even remotely constitutional.

The only sop I could see possibly being advanced is that this is a 'civil registry' and that being on it is not a crime or a punishment. I eagerly await to see how long that would hold up. Ten seconds? Five?

Other than that ... how can this possibly hold up to review? Where's Dios? Come on, somebody needs to try and explain how this is legal ... damn shame on the net you can't tell when somebody's trying to keep themselves from laughing.
posted by kaemaril at 2:25 PM on September 1, 2006


lord_wolf : Sorry, dude. He's serious.
posted by kaemaril at 2:26 PM on September 1, 2006


I'd dearly love for somebody to tell me how on earth anyone could, with a straight face, stand up in any public venue and claim this was even remotely constitutional.
The constitutionality of a proposed law rarely has any influence on whether it gets heard or even passed.

It's an election year. 'Nuff said.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:39 PM on September 1, 2006


First, the bishops sold out their congregations by secretly bouncing abusive priests from diocese to diocese, keeping one step ahead of scandal. Now they're selling out their priests to protect their precious assets from lawsuits. Believe me, the only Catholics you'll find unashamed of this wear miters.
posted by klarck at 3:05 PM on September 1, 2006


Thorzdad: That much is clear. And, indeed, blindingly obvious. But, prior to this legislation being passed, there must have been some detractors, some people who questioned the legality of it. What response, other than 'We can do what the hell we like until a judge tells us otherwise', did they receive? When somebody, somewhere, raised the question 'What makes you think this law will stand?' what answer were they given? Even the most bold-face political opportunist generally tries to sugarcoat his (or her) lies with a semblance of legality.
posted by kaemaril at 3:38 PM on September 1, 2006


That's imposing questionable morals by fear of being ostracized , with the excuse of "defending" the children BEFORE any crime is committed ; by this logic we may as well keep the woman and children in house unless they really need to exit ! Obviously if something goes wrong it is easy to blame others !

Hint: if you keep people under 2 meters of earth nobody will ever touch them ! If you stop their breathing, they will not get contaminated either !

Chrisitans, Muslim, Bullshit , what's the difference ?
posted by elpapacito at 3:39 PM on September 1, 2006



I wonder if people on the list could sue the government for defamation. They haven't been convicted of anything and they are being called about the worst thing in the book in public.

Also, I believe their liberties to live where they want and move freely would be restricted as well-- there's simply no way in hell this would get past even one layer of courts.
posted by Maias at 4:05 PM on September 1, 2006



That's right, and it's one core reason modern civilization is so helpless and fucked. Actions demanded by fairness and equity are prevented because some milquetoast decided that these actions were distastefully "vengeful." So we disallow anything "vengeful," at the cost of giving up on fairness and equity.


Vengeful means "disposed to seek revenge or intended for revenge". Fairness and equity mean "conformity with rules or standards". You don't give up fairness nor equity by forsaking vengeance.
posted by owhydididoit at 4:49 PM on September 1, 2006


"Come on, somebody needs to try and explain how this is legal"

I'll take a shot - it's based on declaratory judgement which apparently doesn't change the burden of proof but I dunno (plenty of feces throwing monkey...er, I mean lawyers here to explain that - or wiki)
The civil registry section of SB17 is set up to be able to take an abuser (alleged) to court to put him on the public registry after the statute of limitations have lapsed. We've all probably read the news about people coming back 20 years later and accusing Father Whoeverthefuh of molesting them as kids. This helps shore that up. The down side of course is it has holes in it you can drive a truck through (how's it suppose to work in practice? Even after reading this I don't know - neither does the senate apparently) Some folks are suing and saying Republican members of the House Judiciary committee wrote the bill in private in violation of Ohio’s sunshine laws.
But some folks seem to be very much in favor of it.
But even then - whythefu wouldn't you simply amend the statute of limitations, et.al - why this civil registry b.s.? So even if it does turn out to be constitutionally ok - it still seems like an end run or at the very least an unneccesary duplication.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:50 PM on September 1, 2006


but it includes the 'accused'? chalk up one more reason i have renounced catholicism.
posted by j-urb at 7:44 PM on September 1, 2006


Yay America!

Man, you people need to get it together in the next election. QUIT ELECTING SUCH IDIOTS!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:59 PM on September 1, 2006


To be fair, Tony 'Poodle' Blair is living proof it's not just Americans who elect idiots.
posted by kaemaril at 8:05 PM on September 1, 2006


Yah, but your country is also way ahead on America on the surreal "eyes-on-every-corner Orwellian, thugs run amok Clockworkian" dystopia scale. I'm not sure how you guys did it, but you've got some downright scary laws about privacy and rights.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 PM on September 1, 2006


And "public urination" can mean in the dark in the parking lot between a dumpster and a big tree behind a closed bowling alley. If anybody sees you back there and guesses what you're doing it can also be called "indecent exposure"; if the person who spots you is a child (i.e. anybody under 18) you're also called a child molester; if the cop's the one to spot somebody pissing behind the dumpster and he's in a bad mood or doesn't like your looks he can choose to report that you indecently exposed yourself to him (like many folks are that stupid). Complaining and protesting -- "It's not like I was waving my wang around in a schoolyard during recess!" -- might be "resisting arrest" too or at least "interfering with a police officer in the performance of his duty" (i.e. wrecking your life for having to pee when no "legitimate" place was available). And trying to explain all that when somebody asks why you're a Registered Sex Offender will often get you that "In Denial" tag (if they don't flat-out call you a liar "with no remorse about [your] crime").

But no, I'm not talking from my own personal experience, so none of y'all Mefites has to hunt me down and stab me. Really.
posted by davy at 10:29 PM on September 1, 2006


Just an idea but why doesn't someone create a fake sex offender website and put these legislators on it? ...
posted by chef_boyardee at 2:44 PM EST on September 1 [+] [!]


Or go the extra mile and actually get them put them put on the real list, since it appears to be so easy.
posted by joannemerriam at 7:06 PM on September 2, 2006


I'm afraid and I'm not even located in the US.

I've lost complete faith in the justice system anywhere. Police are forced to generate results, prosecutors are overzealous since they don't want to appear soft on crime and no politician will stand up to unreasonable, easy to abuse laws since anyone charged is automatically convicted these days.

I fear for my liberty.
posted by Talez at 7:01 AM on September 3, 2006


« Older Why does it stink when I pee?...   |   Japanese professor Kenji Sugim... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments