Archive for August 16, 2009

Can Sex Offenders Be Rehabilitated?

August 16, 2009 Comments off

Saying that a human being is incapable of overcoming a huge mistake in life is antithetical to our American experience. Our entire justice system is based (presumably) on the theory of rehabilitation. If you can presume a sex offender is incapable of change, then you cannot likewise allow for anyone who committed a crime to change.

How much different is the drug-user, drug-dealer, murderer, alcoholic, drunk driver, thief, animal abuser, or wife-beater? Any one of these offenders could be seen as unable to change…but our justice system and nation’s history has always been all about giving them a chance to change. And we do. The bias against one group of people is insane and irrational.

One gross mistake in life is hardly a reason to throw away a human life in this country. And those with the personal biases and prejudices who advocate hanging sex offenders who have served their time are nothing more than those who want minorities hanged from trees.

SD Lawmakers Consider Sex Registry Changes

August 16, 2009 Comments off : Changes To Sex Offender Registry Considered.

…A seven member legislative committee is looking to see if South Dakota’s sex offender registry is too tough.
“We’re looking at the possibility of making exceptions to get off the list after a certain period of time depending on the seriousness of the offense,” Abdallah said.

Senator Gene Abdallah is the chairman of the committee looking at the changes. Abdallah says some of the offenders on the sex offender registry don’t deserve to be on it their entire life.

“We’ve had examples of 16 and 18 year olds dating, and he’s considered an adult at 18, and she’s not, and something happens and he gets on the sex offender registry and is on there for life,” Abdallah said.
Abdallah doesn’t want to call it weakening the laws, he says he is still in favor of keeping some of the most serious offenders on the registry for life.

“I’m not in favor of weakening or diluting any laws when it comes to sex offenders or crime for that matter, but I do feel we should be fair,” Abdallah said. Being fair to some of those that are serving an online life sentence, on the sex offender registry.

The committee studying South Dakota’s sex offender registry will meet Tuesday in Pierre and take testimony from the South Dakota Attorney General, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, as well as input from the public.
Abdallah hopes to have a bill written for the entire legislature to consider by December.