Branding the Scarlet Letter: Special ID for Sex Offenders

May 25, 2010

nbcsandiego.com: Special ID Needed for Sex Offenders.

The father of murdered Escondido teenager Amber Dubois wants all convicted sex offenders to carry special identification. Moe Dubois wants the state to require all sex offenders carry a distinctive driver’s license or state-issued card that would be branded with a special mark indicating that person had been convicted of a sex crime.

Dubois says he knows the legislation could meet resistance at the state capitol by those who may argue more restrictions won’t make communities safer or those who say the law would infringe on the civil liberties of sex offenders. Others could be concerned about the potential cost.

The driver’s license measure is part of a four-bill package aimed at cracking down on sex offenders — and Moe Dubois says he’s ready to fight to try and push them through. Dubois is scheduled to introduce his legislation proposals in Long Beach at noon today.

California wouldn’t be the first state to impose a law branding ID cards.

In Delaware sex offenders get a new driver’s license after release from prison marked with the letter “Y” designating them as someone convicted of a sex crime.

In Louisiana people convicted of certain sex crimes are issued licenses with “SEX OFFENDER” printed in bold on the ID.

Yellow Badge: The yellow badge (or yellow patch), also referred to as a Jewish badge, was a cloth patch that Jews were ordered to sew on their outer garments in order to mark them as Jews in public. It is intended to be a badge of shame associated with antisemitism.[1] In both Christian and Islamic countries, persons not of the dominant religion were intermittently compelled by sumptuary laws to wear badges, hats, bells or other items of clothing that distinguished them from members of the dominant religious group.

The yellow badge that was compulsory in the Middle Ages was revived by the German Nazis.

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