Sent in via the "Contact" form, and posted with the users permission.
Thank you for your efforts and dedication to the truth. But this is not the reason that I decided to request your time with this email. This is more of a response to your "My Thoughts about Sex Offender Laws" article. I found that it was well written and the readability flowed smoothly. Also, I cannot think of any point that I completely disagreed with. But, there are a few facts that you had wrong and I want to correct these; and, there are some things that I would like to comment on, where I may have more insight and understanding, to help you grow in your knowledge of the issues.
I must start by telling you about myself. I committed a sex crime in 2000, was arrested, and completed all requirement imposed by the court. This happened in the state of Washington and I chose to move back to California where I grew up this year. This being the short version, I will expand on this through out this letter.
The first things that I would like to comment on are in the paragraph about myspace.com and porn sites.
I have been a member of Myspace since its registered user count was under 200,000. When I first registered with Myspace the TOS clearly stated that users under the age of 18 were not permitted to use the services they offered. Myspace also provided a way for adult users on myspace to report minor’s profiles so that they can be removed. Unfortunately, this was before I started saving copies of the original terms that I agreed to when signing up. The number of minors became to numerous to manage, so they chose to cater to children instead. It was this change in policy that changed social networking to what it is now.
You asked, “Why are they not going after all the other hundreds of social networking sites?” Well, they are.
The main reason why Myspace is getting all the attention is because they are only removing offenders that draw attention to with deviant activity. Where as Facebook decided to skip all the bad publicity with this in their TOS “4. You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.” You see, Myspace is trying to preserve our right to free communication and all the other sites are just rolling over and giving up. I know Myspace has not gave into this yet; you see, every time there is a national news frenzy about Myspace and sex offenders, I send them an email letting them know that I am still on the site and I ask them to let me know when I have to quit the site. So far in the time that I have been on there they have not asked me to leave, although I did change my account once due to harassment. I talk about that somewhere else in this letter.
You asked, “[W]e need to make all X-rated sites perform verification of ages…But they do not, and are not prosecuted, why?”
Well to tell you the truth, age verification is a form of censorship. Here is an article by the ACLU
You see, it is verification enough if you just say that you are old enough to participate in that site. Really, I agree. I don’t think the law should restrict me just because parents are not protecting their children.
“It’s restrictive, not Punishment!” It is a lie now. You see, when the courts made that decision the legal environment around this issue was completely different. It wasn’t even restrictive in the beginning, it was meant to just monitor and track. The information that was made available was also available to anyone that knew how to search public records. For example, my name, address, and phone is in any phone directory, and crimes that I was convicted of can be found in any news paper archive. After that ruling was made the government took it as, “we can do what ever we want under this law,” which, essentially, has changed it from a monitoring tool to a way to punish for life.
You go on to quote the Bill Of Rights in the US Constitution. Unfortunately, that document was taken from the US citizens some years ago when the Supreme court upheld the opinion that gun control laws were constitutional because the states had a right to create laws to fit their communities, even though these laws removed constitutional rights.
There is one thing that you brought to my attention. Somewhere in the constitution it states that US law consists of the Constitution, any laws passed by the states, and any treaties enacted by the US government. Well, I haven’t researched it at all, or even thought through all the possibilities, but you gave me a new research topic.
Now my thoughts on buffer zones! Take a look at this article:
That was me. This was when I was first moving to California. I did not know about the buffer laws. They don’t list this as a requirement on the sheriff website. As a matter of fact, they did not even tell me about it until I was moments from finishing my registration. Their answer to my problem was to just register homeless. I told them that this was an illegal law and that I refuse to obey this law. They registered me and arrested me. The interesting thing, I am the only person in that whole county to ever be arrested under that law. I wanted to fight this in court, but they would have kept me in jail the whole time. The max sentence for this law is something like $10,000 or six months in jail. It would have taken a year or more to fight my case. I took a no contest plea and they gave me time served and a hundred dollar fine and I can’t go back to that house. I still want to fight it, but I have no money and no lawyer will touch my case for free.
Now, as for therapy, this is the main thing that I wanted to tell you about.
You said, “Almost every single prison in this country, when sex offenders are locked up, whether it is in jail or prison, they do not get therapy. None whatsoever!” This is not true at all. While I served my prison sentence I participated in a treatment program over the last year that I was in. When I started this program I committed the next six years of my life to therapy. This program treats about 300 offenders a year. The only way to get into this program is to start in prison. If you don’t start it inside you don’t get it. The program has a 95% success rate. There are other states with better programs, but I don’t know much about those. Here is a link to the program I participated in:
Well, thank you for taking the time to read this. I do understand if you don’t get back to me, but I will follow your blog. With this new federal law I think that I may build my own notification to go along with the one they are making. If I do this I will send you the link.
"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)