Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NC - Opinion: Sex offender application should broaden the spectrum

Original Article

We agree! If a sex offender registry is created and "constitutional," then we should also have an online registry for all ex-felons.



There seems to be a mobile application for everything today.

There is an app developed by the North Carolina Department of Justice that allows you to find out how many registered sex offenders are within 1 to 5 miles of where you are standing at any given time, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper visited the State Bureau of Investigation office Tuesday to promote the free app, which has been downloaded more than 40,000 times since its release in January 2012, according to the article.

Should people know where sex offenders are? Perhaps; however, there is no such app for locating people who have committed other crimes in the past.

I believe that if there is such transparency for one group, that transparency should apply to all.

In fact, the Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted a 2007 study that measured the rates of recidivism among criminals on a national scale.

Recidivism, according to the report, is measured by “criminal acts that resulted in the re-arrest, reconviction or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a three-year period following the prisoner’s release.”

According to the report, only 2.5 percent of those arrested for rape were arrested for another rape within three years.

Conversely, the released prisoners who had the highest rates of recidivism included robbers, burglars, larcenists and motor vehicle thieves, which all measured at a recidivism rate of more than 70 percent each within three years of their release.

By that logic, it would seem that state residents should be just as concerned with other types of criminals, who are more likely to be repeat offenders.

According to sexoffender.ncdoj.gov, there are currently 37 registered sex offenders in Watauga County. By the national trends pointed out in the recidivism study, we can expect roughly one of those offenders to be arrested again in three years.

In no way should sexual offenses be condoned or taken lightly, but where is the onus on other crimes?

The biggest focus from things like this app should ultimately be on criminals who are likely to reoffend.

We put this thing in place because it’s more likely for a sex offender to reoffend than other offenders,” Cooper said in an interview with the Winson-Salem Journal.
- And that statement is simply not true.  Ex-sex offenders have the second lowest recidivism rate of all other ex-felons, except murderers.

That statement does not add up to the previously mentioned data regarding recidivism.

I will keep this app off of my phone, for now. That is, until the Department of Justice decides to factor in violent criminals, who on the surface appear to present just as much of a serious threat to our safety in the long run.


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disqus_uoa6Nyfpoq said...

Isn't law enforcement acting under "good faith" immune from prosecution? This would be similar to a search warrant being issued by a judge based on inaccurate information. The judge is immune from prosecution because he is ignorant of the true facts of the case. I throughly believe these officers were abusing their power and out to get this guy, but I think it's going to be hard to prove that they were nothing more than ignorant of the facts. Ignorance is bliss...

Mark said...

"We agree! If a sex offender registry is created and "constitutional," then we should also have an online registry for all ex-felons." In my view, society is not crying, in terror, gripped and paralyzed with hatred about other crimes.

WillB said...

that is what public officials would like you to think. Especially at local and state levels. They believe that they have sovereign immunity, but federal laws differ the recent Supreme Court decision
http://jurist.org/paperchase/2013/03/supreme-court-rules-for-pro-se-prisoner-in-sovereign-immunitycase.php basically said that any official of the government, who steps outside his legal boundaries can bring about a suit against him/her and the organization that he represents. under title 42 USC section1983.

title 18 USC section 242 is for bringing about criminal charges, and states This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S.

This law further prohibits a person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation or custom to willfully subject or cause to be subjected any person to different punishments, pains, or penalties, than those prescribed for punishment of citizens on account of such person being an alien or by reason of his/her
color or race. (this also includes classes of people or quasi-classes)

Acts under "color of any law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the bounds or limits of their lawful authority, but also acts done without and beyond the bounds of their lawful authority;

provided that, in order for unlawful acts of any official to be done under "color of any law," the unlawful acts must be done while such official is purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. This definition includes, in addition to law enforcement officials, individuals such as Mayors, Council persons, Judges, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc., persons who are bound by laws, statutes ordinances, or customs.

bkzalley said...

Certainly not! My son is in prison for the same thing as the man in the story.