Tuesday, December 10, 2013

FL - Sex Offender Porn Ban Passes First Legislative Hurdle

Sex Offender Porn Ban
Original Article

Just another useless law passed to help a politician look like they are doing something while doing nothing!

12/10/2013

By RYAN BENK



Lakeland Republican Senator Kelli Stargel petitioned her colleagues in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee to broaden an existing ban on pornography. The law already prohibits sex-offenders from viewing or possessing pornography related to their conviction. Florida Action Committee President Gail Colletta agreed reforms to sex offender statutes are needed but questioned the senator’s approach.

Why is that if we’re trying to change the behaviors and we want these individuals to act more mainstream and more normal and have more normal sexual interests, are we going to prohibit them from having access to materials that are considered mainstream and normal?” Colletta said in a phone interview Monday.

Colletta became involved with sex offender issues after her son was convicted on child pornography charges in 2010. She said lawmakers should be focused on treatment, not penalties. But, Florida State University Political Scientist Lance Dehaven-Smith pointed out that even if Stargel’s method isn’t proven to be effective, it’s popular nonetheless.

I mean I think there’s a clearly constitutional issue at stake and this may be overreaching. But, by the same token, unless somebody comes forward to defend a very unpopular category of individuals it’s likely to move forward,” Dehaven-Smith explained.

And move forward it did (SB-182, PDF), passing the Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously. The bill’s next review will be in the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee. Stargel filed the ban shortly after a recently released sex offender murdered an 8-year old girl in Jacksonville.


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