By Shelomith Stow
During a trial for any offense against a person, and most definitely when the charge is of a sexual nature, the testimony from the victim is the strongest factor in conviction. At sentencing, much credence is given to victim impact statements. When an inmate is eligible for parole, statements from the victim can make the difference between parole being granted or not.
But how about when former victims are involved with legislation affecting persons totally unrelated to the harm done to them and with the potential to affect persons far into the future? Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Yet with the victims of sexual crime, it happens. Lauren Book (Video) has built a career by being involved with legislation, not only that which is appropriately focused on prevention but also that which targets registered sex offenders even though her abuser was not on the registry.
- Don't forget her father Ron Book (Video).
One has only to look at the alphabet soup listing of bills and legislation named after children who were murdered to see the impact that victims' families have. Yet the legislation pushed by these people do not target those who murder but rather those who commit sexual offenses, and there is no evidence that the motivation for the most notorious of these, the Adam Walsh Act, was even connected to a sexual crime.
- And the original intent of the Adam Walsh Act was for anybody who abuses children not just sexual crimes, and Adam's murder was never proven to be sexual in nature or who actually done the crime, yet they blamed Ottis Toole.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Should victims have a say in sex offender legislation?