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Sex offenders can't be banned from parks

Crime Sex Offenders Restrictions

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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:29 PM

http://www.indystar....5-1794-009.html

Quote

Lafayette may not ban a convicted sex offender from its parks because of his immoral thoughts, a divided federal appeals court ruled Friday.

The Lafayette Parks Department had permanently barred the former inmate after discovering he had visited a park in January 2000 and thought about having sexual contact with children playing.

<He admitted to going to the park to think about sex with children>.

Quote

But the molester's psychologist testified that the man's ability to go to the park and manage his impulses was a positive step in his treatment.

:glare:

This is sticky. Where do the rights of those who have paid their debt to society end, and where does the protection of children begin?

This will no doubt appealed. I look forward to seeing this appealed.

My take:

The benefit of legal doubt goes to children. This guy has no place in parks. I realize it's sticky constitutionally. All the same, I personally want him gone.
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#2 Bad Wolf

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:33 PM

The day that "thinking" about something is a basis for doing things like banning someone from a park is the day I move to Canada.

Or at least wish I could.

Sheesh!
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#3 jon3831

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:44 PM

^Careful, they'll get you for disloyal thoughts...

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#4 Delvo

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:45 PM

Well, you CAN...

I agree with those who say that children should be protected from people like this, but I wonder about how you physically prevent the guy from going to the park, other than by imprisoning him again or otherwise depriving him of his basic freedom of movement elsewhere... about and the fact that if he's not in a park, he'll go to some other place like certain restaurants or a mall for the same reason.

And, legally, if we're going to place restrictions of some kind on this guy, that should be written into the penalty when the jury first decides what to do with him after conviction. After a penalty is assigned and done, anything done to him is not a part of the legal case, and that means it's pure harassment. If you want more restrictions and punishment done to these guys, have it done in the right place and time by the process that's meant for it.

#5 Uncle Sid

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 03:00 PM

I'm with Lil on this one.  Parks are public property.  So are streets.  Kids play in and around both.  Do we then tell this person that he can't go anywhere where there might be children?  Why not just put him under house arrest?  Both are possible, but both would have the be the sentance that this person would get from court, and not from town/city officials.  

Now, this guy is dangerous, but he didn't do anything that time.  As long as he does nothing, he's okay.  And he will be thinking about doing that stuff, for the rest of his life, chances are.  However, everyone thinks about things they shouldn't do, and some occasionally act on it.  If they act on it and get caught, they are punished and given help.  As long as this person gets help and does not act, he's taking care of his dangerous inability to control himself.  With the sex offender registry, parents have the ability to check out the people around them who are dangerous.  In any event, children should not be in public parks unsupervised, not so much for this guy, but rather for the guys that the police haven't caught yet.

Further, this person needs to see that as long as he acts like a good citizen, he will get the rights of a citizen.  If he's hounded across town after paying his debt and getting help, then what is his motivation to continue to get help and stay within the lines?  There is none.
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#6 Rov Judicata

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 03:18 PM

Uncle Sid, on Jul 2 2003, 09:01 PM, said:

With the sex offender registry, parents have the ability to check out the people around them who are dangerous. 
Frankly, I don't think they should HAVE to check it out. All residents should receive notices via the mail.

I see all of your points about property and rights and such. Speaking as someone who thinks child molestation merits the death penalty... I don't think this uy should *have* any rights. That being said, many have brought up the valid point that this wasn't part of his sentance.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#7 Bad Wolf

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 03:34 PM

Here's the deal.  If the American Legal System is going to let child molestors out of jail in the first place instead of consigning them to a minimum of life without parole which is what they deserve imNsho, then the American Legal System is going to have to accept the consequences of it.  

It can't be both ways.

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#8 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 03:34 PM

I'm undecided on this issue, which is a first. Usually I have an opinion either for or against, but this case is different.

Part of me says his going to a park where children play is like showing cocaine to a drug addict. Sooner or later he's going to try and take it.

OTOH, he's technicalylly paid his debt, and any further actions against him violates his constitutional rights.

If we're going to harrass and prosecute people for their "thought patterns" then what's next?
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#9 Julie

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 03:58 PM

I'm so glad I didn't know people like that existed when I was a kid.  I wouldn't have ever gone to parks.  (Then again, I still wish I didn't know people like that exist...)

Anyway...

Quote

This is sticky. Where do the rights of those who have paid their debt to society end, and where does the protection of children begin?

This will no doubt appealed. I look forward to seeing this appealed.

My take:

The benefit of legal doubt goes to children. This guy has no place in parks. I realize it's sticky constitutionally. All the same, I personally want him gone.
This isn't about paying one's debt to society so much as it is about punishing thoughts.  Reread the article: he wasn't barred from the parks because he was a sex offender.  He was barred from the parks because of what he went there to think about.  

Let's not even get into his right to freedom of thought.  It just isn't practical to a) start regulating thoughts and b) keep this guy out of every place with kids without putting him under house arrest.

#10 Morrhigan

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 04:17 PM

Hmmm... I agree that you can't make thoughts a crime.

However.

I'm very surprised that this guy isn't in violation of his parole. I know a couple of guys who were convicted of child molestation. They served their time, and the conditions of their parole are quite strict. One is that they must NOT spend time in places where children hang out. Playgrounds, McDonalds' with kiddie areas, any place where there are lots of kids is off limits. If they make friends with someone who has kids, they are required to disclose their past. Joining any organization that includes children - a church, for instance - also requires them to disclose their convictions.

Now, I know that parole terms have a limit. Once your parole is over, you don't have to follow those rules any more. But it's also common that certain civil rights are denied convicted felons. It depends on the state and on the crime. These include things like the right to vote and the right to own a handgun. Based on that, why wouldn't it be acceptable to deny convicted child molesters the right to hang out at public parks?

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#11 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 04:24 PM

Morrhigan, on Jul 3 2003, 01:18 AM, said:

But it's also common that certain civil rights are denied convicted felons. It depends on the state and on the crime. These include things like the right to vote and the right to own a handgun. Based on that, why wouldn't it be acceptable to deny convicted child molesters the right to hang out at public parks?

Morrhigan
For the same reason that you can't ban convicted Bank robbers from entering a bank. Or convicted rapists' from entering a topless bar, or strip joint.

The way the legal system stands is that once a person has done their time, their debt to society is done. For all intense purposes, they don't owe society anything. So, how are you going to just ban certain criminals from parks without doing the same to others?

What about murderers? Are you going to ban them from everywhere there are people? You can't. It's just not feasible, and, currently, it's against the law.
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#12 G1223

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 01:28 AM

I got to go with Lil , Uncle Sid ,and LotS.

The banning of anyone from public places starts to make it so it's legal to ban anyone.
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#13 Rhea

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 01:44 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Jul 2 2003, 08:34 PM, said:

The day that "thinking" about something is a basis for doing things like banning someone from a park is the day I move to Canada.

Or at least wish I could.

Sheesh!
What Lil said.  :crazy:  :eh:
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#14 Drew

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 02:28 AM

Quote

But the molester's psychologist testified that the man's ability to go to the park and manage his impulses was a positive step in his treatment.

The molester's psychologist is nuts. He's not "managing his impulses." He's feeding and encouraging them.
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#15 Drew

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 02:30 AM

LORD of the SWORD, on Jul 3 2003, 12:25 AM, said:

The way the legal system stands is that once a person has done their time, their debt to society is done.
Not necesarily. For example, convicted felons--even after serving time--don't regain their right to vote. (At least, last time I checked.)

Edited by Drew, 04 July 2003 - 02:31 AM.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#16 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 03:29 AM

Drew, on Jul 3 2003, 11:31 AM, said:

Not necesarily. For example, convicted felons--even after serving time--don't regain their right to vote. (At least, last time I checked.)
Their debt to society is done. They may not have the right to vote, or carry a firearm, but their debt is finished.

You can't ban them from public places, just because of their thoughts. As much as I would like to, and with this guy I would definately like to be able to, you can't.

If this is done, then what's next? Who is going to be next in the effort to make sure American Citizens are Ideologically pure? How will you go about making sure that nobody has illecit, or disturbing thoughts about others?

I know who would be next...The Roman Catholic Priests...Lord knows they are, IMNSHO, a far worse threat to children then this guy.

I do believe I've finally decided which side I'm on, regarding this issue. And as much as it galls me, I have to be on the side of the convicted felon...no matter how disgusting and repulsive I find him. You simply can't ban people for their thoughts.
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#17 QueenTiye

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 03:39 AM

Having read this through, I am on the side of those who state that the law should be changed.  The law should make removal from certain places part of the permanent penalty.

Public safety is sufficient cause for concern, and the argument that we are policing thoughts is not valid, in my opinion.  This is a person who already has violated society in an irreparable way... this is not a person who merely had bad thoughts - this is a person who already has acted on such thoughts.

Because the law was not in place, I don't think we can retrograde to fit him, but I do think that a law SHOULD be in place to protect the public from predators.  

QT

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#18 Broph

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 03:40 AM

I actually saw a park in San Francisco that had a sign to the effect that all adults had to be accompanied by children. I thought that was a very endearing sentiment until I realized what the sign really meant.

It's a tough proposition in any case, though. Take the computer cops who lure adults to a city by posing as an underaged kid, then arrest them when they get off the plane. Yes - the person went to another city; yes - he was looking for an underaged kid; yes - we should protect little kids however possible. But in the end, there was no little kid! It's not too different from police women posing as hookers - they don't have any intention of going through with an act, yet they arrest the "John"s anyway.

#19 Bad Wolf

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 03:45 AM

So the law should be changed how?

"No one who has predatory thoughts is allowed in public places where there are children."???


Really, how should the law be changed?

How about this:

"Anyone convicted of a sex crime is hereby banned forever from parks, schools, and any other place where children may be".

:wacko:

Why not just keep them locked up?
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#20 G1223

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 04:09 AM

Next up. Thought Police myth or reality. After all Big Brother says Free Thought is wrong we must have Right Thought this will prevent crime before it starts.


I do wonder are people wanting where the state to protect children steps in when they think a crime might be committed and what rights are you willingto give up to protect these endangered children. The world has ebnough problems and this while being one of them is a known subject what about the guy we do not even know about?
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