Sex-Offender Laws

August 7, 2014

Friends,
A friend I’ve known since the 90s wanted me to join her and her group (and other concerned citizens) at Dallas City Hall yesterday, which I did. She is a member of Texas Voices For Reason And Justice, which advocates for a more reasonable justice system for registered sex offenders and their families. Please read here: http://texasvoices.org Just a few days ago my friend’s husband, who has been in prison for 10 years and 7 months on false charges (a he-said, she-said case involving someone who desired revenge), was released into a four-month rehabilitation program. When he finally comes home in December, his parole will continue for another 9 years.

Most registered sex offenders have to re-register once a year, though some have to do so every 90 days. The ones we talked to today said they know of no one who has ever been allowed off the list. Apparently, once on, their names are there for life.

Texas Voices tries to educate people about the fall-out of unreasonable laws involving sex offenses and they suggest that such laws do more harm than good. Thus they push for laws that are effective, that fit the crime, and that do not restrict a person unreasonably. Moreover, they denounce laws that lump all sex offenders in together and decry punishments that go beyond a person’s sentence.

There is much dehumanizing and stigmatizing going on and it is hindering masses of people from being productive members of society. Many alleged crimes should not even be considered crimes, such as when two teens have consenting sex but it is found out by an adult that one and not the other is a minor. Also, some “crimes” happen when someone accidentally touches or sees what they shouldn’t, when a nurse or parent bathes a patient or child, or when some other kind of innocent exchange occurs. Then besides all this, there are those who suddenly “remember” being molested by someone, but the memory comes to them only after they go through repressed/recovered memory therapy (a type of hypnosis).

Criminal activity of any kind is a terrible thing. However, a person should be considered innocent until proven guilty, and that proof needs to be beyond a reasonable doubt with hard evidence included. There are too many “witnesses” willing to lie to get attention, money, sympathy, or revenge, or just because they love drama. There are too many people who speak and act out of emotion, rather than with reason, maturity, fairness, and wisdom. Our laws, especially those revolving around that “most hideous of crimes” –sexual, and especially against a minor– need to be reconsidered so that laws that are instated are those supported by empirical data.

I am excited for my friend that her husband is coming home soon. I also definitely admire her fortitude through their awful ordeal of the last decade-plus. She always appeared to trust God and remain up-beat. She often drove the 4-hour (each way) to visit her husband in prison, she wrote to him and tried to encourage him, she worked two jobs, she got involved in a prison ministry to women inmates, and she went back to school to get her degree in criminal justice. Certainly her determination to wait on God and His timing and His miracles causes me to join her in thanking the Lord for His mercies!

I encourage everyone to read at Texas Voice’s site (see the link above), to be well-informed about the abuses running rampant involving sexual offenses (and alleged ones), and to become active in groups that seek to rectify our broken criminal justice system. When Jesus informed us that He measures much of our righteousness by our care for others, including prisoners (Mt. 25:36), and told us that caring for the most unimportant individuals is to care for Him (v. 40), He certainly must have had in mind the devastated and marginalized family members of those criminals whom society loathes the most.

Sex offenders and their families need our prayers, our love, and our support. Let’s do it.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel
P.S. My friend read and okayed this post before it published.

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