19 thoughts on “Re:

  1. Just in response to what was said in the string, the reason why there has been a sudden clamoring for the sex offender laws is related to the fact that the police have been blanket-collecting DNA samples from the surrounding neighbourhood, a common proceedure in this kind of case, and one of only 3 or 4 people who refused to give a sample is a formerly convicted and jailed sex offender.
    The police have not released officially whether or not there was DNA evidence recovered from Holly’s body, nor are they confirming the possibility of sexual assault on the child, but the fact that there is a high concentration of convicted and released sex offenders in her area is what has caused the panic and anger.
    Sadly, people do tend to jump the gun and over-react without thinking things through properly in the face of this kind of tragedy.

    BTW, on news sources I have read that the man who is a former sex offender who refused to give a DNA sample was convicted of child molestation and attempted rape.

    I don’t agree with the petition, but I do understand the panicked motives of the residents of that neighbourhood in light of what happened.

  2. :(

    Can I have cookies?

    The guy next to me just said on the phone “Hello, Mr. T?” and I am wondering if Mr. T is on the other end and is saying “I pity the fool that doesn’t get my email working.” Hmm.

  3. any wonder they would refuse when people react the way they do? in a racist neighbourhood i suppose those of the marginalized race would also refuse.

    i know i would.

    abscence of proof is not proof indeed.

  4. I’m confused as to where the issue of race has come into this? The prejudice these people suffer is based upon actions in their past for which they have been punished, and released with anonymity. They are not a visible minority of any sort unless they are revealed through circumstances such as these in which they are found guilty. In this case, refusing to participate has called attention to the area’s concentration in general, but even so their identities are protected under the law.

    Absense of proof certainly is not proof, very true.
    However, when it comes to clearing up the truth behind a crime such as this, I for one would be eager in the face of surrounding prejudice to clear my own name by cooperating. Otherwise I would fear the police who would think I have something to hide… and I must say that unless I did, I would not fear helping the investigation.
    Of the 200 or so registered sex offenders in the neighbouring areas who were asked to provide samples, nearly all cooperated willingly when asked.
    This is just how I would handle it however. We’re all different animals with different reasons for our actions. The reason for my posting was to state that I can understand the motive behind this unreasonable action in spite of disagreeing with them, that motive being one of our most primal, fear. I do not feel the closeness of these people to the death of that little girl and so it is easier to objectify.

    I think, to be completely honest, that would it were I myself had a young child and discovered through such a horrible crime that there were former child-rapists living in my area that I didn’t know about, I would probably pick up and move in a hurry.
    And I would be quite upset.

  5. Otherwise I would fear the police who would think I have something to hide

    It’s this very fear that makes asking people for DNA samples more than a simple request. When you add fear into a police request, it becomes coersion, regardless of the intent of the officers involved.

    The attitude that ‘if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear’ is one that erodes our right to privacy. Our ‘privacy’ means nothing if you cannot exercise it at any time without conflict.

    The prejudice these people suffer is based upon actions in their past

    The problem is that due to the current sex offender laws, the title ‘sex offender’ is so vague as to be meaningless. There are people who have been charged with sex offences who have injured no children, harmed no-one.

    As a result, many people suffering the stigma of being a sex offender are suffering prejudice the same way blacks/chinese/lesbians do – because of a label, resulting marginalization, and nothing more.

  6. i completely agree with you on this issue.
    i have campaigned much locally, to NOT have any such laws, and to ban DNA gathering completely.
    all it does is marginalise and criminalise.
    it doesn’t treat the problem, or even ADDRESS the problem.
    .l.
    .
    .
    .

  7. BINGO!

    it does more than prevent adequate examination and understanding of the situtation, it muddies the waters and makes it even HARDER to address because we are “blaming” i.e. focusing on completely wrong, misleading moralistic judgements…

    bah.

    i give up.

  8. i’ve had to deal with similar problems related to drug offenses, where anyone who does drugs/deals drugs etc even of the most ridiculously small amounts or people with genuine drug problems who just have made mistakes, are stereotyped into a “junkie” or “dealer” category and simply incarcerated among murderers and rapists and the like…

    here in roanoke, va there is a program that focuses on stringent treatment/recovery/rehabilitation, with a high success rate, that saves around 15,000 dollars per potential inmate.

    i hope there is a relation with the current topic to be seen there, and i hope i don’t sound like i’m simply blathering off on a tangent. typing this hurriedly. cheers.

    erik

  9. virginia is one of the few states that still have outdated anti-sodomy laws, which include oral sex, non-missionary sex, etc.

    so at least around 90% of the (adults,teens) here are potentially convictable sex offenders. >þ

  10. you may find some reading on abilitionism & drugs/criminal justice (the specialties of my work/school in critical criminology) interesting…there is a good book by Thomas Szasz who is an anti-psychiatrist called Ceremonial Chemistry: the Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts & Pushers…his policy initiatives are too far right for my tastes, but that’s so minor compared with his critical analysis and research…after all he isn’t a policy man anyhow…

  11. thanks for the links. i’m familiar with szasz’s ideas but i have not pursued any specific research into his works. i’m interested in any sort of thought.crime that teaches ‘blasphemy’ against the authority of the psychological/scientific etc priesthood. been doing a lot of debating lately arguing my view that disease models for varying mental disorders are groundless and their treatments obsolete/inefficient/ultimately destructive. that doesn’t make me too many friends >)

    in regards to szasz not being a policy man; that’s so often the way- very few free thinkers and dreamers are able to practically achieve their goals by implementing effective plans and the like. that takes a different mode of thought altogether, rare to find those who can think both ways. good luck with your career/schooling etc.

  12. I understand your argument regarding the DNA testing, but this is none-the-less a common procedure and it was not narrowed down specifically to the sex offenders. Everyone in the neighbouring areas were asked to participate; children, parents, even pets were sampled. The offenders are protected in anonymity under the law.
    The reasons for these extreme measures is justified, I think, in the high probability that whoever did this is not sated by doing it once, if this is even the first time they’ve done it. They will do it again if they are not found, it’s just a matter of time.

    I disagree strongly with the petition because you are right. The term Sex Offender is far too ambiguous and besides that these people have paid their debt to society, which is why they have been protected under the law from being exposed for their past actions. However, the DNA testing, under which all people tested were not forced but asked to submit to, I believe is a necessary step when lacking other evidence in the event of such an obviously demented crime.

    It’s this very fear that makes asking people for DNA samples more than a simple request. When you add fear into a police request, it becomes coersion, regardless of the intent of the officers involved.

    I disagree with this. I understand where fear comes into it and I can see your side… I’ve been questioned (and sampled!) myself by police and arrested in my time, and let me tell you, I was innocent… and TERRIFIED. But I don’t feel my rights to privacy or anything else were violated. Fundamentally, anybody faced with a police investigation is going to be afraid for various reasons (we’ve all heard the stories of people falsely jailed and such)… does that mean we should never allow the police to investigate anyone?

    It was never disclosed to the public who has refused and who has participated. At the same time, as much as it violates their privacy, the police can keep a closer eye on those who did refuse.

    In an ideal world, none of this would be necessary. No privacy violated, no prejudice based on mental state or past actions, but this is not an ideal world.
    The crime itself is more proof of that then anything.

    There are heavy laws in place to carefully protect the identity of these sex offenders, and violation of those laws, disclosure of any kind, brings harsh pentalties. I believe this is also just. But I don’t think any adult who is capable of dismembering a child for whatever reason should ever be allowed to integrate themselves into society again as an unknown.

    It’s a complicated issue, eh?

    *boggle*

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