How Many Victims?

Vigilantes Use Online Sex Offender Map to Burn Down Wrong House. Critics of these tools often say that they can make those sex offenders targets of retribution crimes by would-be vigilantes, and that seems to be just what was attempted in a case of arson in Evansville, Indiana. There, a trailer full of equipment sitting in the driveway of a house was ignited by arsonists who also scribbled “GET OUT PERV” on the garage door. The vigilantes, however, seemed to have the wrong address.

Vigilantes: Coming soon to a community near you “in a scene reminiscent of the Salem witch trial days, a crowd of angry neighbors descended on a New Hampshire home, taunting the woman resident as a “molester” and “skinner” (prison lingo for a child molester) before tossing a burning scarecrow on her front porch.”

“A drunken father and son broke into the house of a paroled sex offender in New Jersey and began beating another man whom they mistakenly took as the sex offender. Yet again, the vigilantes had found their victim through a “Megan’s Law” community notification law.”

“In Bakersfield, California, a knife-wielding vigilante tried to break down the door of a sex offender whose name, photograph and address had been distributed in the neighborhood by police. Police shot the vigilante dead.”

Vigilantism against a wrongfully convicted sex offender “In June 1995 the state of California opened up a 900-number hotline in which callers can get information about registered sex offenders. Someone in the neighborhood found out that Ted was on the list. He and Jean have since been hounded and harassed. The neighbors have placed posters all over the neighborhood containing information about Ted. They have received three death threats.”

Once again these are but a few of the enormous number of vigilantly attacks that are taking place here in the land of the free. One would expect this in some place like Siberia, but here?

So why are the police and legislators still backing the registry? Well maybe it is working to protect children, that would explain it right?

Report finds Megan’s Law fails to reduce sex crimes, deter repeat offenders in N.J. “Despite wide community support for these laws, there is little evidence to date, including this study, to support a claim that Megan’s Law is effective in reducing either new first-time sex offenses or sexual re-offenses,” [i

Megan’s Law: does it protect children? “Most states have very little evidence on the actual impact of community notification on their jurisdiction. Most of the understood benefits of the laws are based on assumptions about the nature of sexual offending and the behavior of parents and community members. Such assumptions are rarely supported through research, but continue to legitimize the law for law enforcement workers and members of the public”

Seems that the registry is not protecting children and the government knows it.

Considering the real danger to life and limb that the public registry poses, it is time for humane people to stand up and call for an end to the violence, murders and vigilantism. It is time to take the registry out of the public view and place it back in the hands of law enforcement. It is time to make America safe for ALL of its citizens.

R. English

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