Another tragic story of the death of a child. I didn’t take long however for the media to start a fervor over sex offenders. They pointed out that 15 registered sex offenders lived in that very same trailer park. However the media did not tell us why they even brought that up.
Not one of the fifteen has been charged with any crime related to that little girl. The man responsible was not on the registry. The crime would seem to be murder and not a sex offence.
However since the media brought up the sex offender issue, let’s look at that for a moment.
The Sex Offender Registry, the crown jewel of child safety. How did it do in protecting this small child?
1. Did it make the mother aware that the murder was a danger to her child? NO
2. Did it give the location where the murder lived? NO
3. Did it give the location where the murder worked? NO
Some of the media responses to this tragedy point to the cluster of sex offenders. The interesting part about this is that the cluster is state sanctioned because a paranoid public has demanded laws restricting these offenders from certain locations. In some states and cities the living options are severally limited. The media is greatly to blame for sex offender clusters. They pander to proponents that say there is a need to push registered offended away from populated areas. The media however does not report findings from studies that show that residency restrictions are ineffective, costly and counterproductive.
All that residency restrictions do is to give the public a false sense of security. We must ask ourselves, if we force these people to cluster, if we then list their location online, are we not inviting people like Michael Plumadore to take advantage of that situation? After all, a man like Michael Plumadore would see a cluster as a safe place to carry out his crime with less fear of being caught.
Also law enforcement would be concentrating on known offenders in the area and not looking for the real offender.
These are just some thoughts. We need to start a national debate about the all too real dangers of the Sex Offender Registry. How many live may be lost due to having a list such as this, online, for all to see? A list than can easily be used by unscrupulous people in caring out heinous crimes against children.
The headline should read, Sex Offender Registry fails to protect a child, AGAIN!