The Scarlet Letter of The Twenty First Century

We as humans like to take pride in our centuries of supposed social evolution. We claim we are no longer the people in the dark ages of our ancient past, however, even in our modern advanced age of the 21st century we are still labeling people in our society with a form of a scarlet letter. Sex offenders seem to get the brunt of it, being treated as the social undesirables. With this form of labeling they are treated as a form of an untouchable creature and the worst of the worst, in many, if not most cases, they are doomed to wear this label for life. This modern day form of labeling can in ways be compared to the treatment of the characters Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale in the classic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne titled ‘The Scarlet Letter’, or possibly the letter or band many lesser valued peoples of Adolf Hitler’s time were forced to wear during WWII. Are we now reverting back to this uncaring and uncompassionate form of behavior we claim to have conquered almost 100 years ago?

After WWII Americans forced Germans to view how the horrors of the holocaust had affected so many innocent victims. The reason given for this forced viewing was said to be that if the Germans would see how the people had suffered from this it would help prevent the same thing from happening in future generations. Apparently this so called cruelty prevention actually never really worked for those trying to teach the lesson. Americans act as if they have learned nothing from the history of that era. That time in history was when Germany started to take away the rights of some of its citizens simply because the people in power felt some of the citizens were considered of lesser value. We here in America now seem to be acting in this same manner of our treatment to many others.

This labeling we practice, even now, we try to justify by saying we are protecting children and innocent people from sexual assault. We try to excuse it with the stories of how children were abducted, sexually assaulted and in some cases even murdered. We convince one another and ourselves the people that are convicted of these crimes must be some form of horrible monsters and we assume that they will continue to do this type of thing regardless of any help that he or she may be offered. Then before we are properly informed of all the facts of their case we decide they need to be restricted from association with others and should be watched for their entire life. We seem to forget that this restriction harms and marks not only the accused but also their entire families and loved ones. This results in making the registered citizen, and those they are assumed to associate with, feel very much treated similar to some sort of vile danger to all. Loved ones of registrants have even had to go through unwanted divorces, causing broken homes and loss of parents, one or both at times, there are also many cases of sibling separations. Children have also even actually received physical and verbal abuse by peers and some adults in their lives due to this label we are giving more and more people. This type of ‘labeling’ or ‘grouping’ of a person can have disastrous consequences, even deaths. It has been found in many studies that around half a million children of registered citizens suffer physical and emotional damage daily because of the registry and community notification. Are politicians actually standing up for these disadvantaged children? Absolutely not, they are too busy trying to gain popularity by punishing the registered citizens who have already paid their debt to society. By passing more laws and stricter laws politicians are in fact hurting many of the very children they claim to be attempting to protect. (/wordpress/wp-admin/post.php?post=37&action=edit&message=1).

Many families have even been restricted from churches and places of employment. Prisoners who are being punished and in the custody of the state have a right to be safe from others and receive medical care. The restrictions on employment and having the public registry after they have been released seem to take away these rights and continue the punishment long beyond the court order and even adding punishment for life in many cases. These restrictions also inhibit the registrants from becoming integrated back into a functional society and stable lifestyle, this many times inhibits their loved ones as well. Imagine being told to leave a public place because you are friends with a person who endangers children so you must be the same way! Or even in some cases asked to leave the church you have attended for years simply because a close friend or relative has been put on the registry. Yes, this sort of thing actually does happen.

What we see here is that the registry is doing more harm than good, instead of protecting the children, as what was once the claimed intention, it has become a vicious public shaming roster. Because of the registry we also see that there has been a great cost of unnecessary expenses to the taxpayers; causing a financial burden on our country. We have also seen that unemployment and homelessness have increased greatly. The registry encourages vigilante justice and bullying of all sorts and degrees. America has even gone so far as to designate the month of October as ‘Anti-Bullying Month’. We tell our children bullying is wrong and hurtful, then at the same time we as a country are now turning and encouraging other nations to take up this same form of labeling practice. These things are not just happening to registered sex offenders only, but to their families and friends as well. This goes to show that there is no justification for the removal of any citizen’s rights. Once rights have been curtailed by the government for any specific group it isn’t long before they are curtailed for everyone within the nation. These types of actions really can cause a country to be plunged into darkness quite quickly.
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10 comments for “The Scarlet Letter of The Twenty First Century

  1. Anonymousdefender
    October 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    The United States of America is a Charter Member of the United Nations. If you ask Google what is the purpose of the United Nations, under the search results in the second box it has an introduction to the U.N. With the following link :www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/unintro/unintro.htm, NOW, this says the main purpose of the U.N. is: ” … to bring all nations of the world together to work for peace and development, based on the principles of justice, human dignity and the well-being of all people.”
    Let us address each item in that statement, and apply it to the present conversation and topic. They say “based on the PRINCIPLES of justice…of all people” Justice is a judgement given for a wrong doing, through a sentence or fine, or both, that a judge hands down to any person found guilty of that wrong doing. Once that judgement is given, it cannot be modified without violating the very basis of EX POST FACTO, which is a given fundamental right to all. However this is being allowed with post sentence modifications (due to laws that came to be AFTER they had been sentenced), everyday in the United States. The main highlight being the SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY. What a violation of law. If the law was properly applied, to persons convicted after the law was created would leave only to argue public dissemination. To apply this to those who had already been sentenced is to modify the conditions in which a conviction for an offense meant, thereby the defendants would have to lawfully be given the information of all consequences for which a conviction meant, so as to afford them and any sentencing party to consider that in what to do in sentencing the offender at time of conviction. The American Government distorts information so as to gain favor through fear, never so more present than in the registration law. Almost ALL sex offenses committed daily are NOT BY A PREVIOUSLY ACCUSED OR CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER, but by a NEW offender. The ones who are re offending are the ones that got released too early, due to first over crowding( not a program completion ex offender ), and second because the structure of treatment, and that pre release/release programs are also in desperate need of being over hauled. The Government don’t want you to know this, but the facts are available by looking up how many sexually based offenses happened in your city, then reading the information on the crimes and seeing that they are by “new” offenders. The registration is a modern day Scarlet Letter for only a “group” singled out of felony offenders. Another Double Standard of “Law”. I think that if you are an adult offender (not a juvenile) at time of offense, AFTER this law came into play, and the judge didn’t sentence you to lifetime registration, then that means you get your life back AFTER you serve your sentence. That means “LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”. Now if in your sentence he says “…and lifetime registration”, Then that is the law. A juvenile at time of his/her first conviction, should never suffer beyond a set date be it 18 or 21 if they have shown rehabilitation. If he/she reoffends then she/he should be sentenced to 3 times sentence given, to pursue true justice from juvenile offense, as it shows that he/she was not truly reformed, and therefore could always pose a threat. With that opinion, I also feel you should be free to go on with your life and be able to pursue happiness, to have TRUE liberty, and have a life, if you are a first time offender, monitored only by law enforcement, and support staff. There is too much hatred and animosity towards only these offenders, when statistically sex offenders have one of the absolute lowest recidivism for repeating similar offenses. Thieves, drug manufacturers, drug dealers, arsonists, armed robbers, and cops who committed crimes while acting as officers(including government offices both federal and state), are the ones highest to commit their crimes again, or ones of similar nature. THEY should be posted online as well, IF this is truly a method of informing and protecting public of THREATS to the community. This new Scarlet Letter IS a punishment, regardless of what the corrupt officers and judges say in this country, AS ANYONE ON THIS LIST CANNOT : 1. Receive Section 8, 2. Apply for H.U.D., 3. Receive a Habitat for Humanity Home, 4. Live in income based housing due to families living there. 5. Live in the poorer living communities as they are mostly built near parks, or schools, or daycares being built in these areas for the single parents or low income parents in theses areas. 6. Obtain gainful decent wage level employment, as the stigma of this crime, and further restrictions on employment, prevent it.
    Now, with JUST these six things, this forces ONLY THOSE CONVICTED OF THESE OFFENSES, to not be able to succeed, thereby forcing them through such anguish, that they give up and destroy, or self destruct. They can’t afford the housing available, IF IT WAS EVEN OFFERED. They can’t work towards saving, retirement, etc… As they can’t maintain anything stable. This is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?!? Our Countries PROMISE TO ALL CITIZENS, yet clearly the law only applies to those who are the law. Cops shooting unarmed men, yet not charged the same as the citizens that pay taxes thereby allowing that cop to have a gun? Our Government is abusing it’s citizens, and the United Nations is allowing these abuses to go on, while condemning abuses in other countries. It’s time for intervention. The Government can monitor felons by simple means of having them check in once moved in the community, then on ONLY POLICE ACCESS OF RECORDS can these offenders be found. Let only housing landlords in areas with daycares, schools, etc., be able to find the registries of offenders. The public doesn’t need access to this information made so easily and readily accessible. This again is NOT protecting the public when over 90% over crimes daily are by never convicted new offenders. The United States is the ONLY country with a registration system that is public! The other countries allow only law enforcement access to this information. The corrupt officers in our Government defecate on the Constitution with laws that violate the basic rights established by the CONSTITUTION of our country! These rights were supposed to be UNDENIABLE by such, yet it is proof our Government is not following the LAW OF THE CONSTITUTION, and by such are the tyrannical government which our forefathers escaped and fought and died against to give us these rights the government could not take away. Any amendments to the constitution cannot take away from our protected rights, at least that is what is supposed to be, but we know that it’s not. The Government of America should be held on charges of treason against its country, and it’s people, as they ignore the laws that empower them to enforce the law. The Constitution is not negotiable! The United Nations should take action against the American Government for its crimes against its own people. The courts are appointed to UPHOLD our rights, not amend the constitution to take rights away. The system our Judiciary and Executive Branches use, is in violation of the purpose in establishing a BILL of RIGHTS, AND THE CONSTITUTION! We were to be protected against the Government by these laws, but it is obvious that we are not. All of this proves that the United States is in violation of the United Nations first Article of it’s own purpose, JUSTICE.
    Now the second part of the United Nations purpose statement is HUMAN DIGNITY of ALL people. How can there be upheld dignity of any nationality of people when the laws established to protect ALL people is only applied in total, to a minority of the people. There cannot be dignity when humiliation, and public shaming and discrimination is committed by the government who is suppose to protect and SERVE the PEOPLE. The media is ruled by the corrupt Government, using it to distort facts, and highlight only persons charged with re offending on all cases,limiting discussion on new offenders, so as to make the appearance of sex offenders being such a imposing threat. To highlight a suspect before conviction and have them plastered throughout the country before they are even found guilty, proves that NO ONE IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. No, now in our country, we are guilty unless we can prove our innocence. Sex offenders are not afforded any dignity, as they are forced to wear the Scarlet Letter of our Modern Internet Era. The families of these individuals not having been convicted of anything are punished for acts sometimes decades past. The children can’t find decent affordable housing, they are forced into poorer schools with lower scores, as they are forced to live in horrible housing due to again, NOTHING they done, because of this blatantly illegal law the corrupt American Government is enforcing. These families can’t have both parents involved in academia, EVEN THOUGH SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THRU YEARS OF STUDIES, prove that children are higher risk to not succeed due to this absence. The families have to suffer harassment that their children are made to feel, all due to an unnecessary registration being made Public! Again there are other options besides this illegal, unethical, and reprehensible law passed by the present corrupt American Government. If us as citizens can be charged with crimes against humanity, then our Government should be held to a higher standard and punishment. After all, they are supposed to be our leaders, which means leading by example. The example is, the law is negotiable? That is what your acts have shown. For your crimes I charge all of you with treason against your own people. The United Nations needs to punish you for your crimes as they do leaders in other countries for their crimes against their people. Otherwise, this proves that the U.S. is above the law it is telling other countries to follow. There is not only no dignity to be found for, again only a certain group whose rate of recidivism for crimes similar in nature, are the lowest except for murder, but the children of these offenders suffer a loss of dignity as well. They are denied equal treatment in that they can’t have both parents involved in all they do in school. They are teased and verbally abused by other students, and school staff as well, due to this registration, that again is unlawful to almost everyone on that list. This registration that could be done without the public shaming and humiliation that comes from this. This registration that strips dignity from not only all that have paid their debts to society, but children of these people as well. In fact all of their friends and family suffer, until eventually he is shunned into isolation, leaving him without dignity, or hope. Why? An unnecessary system of registration in it’s present form. One designed in hatred, not the true pursuit of Justice. A system based on lies and distorted facts by the American Government. A system that removes any chance for dignity from a person forever. This proves that the United States violates the second article of the United Nations purpose, HUMAN DIGNITY.
    The Well BEING of ALL people, is the next article we will discuss. As a parent, the first thought that comes to mind when I hear well being, well, I think of my kids. So I do understand the thought of protecting your children. Their Well being comes FIRST. This system does nothing to increase your children’s well being. Almost all crimes committed against children, is by a new offender who knows you and your family well, and has any access to your children. I would hope you would be concerned about ALL who is around your children, stranger, and family that shows unusual attachments to kids. I would hope that every person in your neighborhood that you don’t know, not just those online as sex offenders, would not be near your children without you in attendance. Just look it up, there are more new offenders committing sex crimes daily, than there are convicted offenders committing a similar crime. There are more released thieves, and drug offenders who re commit their same type of crimes, than sex offenders committing a similar crime. In alot of cases, the thieves, and drug offenders commit more violent crimes. How about Drunk Drivers? They are EXTREMELY high in repeat offenses! How much higher of a risk of living right next door to you, your children, who could be playing outside, when this person who high percentage of the time is drinking and driving, could be coming home. The well being of your family is up to you. No matter the cost, or loss, be there with and for your children so nobody else could be. Teach them strength of self to say no and belief of your love to tell you when anything weird happens, or no matter the word question they have, they can come to you. Teach your children that all strangers may be a danger, so never go by, and only a nod hi. You are the only one who can provide well being for you, your children, or your families. This list doesn’t do it. It does prevent the well being of those on the list, as they are forced to live in places that, if they get them, are too high in cost, and coupled with no good job, or wage, and turn over from being released anytime any employee learned of his registration and complained, makes them either become homeless, or destructive to commit a DIFFERENT CRIME, or they self destruct and commit suicide. If anyone said GOOD, just know…With what judgements ye judge the same shall ye be judged by. Again this registration, that is unnecessary, unlawful, prevents the well being of all on it. Proving that the United States violates the third article of the United Nations purpose, the WELL BEING of ALL.
    In conclusion I want to say, if you want security in knowing you are safe from an offender committing a crime against you or your children, call out for a change in treatment for ALL offenders. Sex offenders need a seperate facility from all other offenders. They need 24 hour video on them at ALL times to monitor them and record progress notes on their behaviors to get a better long term picture of what needs modified, and see if they are trying to fake their way through. If they get caught watching inappropriate shows in relation to their crimes, punishment in where they are stripped of levels of progress in program and start over. Third strike and they are sent to housing with other prisons. They can reapply after one year to reeenter treatment facility. When you release them, send them to a facility that also monitors their every move. Only after proof of stable home and job, in a non restricted area, are they released, where they would go to counseling until a counselor along with all treatment staff meet and agree that offender had proven he/she are ready for final exit and completion of Program, safe to live even next door. I could detail all the changes for all offenders, but, this topic is about the Scarlet Letters of the Internet Era. A practice that along with witch hunting were proven to be immoral, unethical, reprehensible, and most notably UNCIVILIZED, ESPECIALLY considering there are other ways to do this same thing, AS EVERY OTHER COUNTRY EXCEPT THE UNITED STATES, knows, and exhibits in their own practices. I PLEA TO ALL CONSTITUTION ABIDING AMERICANS, TO THE U.N., AND ALL ALLIES THEREOF, TO TAKE ACTION AND MAKE THIS PRACTICE BE ORDERED TO CEASE. To everyone who committed their crimes before this law came to be, they should be free from it’s burdens as it did not exist at time of conviction as a possible consequence of a conviction. Therefore it’s application violates THE CONSTITUTION AND RIGHT AND PROTECTION FROM EX POST FACTO LAWS. The Government is violating it’s own laws against it’s people, and turning its back on the United Nations PURPOSE.

    • Jen
      October 8, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Not more to say than you are absolutely right!!!!

    • ohim
      October 31, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      In the motion picture starring Tom Hanks entitled “Philidelphia” Hanks was fired by his law firm because he has aids. The law firm partners conspired to make his firing seem like he was incompetent, but in the end the motion picture showed that the firm was prejudiced and fearful having an employee with aids on the staff. In the movie, during the trial sequence for discriminating against Hanks for being fired unjustly “Hanks” lawyer played by Danzel Washington, brought up the issue of The Federal Vocational Rebilitatiaon Act of 1973, which in part states the following: “the law…prohibits discrimination against otherwise qualified handicapped persons who are able to preform the duties required by their employment…” Sex offenders are being discriminated against and cannot get jobs and housing that they are otherwise qualified for due to being on The National Sex Offender Registry. All I am saying is that being on the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) is also a “handicap” just like aids and because according to The Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, “… because of the prejudices surrounding being on the NSOR list enacts a social death that precedes the physical one…”

      WE ALL NEED TO ACT TOGETHER TO CHANGE THE LAWS!! It is true that some sex offenders do belong on the NSOR but those of us that are grouped together on that list with, and among the more penitent type of sex offender is grossly prejudicial toward us! Those of us who are on the NSOR list and got there for urinating in public, or sending our girlfriend nude photos over the Internet, or by “mooning” a passing passenger train, or for penetration foreign object charges against adult female prostitutes who lied and said the act was accomplished by force to save their souls from presecution, we do not need to be on the sex offender list for life without forgiveness and grouped together with pedophiles, child molesters, and baby rapist. This is unconstitutional and it inflames the mind of any rational person that being on the list with them we are the same as them!!! Congress knows they screwed up but are to afraid to admit this screw up, or fix it. The registry cost taxpayers over $800,000,000 per year and it protects no one! There is only a 3% recidivism rate yet 93% of new sex crimes are committed by people NOT ON THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY. Who is it protecting?

      The registry is only a “boogie man” scare tactic making allot of people rich, and the fear and hysteria it creates just makes it seem that much more needed. Like Ebola, in this country it has killed one person a year however the flu kills over 30,000. Which story is the media having a frenze over.

      If nothing else anyone on the sex offender registry who has not committed any other crimes whatsoever for over 10, 15, or 20 years should be eligible to be removed from the sex offender list if they are not pedophiles, baby rapist, or child molesters. Why is it allowed to go on FOREVER without any forgiveness and to destroy men and women’s lives who only appear on the list for minor sex crimes like “mooning a passing train” are we still burning witches? Will we ever evolve into the 21 Century?

      Please band together with me to change the laws regarding The National Sex Offender Registration, or NSOR .

      • willb
        October 31, 2014 at 10:53 pm

        I would tend to agree with most of your comments ohim even though your statistics are incorrect. The re-offense rate for people on the registry is less than 1% and the percentage of sex crimes committed by people not on the registry each year is closer to 99.9% as for a person having to prove themselves to get off of the registry. Why should they have to, if a person has lived within the society for 10 years without committing another sexual related crime then studies have shown their possibility of re-offense no matter what their initial crime was is less than 1% if anything if the government wants to keep someone on the registry. They the government needs to actually prove that that person needs to be on their not the other way around and they need to do it again and again for each time period say every five years

        the simple logic behind this is that the registry itself is a violation of a individual’s constitutional rights. There is no excuse for taking away the individual rights of a citizen of this country. Our Constitution was not based on protecting the government or for that matter protecting society. It was based on individual rights, the more we moved to protecting the group over individual rights. The further we get away from the ideas that this country was founded on and further downhill the society runs towards self-destruction.

      • Adam K
        November 13, 2014 at 9:12 pm

        I was convicted in 1996. Rehab homes rejected me. Vocational rehab failed me and violated their own contract. Currently living in a hotel and paying exorbitantly. No help here anymore. Burned all my bridges. I wish to relocate to a state where I’m considered a low risk. If not I’ll renounce my us citizenship. If not I’ll commit suicide.

  2. joe
    October 10, 2014 at 10:44 am

    The truth is the truth!!!!!

  3. Scott
    October 12, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Where are our lawyers for our violation of civil liberties and civil rights??

    The laws that are in place are violations in so many ways. I believe if these laws can be published on a national database for sex offenders, who,s to say they wouldn,t do this to an average citizen??

    Do they really need to know what type of car you drive with license plate numbers??
    Do they really need to publish your physical home address as this can be open door to gang assault or break ins that could result in beatings or even death??

    What difference does it make where a person works and why does that have to be published?? As long as everyone is over 18, i see no reason to have that published.

    This is the equivalence to forcing christians who are in the middle east where ISIS is reigning great terror to wear a badge that says I am a Christian.

  4. Anonymous
    October 28, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Florida just passed a law requiring offenders to also provide the tag #, make, model, year of any vehicle of anyone at their resident. Here is the wording.

    ALSO included are all vehicles
    • Registered,
    • Coregistered,
    • Leased,
    • Titled, or
    • Rented
    by a person or persons residing at your permanent residence for 5 or more consecutive days.

    So now a person who has never committed a crime is being punished by living with an offender. Isn’t this unconstitutional? Isn’t the rights of the person who is not an offender being violated?

    • KayT
      October 28, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Some years back there was a woman in Pennsylvania that took her civil rights issue to court. She did not like the fact that since her husband lived in her house the house was then listed as his residence. She said this violated the safety of herself and their family and friends and therefore violated the civil rights of all who were innocent. The judge said that the safety of the masses was more important than their civil rights or safety. I wish I would have kept that article.
      KT

  5. standing tall
    November 3, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Great Article!

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