A registered sex offender in Iowa (he had relations with a thirteen-year-old when he was 18: charged as “lascivious acts,” so probably short of intercourse) is lobbying for a bill that would allow people in his position to get free of lifetime registration requirements. He registered as a lobbyist, even though no one is paying him to lobby. So someone called the cops, who arrested him for failing to register the new job he didn’t have. That led him to be fired from the actual job he did have.
Josh Barrow Tweets, “”Someday we’re going to look back on sex-offender registries as a very silly idea.” Why wait? The concept isn’t obviously wrong, but – as this case illustrates – the implementation is usually beyond stupid. Note that public urination can be charged as “indecent exposure,” which is generally one of the sex-registry offenses.
In a sane world, the prosecution would have to ask for registration as part of the sentencing process, and the judge would have to make an individualized determination, reveiewable ever three years, that registration was necessary.
No, there’s nothing innocent or romantic about “Romeo and Juliet.” Eighteen-year-olds ought to act their age, and keep their mitts off thirteen-year-olds, and if they don’t keep their mitts off they should get hammered for it. But punishments should be front-loaded, not back-loaded. Unless there’s a reason to think this guy still has “short eyes,” let him get on with his life.