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San Diego State's Independent Student Newspaper
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September 17, 2012

Sex offenders are people too

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Written by: Leonardo Castaneda

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The law has failed on sex offenders. Rather than preventing crime, the law makes crime inevitable. California’s Fourth Appellate District court recently ruled current laws regarding where sex offenders can live as “unreasonable.”

This is not an isolated case, but a pattern. California’s judicial system has slowly shifted away from prevention and rehabilitation toward punitive retaliation. Obviously, criminals are not the most pitiable people so it’s hard to feel bad for a registered sex offender, but one measure of a developed society is how well it treats its most despicable members. An advanced society tries to put an end to the cycle of crime by rehabilitating criminals so they can atone for what they did and then get back to their lives. A less advanced society is content with punishing transgressors by casting them off into a life where crime is the only viable path.

According to San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Wellington, San Diego has been content with punishment and unconcerned with prevention and rehabilitation for too long. The stigma attached to criminals, especially those accused of sexual offences, make it extremely difficult for them to find a job. Voter-approved Proposition 83,

“Jessica’s Law,” prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Less than three percent of multifamily houses in San Diego would be eligible, assuming those landlords are willing to rent the residence to a sex offender.

In the end, sex offenders are pushed out of the city and into scarcely populated rural areas with other criminals. The examples given by KPBS of four individuals challenging the legality of the residency restrictions are indicative of the problem: two individuals lived in the alley behind the parole office, one in his van and one with other sex offenders in a San Diego riverbed.

The conditions other criminals face are equally inhumane. The level of overcrowding in California prisons forced a judge to take control of the penal system. The surplus will be shipped back to the counties because the system can no longer handle all the criminals it produces. Punitive rules such as the three strikes penalty, up for voter review in the upcoming election, turn repeat minor offenders into lifetime prisoners.

Forced to the edges of society, these people don’t have access to jobs, rehabilitation services or even basic housing. They are forced into a life where crime seems like their only logical path. Their crimes vary but they are often loathsome acts, making it easy to dismiss their perpetual punishment. But this is when it’s most important for us to take a stance for justice. The goal of our judicial system should be to prevent crime and rehabilitate criminals, regardless of their offenses.

Our commitment to justice is not tested with everyday thieves, but in the extremes of criminal activity. We don’t test our devotion to rehabilitation with the little old lady caught stealing a ham to feed her starving grandchildren. We test it with child molesters and rapists. We must be able to treat those individuals with fairness and attempt to rectify whatever made them act in a criminal way.

Of course, such an overhaul of our attitude toward crime won’t be easy. We are accustomed to harsh punishment to scare people into not being criminals. The goal instead should be to eliminate the conditions causing an individual to do something illegal. Crime prevention needs to stretch beyond the legal system. The best antidote for crime is more available jobs, not more police officers. And a judicial system concerned with getting criminals the help they need to avoid future crimes would benefit society the most.

Punishing criminals without giving them a chance to rectify their wrongs is inhumane and it should be illegal. It’s time we start acting as the advanced society we know we are.

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About the Author

Leonardo Castaneda
Leonardo is a senior double majoring in journalism and economics. He is the current Editor in Chief of The Aztec, 2012-13 Opinion editor and an Opinion columnist from 2010-12.



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  1. Bill

    Thank you for give hope to the hopeless, outcast, socially dead, America’s Holocaust.

    • Salli

      That’s exactly what it is “America’s Holocaust”! Glad many are waking up! Thanks for caring!

    • SecondTry2013

      Never in my life would i have ever expected that i would be a sex offender. this is a nighmare from the government and such psychologists that think that this is a mental disorder. we need rational laws and RATIONAL AND HELPFUL support. the punishment is never ending. i had a possession change from looking for music on limeware. i found it, and looked, notthing more. now i have a felony for life and a SO lable, 15 LONG YEARS of Uncle Sam being my watcher. Only in the USA. Thanks for being sensible.

  2. Rudy101

    They have established a list of the hated. That list, for decades, was for police only. Then in the late ’90′s they made the list public.

    All of a sudden the public paniced. There are over 100,000 people on a sex offender registry is California. Over 80,000 publicly identified.

    In every legislative session, from State, Federal, and local are new laws targeting those on the registry.

  3. Rudy101

    They have established a list of the hated. That list, for decades, was for police only. Then in the late ’90′s they made the list public.

    All of a sudden the public paniced. There are over 100,000 people on a sex offender registry is California. Over 80,000 publicly identified.

    In every legislative session, from State, Federal, and local are new laws targeting those on the registry.

    Those with 20, 30, and even 40 year old convictions are being systemtaically banished from every social and even physical segments of society. It is being done without hearing, trial or challenge and ex-post facto. Along with the public notification comes, harassment, threats, isolation and fear, not just for the offenders, but for offender’s family.

    The reply invariably is that the public registry protects the community. There is no evidence of this, and any evidence that a particular registry law will result in homelessness or loss of safety and/or security is ignored.

    The sex offender registry is an illegal law that does not have to be followed and is not being followed. It is being lampooned, laughed at, and ignored.

    The largest prison system in the world, by far, in both absolute terms and per capita thinks they are credible in the application of ex-post facto laws. The largest prison system in the world has no credibility in a list completely controlled by a political body.

    Don’t call yourself a free country, while you lock people up for simply existing, or taking a walk in a park, or putting up halloween decorations, or having a Facebook page, or even reading one’s own registry information on the registry, or attending a local football game, or taking the 5th amendment and refusing to answer questions from a police officer. Do no think that police States created out of legislative fiat has any credibility.

    Don’t think you are a free country, and your laws will be respected when, with impunity you will violate fundemental principles as laid out in the U.S. Constitution and international law.

    If you only had a judge, under standards of proof, and fair hearings, you then could strip a person of their civil rights.

    But you don’t, and you will never stop with illegal ex-post facto laws. That is why the registry does not have to be followed.

  4. RSO

    It’s nice to finally see someone still view us as human. Despite the hysteria and fear-mongering, most registered sex offenders are not monsters. We made mistakes in the past, have served our sentences, and are just trying to put the past behind us. I believe that we can change, if we want to change, in spite of what the public believes. We are not statistics, we are people. Has our society dropped so low that we treat people who have made mistakes, granted big mistakes, and are truly repentant, as nothing more than savage beasts? Remember, it could be you or your child our someone else you love who makes a mistake and has to register as a sex offender. How would you react then?

  5. DeAnn

    Thank you, Mr. Casteneda, for a well-written, intelligent article! You obviously have researched the subject of “sex offenders” and it is refreshing to advocates like myself to read articles like the above.

  6. Jackie Sparling

    Oh my Lord, could it be? Reason and sanity are returning?

    Thank you for publishing the very words I have been saying and actually preaching for years. These laws are COUNTERPRODUCTIVE!!

    Having worked in the prison setting for 11 years, I can tell you what inmates who return to society need and do not need. Being turned into “lepers” and trying to scourge them from your communities is the WORST thing you can do to them, and it’s the very LAST thing they would need to come out and be productive members of society.

    They need the same things we do to make it. Acceptance, work, and a roof over their heads.

    Actually, if he so called experts who claim that Sex Offenders will ALWAYS re-offend and can’t control themselves are right, I’m amazed, AMAZED that these hundreds of thousands of people on that paper stockade, manage to NOT sexually re-offend. Point being? THEY ARE WRONG, and studies show it.

  7. Shelly Stow

    I cannot say “Amen!” loud enough, or “Thank you” either.

  8. Extremely Disgruntled

    It takes some fortitude to make statements like these that the public does NOT want to hear. Kudos for having that fortitude.

  9. Virginia Hall

    thank you for a thoughtful and well reasoned article. Indeed, the perpetual punishment heaped upon ex-felons, and especially former sexual offenders, is inhumane, an embarrassment to us as a society and a complete failure as social policy.

  10. Aaron

    Bravo! This is an excellent, intrepid article. If there were more people like you on this planet, the world would be a far better place.

  11. Better than the 70%

    I think around 70% of the voting people voted for Prop 83, correct? How disgusting. I think they are horrible “people”. Probably people who cannot be changed or fixed, unlike the people listed on the nanny big government Registries.

    What can we say about those 70%? They are clearly not Americans. They are clearly shallow thinkers. What else? I hope karma visits them regularly. I am happy that California is a broke cesspool. What a mess.

  12. John

    I think your sympathy is misplaced but your antipathy towards the current trend of sex offender is spot-on.

    I support reform and restorative justice but not out of a sense of sympathy.

    Reform strengthens prevention which hysterical punative action does not.

    Restorative justice is about the restoration of the victims. The restoration of the offender is just a happy by-product.

  13. oncefallendotcom

    I’ve never been keen on letting the ignorant masses vote on laws like Jessica’s Flaw or the Three Strikes Law because the ignorant public does not understand nor care about the negative consequences of passing tough-on-crime legislation.

    The US Constitution was created from the beginning to protect the individual from the public at large. We seem to have forgotten that.

  14. 2012Leper

    Thank you for writing this. Most people in the media would never consider writing what you did. I am a registered sex offender. My crime happened in 1996. Although I never committed another sex crime, due to a technical violation, my probation was revoked, and I will remain on probation until 2017. I openly admitted to my crime. I was wrong for what I did. I touched a young girl inappropriately, though there was no penetration, and her pants were on, I still did a horrid thing. I will hate myself for that act the rest of my life. In the process, I lost my wife and six children, my home and my job. I went to prison. Since my release, I have completed sex offender therapy. Yet to this day, I still can’t get a job to support myself. I can’t find a decent place to live. Society has put all sex offenders in the same category as John Couey, who raped and murdered Jessica Lunsford. Not all sex offenders are like that, as a matter of fact, very few are. Most offenses happen in the home, by someone very close to the victim. Many are 18 year old boys and girls that have a boyfriend or girlfriend 16.

    I was a professional. I was very active and productive in my community. I used to be a somebody, but now I am just a thing to be hated by society. This is what the media has made us, and these useless feel good laws. If black people felt hated in the 60′s and 50′s…if the Jewish people felt hated during the war, i know their pain. I am just happy to know that they had a chance, that there was a light at the end of their tunnel. For a person convicted of a sex crime, there is no hope. Only hate.

    Thanks you again, for understanding, and taking a risk by writing this article. I am sure you will receive tons of hate mail because of it, but you have developed a fan in me.

  15. Janice Bellucci

    I was graduated from SDSU in 1977. I subsequently became a lawyer and am now the state organizer for California Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL), a statewide non-profit dedicated to restoring the civil rights of those convicted of a sex-related offense. Thank you for discussing this topic in an intelligent and logical way. RSOL will meet in San Diego on October 20 to discuss this topic and the recent court decision. Hope you can join us! For more information, go to

    • J. Townsend

      Hello Janice, I was watching one of your speeches on you tube and I enjoyed it, was a bit too much but I suffered thru that I had a dream….. Maybe this what I wrote might help a bit more as I too think the sex offender is getting a raw deal and is being tossed away and that’s not right.

      Moral Slavery and Immoral Slavery
      in the 21st Century
      Internet Sting Operations.

      No one is entitled to take away someone’s liberty. Their is no evidence that Jesus Christ encourages or approves slavery but yet the Government approves of this. Yes, I am afraid we are living in a moral age of slavery with these Internet Sex Sting Operations.
      The moral dilemma of these Sting Operations are way out of control. Law enforcement is testing the morals of American citizens that go on line to have conversations with adults and by chance encounter someone posing as a fictitious teenage person all for the personal gain of combatting crimes against children. How can one combat a crime against children when a fake persona presents itself and preys on the person’s thoughts for ill gotten gain?
      Some might ask if Adolf Hitler truly felt that what he was doing was morally correct but history no’s different. Make no mistake about it that law enforcement condemns themselves when they force the hand of others with these persuasive and enticement tactics’ to trap those that are weak and the use sex as the motivator.
      Abraham Lincoln one of our great presidents during the civil war era said that ” all men were created equal”, yet law enforcement and those in high places seem to be above the status of man, They are above equal. Are they playing God with human nature or are they keeping all men and women in bondage because of political and financial gain.
      The bible says be subject to Government as they are the ministers of good and not evil. Can we as human beings just sit back and do nothing because of these immoral issues? I think not. All the men that are caught in these sting operations are American citizens with i inalienable rights and yet these operations prey on these unsuspecting people that they assume are there in adult chat sites for the main purpose of talking to a teenage person. Truth is truth and I’m sure given the law their truth weights more than man’s truth.
      Masquerading and using deceptive methods leaves one to wonder about these operations as apposed to the real situation that is played out in real life. You know I would wonder if someone was taking me down the road. and that’s what they are doing on with these sting operations, all in the name of safety. I would image they can back up all this with all the money they are making thru this cottage industry with these sting operations.
      In reality they are holding these sex sting operations above all other sin acts and keeping people that are trapped or enticed in a situations of bondage plus painting a scarlet letter on them for life for all society to take notice.
      Make no mistake about it deception is deception and in this s there is no way to justify the shameful wrong that these Law enforcement officers do when setting up these stings that one can think of is lawful. We put our trust in law enforcement but at the same time they use this ruse to enslave people. The Bible says: 1 Cor 2: 11 says For who among men know the thoughts of man. I guess in the Governments point they know the thoughts of all men, except their own spirit.
      So what are we to say Let God be right and all men a liar or let the government be right because we have the power. Are we to let these law’s just be pushed aside because they are doing evil for good and they are stereotyping some for the purpose of all in the name of safety.
      Martin Luther King once said an “unjust law as being, a code that is out of harmony”. These internet sex stings to catch, “would be”, predator’s are out of balance when anyone on the internet would be a would be predator. If people happen to stumble into this web of deceit than one has to wonder who is doing the deceiving. Is all of this moral slavery… yes it it. The government is using sex as the mean’s to deceive us all and we are just sitting doing nothing about it. Are we a nation of moral values or immoral values, you tell me. Please send this out to every site you know of as you or anybody else can see the injustice in a lot of this sex registry crap.

  16. Negrodamus

    Well said.. Bravo sir, Bravo.

    If more people used common sense, just think how great America could be

  17. Dolores Owen

    Great article! It is so refreshing and hopeful to see so many positive posts to this issue.

  18. Valigator

    I see every sex offender and or their advocates flocked to this “woe is me” article. Perhaps the writer should mandate each offender who posted here also post their convictions and the age of their victims.
    Once the general public reads some of the criminal backgrounds of the posters here, they would be asking why they havent had a needle stuck in their arms, not free to post on this article.

    • Better than the 70%

      Piss off, terrorist. You are part of the thieving scum that believes blanket “residency restrictions” are appropriate.

      Mind your own business. Stop harassing other people.

      Have you started paying more taxes yet? If you need nanny governments, you need to pay for them, understand? You. Not other people. You.

    • Robert Curtis

      Okay, I’ll take that bate. My offense was for touching someone inappropriately A misdemeanor not involving a child (she was over 18) she did recover thousands of dollars from me after the fact. (Head scratch) that’s one way to get money in a down economy.

      IT hasn’t stopped me from being a stylist and owning my own salon. I guess a registered sex offender working alone with women in a salon environment isn’t a problem for the Orange County DA’s office and many cities in Orange County California. Yet these cities do have a problems with a guy taking his children to the park or beach.

      Are we registrants a threat even one child? No, at least not as dangerous as the general public. Why? Because 95% of new convictions come from the general public not registered sex offenders.

      Besides receiving a US Congressional award for community service I’m blessed to be around others that have been through the grinder of probation, therapy and time served. Change is the only constant. That TRUTH is even for Registered sex offender.

    • 2012Leper

      Everyone has a right to be able to live a normal life. Our constitution used to guarantee it. There are no other people with a criminal background that are treated the way sex offenders are. Most laws that are passed borderline unconstitutionality. For those who voted for Jessica’s Law, I do have to ask if they also stood behind Mark Lunsford when his son was arrested for a sex crime, and went to court wearing a t-shirt with Jessica’s photo on it. Did these same people stand behind Mark Lunsford when he cried this didn’t apply to his son, who was 18 and his victim was (I believe) 14? Trust me, if that was your son who was 18, and his girlfriend was 14 or 16, your son would be on the registry, he would be a convicted sex offender. And he would probably also be asking to prove he isn’t a monster, just a person who made a mistake. Should everyone ask why your son hasn’t had a “needle stuck in his arm?” Or would you say this is different, like Mark Lunsford did?

      As for this being a “woe is me” article, it isn’t. It is a totally unbiased person writing this. A man who deserves respect. A person who is willing to look past the media hype and actually see sex offenders as people too. Maybe, as you go to church this Sunday, you should look around. I am willing to bet there are offenders sitting in your congregation. Oh, yes, some sex offenders believe in the same God as you. Does it bother you that we will also be in the same Heaven as you are?

      By the way, I am a human being. I am sitting here typing this, the same as you will be reading this. I drink coffee. I love my steaks medium well. I go to day labor to support myself. I struggle. Why am I saying all this? BECAUSE I AM NO DIFFERENT THAN YOU. When I cut myself, I bleed red, just as you do.

      It’s ok to hate a crime, but it’s never ok to hate a person.

    • BJBarksdale

      The cavalier and irresponsible way in which you reference killing mass numbers of people is astonishing. How is killing people going to help anyone? Other than satisfying your pathological desire for revenge, it is poor social policy, and morally bankrupt. Your shrill rhetoric never solves problems. You just try to whip people into an irrational frenzy. I work with people trying to find real answers to this problem, doctors and lawyers and policymakers. You should try helping. Or I suppose we can just kill everyone who has the misfortune of being born with an attraction to those underage.

  19. Saul

    Reform Sex Offender Laws was co-founded by NAMBLA founder and unapologetic child molester Tom Reeves. They don’t want people to know this for the obvious reasons, which might possibly explain why “No media or government officials are allowed to attend” the San Diego meeting on October 20th.

    Or maybe they just don’t want a repeat of what happened at their national conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico?

    Child rapist Derek Logue, aka oncefallendotcom

    • Better than the 70%

      I don’t know who RSOL is or exactly what their agenda is. I don’t care.

      I am tired of terrorists who want nanny government to harass people just for their little jollies.

      Experts have never supported the Registries. Politicians and terrorists do.

    • Shelly Stow

      A repeat of our Albuquerque conference? Yes, that is what we want every year. It was our most successful yet, thanks in part to a great deal of local media attention which became very favorable when the journalists came to the conference, filmed, interviewed, asked questions, and learned about our organization and our goals.
      And government officials were invited and at least one attended and spoke. He was wonderful, as were everyone we encountered. The APD was great and supportive. Albuquerque, from what I saw of it, is a beautiful city with some beautiful people.
      The mayor was responding to anonymous phone calls and emails made by people who were apparently frustrated that our conference was proceeding on schedule. He was doing what he felt was best for his city, and the town hall meeting turned out to be beneficial because it showed just how many local people were actually concerned about our conference; I believe three actual concerned citizens were there, and Cmdr. Rowe was very professional and supportive in his conducting of the meeting. We also appreciate the Ramada for their gracious hospitality and support. We regret that the mayor and his staff declined our invitation to attend the conference, but many local people attended and praised our speakers and presentations.
      So, yes, we do indeed plan for a repeat of that conference, except even bigger and better each year.
      Thank you.

      • M.S.

        Indeed I would be first one to propose a conference here in Orlando, Florida. I assure you that the conference will grab a lot of attention!

        I was like another fellow that posted in this site, a professional, military man. I was deceived by “my victim” and now, I am another number in the statistical pond of sex offenders. I am close to loose the little things I have left, because I can’t find a job, despite of holding a Bachelor degree, a Master degree, and 20 years of military experience. And still, no job. I am forbiden to have contact with my son, I am forbiden to have contact with his mother as well, I was forced to move out of my house into a tiny room away from the city, and praying everyday for a job.

        I even attempted to commit suicide twice so I wouldn’t face the humilliations of my family, the humilliations of society. With my suicide attempts, I tried to wash the stain of the sin a “girl” left in my mind, but, somehow, someways, there was a cosmic conspiration to prevent the ending of my life. Many times someone has told me that ending my own life was selfish, but that someone has never walked in our shoes and gone through the multitude of scars left by the label of Sex Offender. That someone will never understand what is like looking at the future with a gloom, doom and bleak forecast. That someone will never understand what is like to figure out where the money will come from to buy food and paying bills and if that someone is like me, that I pay child support, well, if I don’t have money to pay for child support, then I will be in prison soon. And still someone has said that ending my life was selfish. Sometimes I feel that it would have been the best solution…..but I am not even allowed to die!!!! Good God!!!!

        The worst part?….I went to Iraq twice, 28 months in combat to protect the freedom of our citizens in the US and the world….I was trained to engage a known enemy. But it never crossed my mind that I was going to fight another Iraq here in my own soil, against people who I was sworn to defend with my own life….is so ironic.

        I hope for a brighter tomorrow. I understand that there are individuals who truly needs to be on the registry, some of them, needs to even be locked up forever!…but there are many of us who do deserves a second chance. This registry is forcing people to poverty, to more crimes, to more marginalization from society, to our kids to endure and bullish abuse from others in their schools….

        I just hope that someone notice all that horrible crime against us…..


        • Better than the 70%

          Hang in there. If you do harm to yourself, you are letting the scum who zealously and mindlessly support the Registries win. Do not allow that to happen.

          You are correct that you are at war with the people who support the Registries. And they are immoral. What they are doing is attempting to steal from you and the quality of your life. Treat them exactly as if they are an enemy and defeat them. You do that by living a better life than they are able to. They are not Americans and they are not people who deserve your consideration. Defeat them.

          • Robert Curtis

            I am also a US military veteran of 16 years. There are conflicts in regards to even having a registry. First off if someone is so bad that they need to be on a registry why are they even among us? The Registry is a form of LIVING DEATH and is evil by it’s very nature. Why do we have probation and parole departments? Isn’t it their job to filter out those that aren’t safe to come back into society? A registry while these people are on probation/parole I understand, but beyond that is extremely wrong. TRUTH

    • Lea Billings

      Funny how there are those who can only try to make their point with proverbial mudslinging. How political of you. Unfortunately for your agenda, it seems that even some politicians are beginning to see the truth. It seems you are adamant about spreading misinformation from known VIGILANTE websites, which are not even allowed to use United States Servers. I wonder why that is??

    • Lynne Tatro

      And what happened in New Mexico-I’m curious.

    • T Egizi

      This is just untrue. RSOL is a life line for not only the young and often falsely accused or convicted but the families and loved ones who are also punished or given the choice to pretend their child or loved one never existed. RSOL is not affiliated with any child pornographer but a group of family members and condemned people who need a voice.
      As for the complaint, are they kidding. Falsities.. for one sex offenders are now found to re-offend less than any other crime, 3 percent, yes they are popped for registration failures because that is what the registration is counting on. Two the founders of RSOL whether or not and I believe this is falsities also, where affiliated with said group, these are not who are representing them now and this program is nothing more than a means to find a balanced and just solution to a broken and punitive sham. Remember, these people on the list are also parts of families and friends who are forced into punitive situations also. No one deserves this, most so called sex offenders are not even a sex offender except by archaic laws that are ever increasing to fill privatized prisons and meet investors profit margins. These are kids being kids, teens being teens and the most dangerous actually are able to walk free since the system is over loaded, and the new laws actually give less time to more severe offenders. My son was plead to a more serious charge so he could serve less time and given a strike for non violent offense and yet if he would have plead to original charge, statutory rape of four days over the four year age difference, ( 19 and four days, 15 ) he would have served a min of twice the time and five years probation compared to 6 months. Not knowing the sex offender laws and he being young and frightened and we being poor and unable to afford defense, he plead to come home. Now his sister is dead, suicide over the treatment of her beloved brother and her loving family, and we are living in almost third world conditions, unable to find decent rentals with our son, or him a job, or attend school, or his fear of retaliation from the registry and being incarcerated he has severe PTSD. We lost our lives for what? For what? Being a couple of kids, doing what all kids do? Oh except for those who think they are so perfect and that all laws are just, no questions asked… lol

  20. slvrspun

    Don’t forget about the lies that are told about sex-offenders by the powers that be. They manipulate and even completely fabricate statistics to bolster their piss-weak case for more punitive legal responses. They take the worst cases from the news and act as though they are representative of all sex-offenders and their offences and punish minor criminal acts as though they were major terrorist acts.. all to please the bloodthirsty public and get more votes come election time.

  21. buchanan

    Finally, it seems that some common sense is prevailing.
    Leonardo, your article sheads some light in the darkness of a system that is hell bent on destruction of human life.

    Many of those deemed “sex offenders” are our young men who showed poor judgement and had an encounter with a young women under the age of eighteen. They are not monsters. They were severly punished, and just want to have some sort of life.

    Some are being murdered for past mistakes, and their families are the collateral damage. The children in these families are harrassed, ridiculed, and bullied. The other family members, at no fault of their own, are torn apart. They also become the lepers of society.

    We need laws that protect us, our children, while we work to restore justice and liberty. Not a lifetime of punishment for so many families. While the intent might have been to protect us, the result is making matters so much worse for everyone.

  22. P. Garrachi

    The statement by the student writer, Leonardo Castaneda, is utterly incorrect.

    It has always been the advanced societies that have been the most destructive: Germany under Hitler, Russia under Stalin, USA regarding Blacks, gays, now MAA’s; Europe under the Inquisition and during its religious wars, ad nauseum

    Primitive, non-technological societies are much more humane.

    • SDJoe

      “USA regarding Blacks, gays,”

      Why make it seem like the US was the only one involved in slave trade? Portugal started the Atlantic slave trade. Europe and the rest of the New World participated.

      … and the gays, did you see the pictures of the the two teenage boys being hung in public in the middle east because somebody THOUGHT they were gay? Won’t mention the religion but it sounds like “muslin”.

  23. John

    I must add my thanks for this article.
    However, I am puzzled by a couple of the comments. I was at the RSOL Conference in Albuquerque, and one thing that happened were talks and presentations from professionals from several walks of life, who are not on any registry, presenting extensively researched information that the spate of current sex offender laws do much more harm than good. Another thing that happened was a shift in media opinion, from something akin to scare-mongering to a view grounded in a more honest appraisal. If anything wrong happened, I am certainly unaware of it.
    Critics leap too often and too quickly to conclusions that current SO laws will deal with the monsters. I wonder if the critics ever stop to check the details, before they issue “one size fits all” draconic policies. I wonder if they ever take into account that more than a few on the various registries were falsely accused? I wonder if they ever take into account that more than a few were under 18 when the offenses occurred? I wonder if they ever take into account that sex offenses are not and cannot be easily categorized–a one-time viewing of child porn online must be seen as the same as a person who serially molests children? (Current sex laws didn’t stop Jerry Sandusky, please note.) I wonder if they ever take into account that SOs have one of if not the lowest level of recidivism? (A number of recent studies all over the nation verify this.)
    So many people demand the authorities and the lawmakers be “tough on crime”. OK, but how about being smart on crime, a lot smarter than has been happening for the last generation?

  24. Casey True

    Thank you for this insightful article. Making second-class citizens of any segment of our society only incites fear and assists in the displacement of anger and hatred onto the undeserving families of those citizens. Everyone should take the opportunity to learn from our human history and not make the same mistakes as our predecessors.

  25. Edie Billings

    thank you so much for publishing an article that finally makes sense. The registry is an ill-conceived system that has gone awry.The law makers and authorities have been manipulating the public about the recividism rate and now finally research is coming out to prove them wrong.

    This system needs to be reformed and I cannot thank Mr.Castaneda enough for having the fortitude to tell it like it is.

    Kudos to him!!

  26. Paul

    I don’t disagree with any statement in the article. The focus should not have been that these laws are inhumane, however. These laws are not just ineffective, they are demonstrated counter-productive. The California Sex Offender Management Board published reports that were given to the legislature but they ignored them when writing legislation. If California wants to effectively manage sex offender risk they need to demand legislators pay attention to those reports. By the way, CASOMB reported that 3.55% of sex offenders committed a new sex crime, and that more than 90% of people arrested for sex crimes have NO history of conviction for any sex crime.

  27. Better than the 70%

    The Registries are nothing but institutionalized, government sponsored hate. It is well known and manifest that the Registries are not just ineffective but are actually counterproductive. All the talk about “public safety” and “protecting children” are thin lies these days.

    If that were not the case, hundreds of other Registries would have been created a decade ago. All the laws that have been applied to “sex offenders” would already been applied to other prior offenders as well. That hasn’t happened and the hate mongers and terrorists who support the Registries have no credibility.

  28. Tony

    If this book goes mainstream the american people will take down the sex offender registry!


  29. ema

    thank you, i feel a little better after reading a few of this comments. like someone said i was somebody before and now i am nobody but that if i let society and their way of thinking put me down which i struggle everyday. i dont need sympathy, i need for the sake of many lifes out there that is struggling like me to at least have a second chance in life. i know many people that have failed and commited suicide because the unfairness of this so call law they made up in retalation.

    i am very upset in many ways but at least this relieved my stress a bit for today thanks again

  30. Heather

    Thanks for your compassionate post about registered sex offenders. While I don’t like the crimes they’ve committed, it’s unfair that they don’t get a second chance and their lives are pretty much ruined – especially in the case of a non-violent sex act.

    Back before the registry era I’m pretty sure that sex crimes happened pretty frequently, but you weren’t branded with a Scarlet letter and forced to tell your neighbors, friends and families about it.

    In my opinion, there has to be a ‘middle ground’ and maybe extensive counseling or other treatment would be better for all those concerned..

  31. Bert Friedman

    Thank you for writing this article. At this point any inspiration keeps me breathing and trying to go forward. I say try because, as a man whom was forced to register after 13 years had passed after my probation and 18 years after my crime, I felt I had moved on with my life and PROVEN my commitment to not re-offend and be a productive member of society. No registration LAW existed when I was convicted. Now I live in HELL. I’ve been beaten up in a parking lot, blind sided, cause they can’t do it face to face. I have lost all the hard years and efforts that I put into my second career. I am isolated and EXTREMELY ANGRY. I hope one of those castration murder talking fukers don’t cross me.

    I’ve now witnessed a whole other side of human and judgement.

    These laws that violate the most fundamental law (The Constitution) have made me question my allegiance to a national government that LIES and is FULL of IGNORANCE AND CORRUPTION.

    I maybe a RSO but your children are in danger not from me but from the White Collar Thieves that stole you or your parents life savings. The future of your children is not in jeopardy from me as an RSO but from those that steal from the county coffers, while bridges and roadways fail and/or fall into disrepair.

    From my perspective the whole Sex Offender Hysteria is what I like to term “The Grand Misdirection”. While fully knowing that scientific data and studies show statistically that SO are the lowest in recidivism rates, these laws have been thrust upon us. Mainstream politicians have been reelected on these hard line on crime stances while actually DOING NOTHING TO MAKE ANY OF US SAFER. The real truth is that these people whom run for office are popular people not scientists and scholars of which we need to straighten this Nation out and get us all back on track. I said misdirection and I mean that while you were all focused on the SO that was going to jump out of the bushes and get your kids, WALL STREET WALKED OFF with your life savings, your home value took a dive off the highest cliff.
    This COUNTRY is in ONE BIG DAMN MESS, I guess since I’m a SO it is my fault.

    Before they forced me to register they gave me back my gun rights. So the same court that restored my gun rights refuses to let off this GD with list.

    Funny thing is I’m the first MF that will step up and protect you, yet you won’t stand up for my constitutional rights.

    I pulled a man out of a flipped over car a few years back while other men stood around trying to figure out how to open the car door. I be he did not give one brown turd that I am registered.
    AFTER 8 years of being registered a few things are clear to me: My commitment to never re-offend is just as strong.
    My view of the government and the legal system is changed FOREVER.
    No CHILD is more or less safe with me on the registry.
    All real job opportunities have vanished.
    I live in a fragile scenario with no future that involves reward for my productive efforts.
    The LAWs here are getting tighter and the furtherance of the expost-facto laws just keep imposing more requirements upon me. I think they want people to fail, I think I am a threat because my life flies in the face of their legal explanations and the good Lord know they don’t want anyone to be seen as repentant and reborn or rebuilt.

    I feel sorry for the person that comes up and tries to fuk with me now over any of this I’ve been pushed TOO MUCH

    I have one master and he is not a politician!
    Let Him that has Ears Here

  32. Randy

    My concern with how the registry is operated is that it does set people up to fail. Why this concerns me is because history shows that if all hope is removed from a person, they often become very aggressive and potentially very violent. The registry is consistently growing and could soon be considered a subculture out even its own society. These kind of numbers without hope our reason to even try to be a positive member of society could result in a massive increase of extremely violent crime. This frightens me.



  34. Terry Jomha

    These animals should be boiled in a vat of oil while the public cheers on. It’s not a mental illness this is a bs excuse. Everything is a mental disease? Sex offenders are perverts that should be tortured like they torture their victims. May there souls forever being tortured. I would pay money to be able to hunt them down and slowly torture and kill them

    • Bill McDonald

      Yep boil them all espically all these
      1.forget to zip pants from rest room Charge “Indeciant exposure SEX OFFENDER
      Go to beach come out of water and shorts slip exposure SEX OFFENDER
      18yo boy 16yo girlfriend SEX OFFENDER
      and while we are looking at actions lets look at your past I would be willing to bet you are not as squeekie clean as you think. THINK HARD BEFORE YOU JUDGE

  35. James

    To Terry to bad you don’t have the guts to be a man and fight for something you believe in, and I bet if someone searched your past you would be listed too. Thats all that piece of garbage gets of my time. Time and Time again it is proven that the list doesn’t make anyone safer… in fact they can’t prove that it stopped any crime. If someone is going to re-offend there not going to register that’s for sure. Why is it someone who murdered someone or broke into a house and beat the crap out of someone well they were high gets another chance? They say a SO caused someone pain for their whole life, might be true but if you were robbed and beat in your bed by a crackhead for ten bucks you would never feel safe in your house again- even if that crackhead was on a list. So lets be honest with yourself THE WORST OFFENDERS are locked up for a long time. If the system feels that a person has done their time and completed treatment and releases them back into the community that should be it. Hell I would even support the model the state of OREGON has adopted and that is to only list Predators to the public. These laws bring to much money to states and when a worst case situation happens like out here in Colorado to Jessica Ridgeway the media and politicians drive the public into fear so that they can make another law to extort more money in the name of safety. When we start looking to the government to protect us we get idiots making laws without facts. And mental illness is not a myth… Terry just proved that he has mental issues when he opened his mouth. The fact of the matter is that the list is going to keep growing as all these new laws keep coming up. How is a sting legal when they bait and lie to get a “offender” to show up, when they are playing on his metal weakness. Does that guy deserve to have his life messed up more after he was humiliated in the name of ratings not justice.(speaking of dateline to catch a predator)More facts for uneducated people like Terry to look up and realize that the list is not about justice and is about money Look no further than the ADAM WALSH ACT(AWA)….. It says that if the states go by the act and don’t form their own opinion they get funding, If they don’t conform to the act they not only lose the funding but have to pay fines. Some states choose to defy the AWA because they know that it is based on Lies and falsehoods. So the fact of the matter is that one day the general public will open their eyes, lets just hope it doesn’t take as long as slavery did. Slavery was abolished by Lincoln but the civil rights act of 1964 took 100 more years. On that note I wish lawyers would challenge the list on the civil rights list and also continue to challenge it as a ongoing punishment because that’s exactly what it is when it costs employment, shelter and lives.

  36. Christian

    I got one for you- please tell me what you think.
    What about some poor a-hole who became a sex offender all because he hooked up with someone who was 16 years old (4 months shy of 17 and therefore legal) and this 16 year old THING lied about their age to the poor a-hole sex offender.

    A misdemeanor conviction resulted.

    In NY IT DOESNT MATTER- anyone can be 16 years old- look 18 and simply lie to the “offender”.

    So tell me- should this poor a-hole sex offender be bared from ever having a good job for the rest of his life?

  37. Concerned

    To the person who said something about former offenders not being on the registry.How is it justice to put someone on the registry when he plead no contest to a crime more than 5 Years before they even thought up the registry? The LAW says that the person has to KNOW what he is facing by pleading guilty..Well he did not because there is no way he could have known that years later he would be made to the way he was with a girl that was 16 and she was afraid her parents would be mad because she was late coming home so she said her forced himself on her.NO evidence except she said..What if they said everyone who was ever convicted of anything had to register for anything they had ever done even if it was legal one day and not the next? Speeders could hit you drinkers could hit you druggies could hit you thiefs could rob you killers could kill you arsonist could burn your house or other property…..

  38. brenda L

    i wish you CD be in texas. my friend who I’ve known for 45 years was convicted of child porn on the internet. no downloads, no uploads etc. thexpertcomputot for his defence never looked at the computor. he wasn’t lisenced either. my friend claimed pop ups. did i mention no password on computor. everyone
    they offered him 10 years probation
    he claimed I’m innocent. jury found him guilty. he spent 5 years in texas prison. got out on parole
    9 months later the sheriff arrested him because.he forgot yo tell them where. he worked, in a 7 day time frame. he went to the sheriff to tell them he got another.vehicle a.d really registor. they asked about work. he told them
    they arrested him on failureto register. he has been indicted on a new state felony.he had told his parole everything. he thought they were yo know yiy all
    this sickens me that.someone who is doing what they are suspose to do
    is charged because they failed to tell their job in the time frame. this is a small town in texas

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