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March 1, 2007

How's my (sex) driving?

Thanks to this post at TalkLeft, I see that Ohio has a new bill to require the worst sex offenders "to drive cars with a special license plate denoting their offense."  As this article details, the parents of a child victim are pushing the bill and have big aspirations: "'We want this to go national,' Mark Jackson said. 'They're not just in Ohio, they're everywhere.'"

As share Jeralyn's instinct that this is "just another shaming punishment and one that will have no effect on the number of sex offenses."  Moreover, I would hope that any license pate scheme would start with drunk driving before sex offenses.  Though I have not seen any detailed studies, my gut tells me that a drunk-diving license plate system could be much more effective in the promotion of public safety than a sex-offender license plate system.

Some related posts:

March 1, 2007 at 08:12 AM | Permalink


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» Scarlet License Plates for Sex Offenders? from Sex Crimes
Actually green, not scarlet. Sentencing Law Policy and TalkLeft both posted about this and I have to say I am amazed at the new ideas legislators keep coming up with for dealing with sex offenders:The cars of sexual predators would [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 1, 2007 3:36:58 PM


Coincidentially, today's news brings reports on an effective sentencing program to reduce drunk driving, a total reversal from the trend towards punishment or shaming.

South Dakota is expanding its intensive probation system for repeat drunk drivers to the entire state. The program permits repeat offenders to drive but requires them to report to law enforcement twice a day for a breath test. If they do not remain alcohol free they go back to jail. Unlike license plates, ever-longer suspension periods, and extrajudicial punishment, this works so well that even tough-on-crime politicians were convinced. It attacks the cause of the problem, alcoholism, not the symptom, driving.

I have a feeling the federal government will kill the program because it conflicts with federal funding requirments to have ineffective but tough sentences for repeat offenses.


Posted by: John Carr | Mar 1, 2007 10:02:57 AM

As an FYI - Ohio already has a license plate scheme for drunk driving (yellow plates, red lettering)

Posted by: LonesomeClerk | Mar 1, 2007 10:19:09 AM

Whiskey plates at least make SOME sense, becuase the crime is driving related. Sex offender plates are just rediculous.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 1, 2007 10:39:43 AM

Good to know, Lonesome Clerk, though I cannot recall ever seeing such a plate in my drives around town. Perhaps I just drive in tea-tottling Ohio neighborhoods.

Posted by: Doug B. | Mar 1, 2007 11:41:14 AM

There's a real public safety issue here. Sex offenders would be targeted for violence, which is obviously intolerable

Posted by: | Mar 1, 2007 1:03:42 PM

I read about this on another site:
Which quotes from a Reuters article. This almost makes my stomach turn. This, too, appears to be a "Weapon of Mass Distraction" (from "Man of the Year). Wanna show you're hard on crime? Let's just keep ratcheting up sentences for the segment of society no one can stand up for because they're so horrible. Let's "castrate" them, let's commit them, let's secret them away such that they can't live in town, now let's label them to EVERYONE who passes buy--are you a family member completely innocent -- well, too bad you have to be labeled a sex offender-supporter now.

What is so amazing is this outcry for harsher and harsher punishments (when as a previous poster noted, harsher punishments haven't been working). Is there just some collective anger that is now manifesting itself as hate of criminals or hate of illegal immigrants (since hate of a minority race or religion, which would have been the skapegoat 50-100 years ago, is not longer accepted in this country)? Someone should write a paper about where this hate is coming from, and why it's being diverted to this particular class of persons.

Posted by: (Former) District Clerk Battling Booker | Mar 1, 2007 5:35:54 PM

You have a point this needs to stop. I cant have a normal life myself and FYI I am not a pedophile or a repeat offender. It has been over 7 years since my "crime"
and while I wont excuse it nor do I ask others too. The simple truth is I lost my mind (I have A lonnng mental health history) and unfortunently I went in the direction of an SO and not say cuting myself or seing little green men. I spent over 3 years in the prison system
(raped and assulted) and I spent almost 3 in a State Hospital in an Sexoffender Treatment program,passed with flying colors.Did I meantion I was a juvinile offender? What I am saying is this is a VERY grey subject despite what people want to make of it. The persecution needs to stop! What about a black SO who is legaly segragated aginst because of the no SO in 1000 ft BS,because that is what it is. Or with this OHIO stuff,not to far till they make us wear little yellow six-pointed stars everywhere.Sound Familler? Don't think that won't happen in the US, Hello puritan Scarlet letters, or try telling that to the 100000s of Japenese-Americans and others rounded up and put in interment camps in the U.S. during WWII. Bottom line be warned this can and will happen to you too. The laws with SOs set the legal presedent.
For your readers cheak out this website
for some enlightenment on this subject.
like SOs national repeat offence rate 3.5% for Child Molesters
as per the 2003 Deparment of Justice report.

Posted by: A FORMER SO | Mar 2, 2007 1:53:38 AM

His name Theodore Darrel Kliest. Is he in jail.

Posted by: Theodore Darrel Kliest | Apr 19, 2007 7:42:04 PM

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