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March 27, 2013

"On Emotion, Juvenile Sex Offenders, and Mandatory Registration"

The title of this post is the title of this paper authored by Catherine Carpenter recently made available via SSRN. Here is the abstract:

It is both unremarkable and true that juveniles are different from adults. United States Supreme Court decisions over the past decade have highlighted the extent of the differences.  Yet, played out against the backdrop of sex offender registration laws, the conversation takes an abrupt turn.  Rather than differentiating between adult and juvenile offenders, federal sex offender registration laws require juveniles convicted of certain sex offenses to face the same onerous registration and notification burdens as their adult counterparts.

Tracking the shift in sex offender registration models from “likely to reoffend” to “conviction-based" assessment, this article argues that “conviction-based” assessment is an unstable proposition when applied to child offenders for two fundamental reasons. First, juvenile offenders lack intentionality and purpose that adult offenders possess, thereby diminishing the value that a conviction carries.  Further, and more importantly, studies reveal that the commission of juvenile sex crimes does not portend future predatory behavior, raising the question of the purpose of registration for this class of offenders.

Ultimately, the legislative push to require juvenile sex offenders to suffer serious register and notification burdens demonstrates convincingly the pitfall that impacts the entire debate over sex offender registration.  Emotional rhetoric controls the legislative agenda, even in the face of compelling arguments to the contrary.

March 27, 2013 at 08:33 PM | Permalink


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There's a simple reason it's happening. The average american politician is a two-faced lieing sack of shit!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 28, 2013 12:10:07 AM

Intention and purpose.
In this day and age of porn downloading to your computer from "share files" that you were not techo-savey to even know about, it seems that not only juveniles but adults as well should be given the benefit of doubt when considering whether they must register as a sex offender. So many of those convicted for child porn had no clue that when looking at adult porn from a share file, whatever was in that sharefile is now in your computer. They had no intention or purpose of viewing child porn.
And studies show that the viewing of porn is not an accurate predictor of future predatory behaviour for juveniles or adults.
Time for Congress to get its head out of the sand and stop making mountains/sexual predators out of mole hills/unintentional viewing.

Posted by: kat | Mar 28, 2013 9:28:41 AM

kat said:

"And studies show that the viewing of porn is not an accurate predictor of future predatory behaviour for juveniles or adults."

I don't know about that kat, I am sure if a study were done, you would find that over 90% of current male federal and state legislators, the most predatory and ignorant of all indiviuals, viewed a Playboy or Penthouse back in the 60's or 70's.

Posted by: albeed | Mar 28, 2013 9:58:38 AM

\\ "TN Bill: would allow the use of a DNA profile to stop the 8 year Statute of Limitations for Rapes
from applying when law enforcement has identified a suspect through DNA but have not been able to make an arrest." //

Won't everyone support this? Even for the independents:

on the one hand, you have:
* greater certainty of innocence and guilt,
* more likely resolution for the victimised, &
* strengthened ability to deter crime and to protect the public;

on the other hand you have:
** less certainty of escape from justice for actual rapists,
** less likely liberty for actual rapists to re-offend, & a
** weaker ability to wrongly investigate or prosecute.

[The ACLU of Tennessee is suspiciously mum about the Bill thus far. Consider before you donate.]
~~tennessean.com, 3/27/13, aclu-tn.org/

Sign the "I Stand for Reproductive Freedom in Tennessee" Petition
Oppose Making Public Schools Into Sunday Schools
Stop Racial Profiling of Tennessee's Immigrants .....xoxoxox..... Get ACLU-TN Alerts!

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 28, 2013 3:03:34 PM

NO adamakis we won't . sorry but the SOL exists for a reason. Now if it said it froze the SOL in the case of a DNA match where they KNOW the attacker. No problem. But just a blank...not a chance.

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 28, 2013 8:27:03 PM

My name is Mitchell from Virginia and I was a juvenile sex offender who was arrested for 14 sex charges. It was done to one person and I admit to doing my crime. I was sentenced to Juvenile Life and I was released on good behavior. I completed a sex offender program while incarcerated for three years. It was the first time I was in trouble at all in my life (legally). I myself was abused twice by two different people. So I pose these questions:
Was it fair to be sentenced that hard for the first time?
Does a persons history have any affect on there future?
Have we become so heartless and so blind to people being hurt and abused that it doesn't matter the juveniles background?
And are we willing to destroy there futures?
It took me three and a half months to find a job that would hire a juvenile sex offender on the Sex Offenders Registry.
Is it fair that everyday I have to live with having people looking at me like I'm lesser a person for what I did and knowing that I messed up makes it worse?

Posted by: Mitchell | Jul 13, 2013 3:51:54 AM

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