A while ago, I learned that libertarians consider sex offender lists to be invasions of privacy. To a certain extent, I think I agree, and I’ll return to that in a moment. First, I’d like to consider why I would disagree.
As a woman, I am statistically more likely to be a victim of some form of sexual assault. As a being with empathy, I think rapists have done something horrific, especially child rapists. With that in mind, putting rapists on a list and forcing them to identify themselves so they are less likely to find new victims sounds like a great idea!
However, nothing is ever that simple. Many people on the sex offender list are not guilty or even convicted of rape. Some people are wrongfully convicted, and I don’t mean just of rape.
There’s no distinguishing the “offender” convicted as a child or teenager with low risk of repetition from the hardened criminal who should be rotting in jail.
I think sex offender lists are a pretty good idea overall, as an attempt to help keep people safe from possibly the worst of crimes one person can commit against another. I also think they are poorly executed, and should be much more restricted than they are.
What do you think?