'Sex Offender Gazette' Coming to a Newsstand Near You?
I'll never poke fun at the New York Post again.
Taking the concept of "newspaper" to impressive depths, the Richland County, S.C. Sheriff's Department recently published the Lexington/Richland County Sexual Predator Offender's [sic] Listing. It's pretty much what it sounds like -- a listing of more than 850 local registered sex offenders. With pictures. Not just "made available" as required by law, but printed up on broadsheet and distributed around town.
Blawgospheric reaction was swift. Doug Berman at the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog saw a great opportunity for advertising revenue, on which Dan Filler expanded at the Faculty Lounge ("ADT: We Keep Offenders At Bay" or "Kelly's Day Care: Where Background Checks Are A Way of Life").
Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice (for whom I am leaving little notes all over my new house) is not such a fan of the concept:
While availability of the information on registered sex offenders is sufficient to make life untenable, and essentially preclude the return to a law-abiding life if that's what you thought a well-conceived sentence might accomplish, pushing this information into the hands of Tiffanys is outrageous. Obviously, one sheriff thinks this is a brilliant idea, or that its at least sufficient to win him a few friends, but if this becomes a trend, and it certainly has the potential, it's brings a bad idea to a level of insanity.
The comment thread on Greenfield's post is, as usual, good reading, with commenters coming down pretty uniformly on the side of Scott's outrage.
What do you think, readers? Is there any reason to produce such a paper beyond fearmongering and "because we can?"
Posted by Eric Lipman on September 13, 2010 at 11:53 AM | Permalink
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