08 August 2009

When a law does more harm than good: America's unjust sex laws

This week The Economist told us how a law could do more harm than good.

In the country we all naively look upon as the role model, sex-offender registries are published online. The registries show not only the names, but the pictures of the sex-offenders and child-molesters.

So parents will know if any of them is around their neighbourhood.

The law and the registry system start to ridicule themselves soon after. Teenagers, who had consensual sex before they're legally allowed to, could be put on the registries. They're labelled as "sex offenders" for life. People don't care what they did, but would think that all of them on the registries are rape murderers.

In some states, these offenders on the list are banned from playgrounds, where children go, for life. Their own children in turn suffer with them. As the Pub shared with you earlier, the law also created a camp of homeless people living in squalor in Miami.

No politician dare say anything about this nonsense. They would only support more punishments which do not fit the crime, because people enjoy marginalising the "immoral".

The moral of this story is, with populist politicians, there is bound to be unjust laws.

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