Sex Offenders Essay
What should Attorney General Abca do about the federal requirements placed on sex offenders? Other issues present in this scenario Include: The Ethical contrast between protecting the community and the violation of the offenders constitutional rights that are deemed necessary to protect the community. For Example mandatory housing requirements such distances and locations infringe on a litany of given rights such as the rights to choose where you live, where you work,your privacy, access to family and many other rights that can be circumstantially violated by housing laws. Further ethical ramifications can be seem when evaluating information reporting and housing bans because it forces many offenders underground or into homelessness, which intern can increase offenses and limit law enforcement from keeping track of dangerous individuals. The same is true of bans for sexual offenders on social networking sites which clearly violate their first amendment rights and can unconstitutionally limit communication with friends and family.
Another ethical issue present is the possible detention of sexual offenders in jail after their sentence has been served. This clearly is unlawful not only because it puts the offender in Habeas Corpus limbo similar to detainees held at prisons like Guantanamo bay with out trial, but it also creates a double jeopardy where the offender is in essence being punished for the same crime. The holding of a offender without a retrial and without a system of proof to establish if the offender has committed a crime warranting further incarceration is clearly unethical. The mere speculation that the offender might commit a crime chalks up to nothing more than some sort of draconian thought crime at best and is not punishable under law. Another ethical issue stems from the federal laws that basically force states to implement offender restrictions or lose law enforcement funding. This is again an ethical contrast between the rights of the people to be protected by the law and the rights of the offender being violated to sustain that protection. Only in this case the rights of the people are not in risk unless the state does not violate the offenders rights by not upholding the federal law.
This Link clearly points out the gaping flaws in the current system as well as the unethical standards that still failed to protect Jaycee Dugard from a convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido for over 18 years. This Quote from the article best exemplifies its ethical relevance. “His case is a reminder that the solutions to sexual predation are not solutions at all, but frustratingly inadequate, and often ethically and legally murky, tools.” From this article I have learned that the system of processing and keeping track of sexual Offenders is not only in many ways unethical but consistently fails to stop actual sexual predation.
This Article Points out the destructive unethical nature of federal requirements against reformed sexual offenders. In the article it points out many of the general negative downfalls of requirements for sexual offenders as well as the specific story of David DenAdel and how the housing requirements are destroying his life.From this article I was able to see how many of the protective measures fail to reduce predation and in many cases unethically put offenders in closer proximity to childernShare Holders Continue with Current Sexual Offender Restrictions
Remove All Restrictions After Sentence is Served
Remove or Lessen Only Housing Restrictions
Use Alternative Treatment Methods
Rights are restored however w/o treatment repeat becomes more likely Sexual offenders are still robbed of there rights/ Increased offences Restores the ability to live in society/still restricted in other ways Best option for reducing repeat crime/does not deal with ethical restrictions and possibly increase the rate of sexual predation.
This Article points out the basic rules and requirements of a sex offender living with in a community. Many of the restrictions are direct infringements of constitutional rights such as the first and second amendments. When reading this article it became apparent to me just how restricted of a life many of these individuals live and I was shocked by the number of constitutional rights that where infringed upon.
I believe the best consequential theory to use in regards to the ethical dilemma facing Attorney General Abac is the theory of rule utilitarianism. One of the major proponents of Rule Utilitarianism John Stuart Mills states “The corollaries from the principle of utility, like the precepts of every practical art, admit of indefinite improvement, and, in a progressive Potential Victims Victims continue to suffer as conditions force offenders underground Allows for proper reintegration and tracking lessens risk of repeat Without proper treatment the removal of all restrictions could be detrimental Greatly reduces risk for repeat or continued abuse
Attorney General Abca
Abca will continue to receive scrutiny from human rights activists Abac may look soft on crime, but rates of offence will drop
Abac could solve a major ethical problem and make the system a little fairer Abac may look soft on crime, rates of offence my increase criticism Society as a Whole
Offenders gain rights back but safety as a whole suffers
Society Benefits Since offenders are less likely to repeat offences Society benefits and is able to better track and accommodate the problem Society will continue to suffer and rates of offence will increase state of the human mind, their improvement is perpetually going on.” Meaning continued human progress should coincide with the utilitarian rule implemented. Rule Utilitarianism differs from Act Utilitarianism because act utilitarianism is limited to one single action that has the greatest good for all While rule utilitarianism promotes the greatest good for all through time or a set rule.
In this way Rule Utilitarianism can be used to create Utilitarian laws to resolve many of the ethical problems regarding the restrictions against sexual offenders. For instance a law passed that restricted a 2500 square feet buffer zone down to 1000 around most public building where potential victims would exemplify rule utilitarianism. This would still keep potential victims safe while also allowing convicted sexual offenders to get housing. This would also progressively keep offenders from going under ground due to lack of housing and would keep them in the system reporting to parole officers and other watchdog groups.
A Non-Consequential theory that I believe best applies to this ethical situating is the rule of Natural Law. Natural law is described as the innate rights we have upon coming into the world like the right to protect ourselves and our property. These rights are not given to us by government religion or ruling body’s but rather are imbued upon us when we are born into the natural world. In regards to natural law The ancient philosopher Alkibiades stated to his fellow states man Xenophon that it created was not governments that created laws because if it was them that truly created law it it would be “not law, but merely force”.
Natural Law applies to this modern ethical dilemma of restrictions on sexual offenders because in this case the law of man is in this case infringing upon natural rights. For example the ban on sexual offenders that prevents them from owning a firearm can be seen as a bar against the natural right to protect ones self. This goes both ways however because when natural law is applied to society the natural right for society to protect itself from sexual predators can be see as the right to prevent sexual predators from having weapons such as guns that can society. However I believe natural law in this case holds greater precedence with the individual and thus restricting certain rights of offenders can be seen as crimes against natural law.
I believe that the most ethical way to resolve this situation would be to increase alternative forms of treatment and remove restrictions that prevent rehabilitated individuals from operating normally in society. when comparing the outcomes of excessive housing bans it becomes clear that they are ineffective and are causing more widespread problems than the initial problem the bans where meant to curb. I believe holding prisoners in jail after there sentence is also unethical because repeat rates are low and if alternative psychological treatment was given the offender could be successfully be rehabilitated thus creating the greatest good for all. I believe that removing all restrictions would be foolish because limited restrictions have proven effective when not taken to the extreme. There do exist entirely mentally unstable individuals and because of cases like this some preventative measures are still necessary to keep society safe.
Possible arguments against the alternative forms of treatment and decreased restrictions include
1) Higher tax payer cost for alternative forms of treatment for sexual offenders. I would argue that while alternative cost may cost more initially there is a less likely hood of a repeat offence or a chance for the offender to end up in a life time stint in jail. If repeat or in the worst case life in jail results the tax payer inevitably ends up paying more than alternative treatment would have cost. So even though initial costs would be higher for the tax pay the overall benefit if successful would greatly out way the possible negative if jail time failed. 2)Decreased restrictions means less disincentive for sexual offenders to commit crime. I would argue that the incentive is still the same for the criminal and it may in fact be even higher for repeat offences because if the offender ends up having to go underground or homeless due to restrictions the chance of them repeating raises. Also offenders that are genuinely rehabilitated receive a fairer chance in society and are less likely to be draw back to bad habits if they feel connected to normal society.
3)Alternative forms are unproven while solid jail time is sure to keep offenders off the streets. I would argue that most jail sentences are reduced and accomplish nothing other than embittering offenders. Than eventual just sending offenders back on to the streets on parole and back into the world destined to fail. Alternative treatment however deals with the root psychological issues that plague offenders and greatly reduces the chance of repeat offence.
In this assignment I learned many critical thinking skills that allowed me to incorporate concepts learned in class and apply them to my work. I also learned how to make decisions based upon a chart of shareholders and options to come up with the best utilitarian plan for all the share holders in the ethical issue. The assignment showed me that to improve my critical thinking ability I need to incorporate more perspectives into my analysis to better understand the problems. This in turn will allow me to adapt a better solution for problems by covering more aspects and potential shareholders. This assignment also showed me some of the injustices in the American criminal system in regards to sexual offenders. While I feel no pity for the crimes they committed I do feel they are being wronged in some cases when their rights are being taken away or they are kept in prison after the completion of their sentences. This assignment showed me that more psychological treatment is necessary in many cases and simply trying to keep offenders away from possible victims often causes a greater repeat rate due offenders being forced underground or into homelessness by draconian laws.