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Opening Arguments

For the children

What is "visual sexual aggression," you ask? Well, it's "peering" at children in public, which could get you in trouble in Maine:

Under the bill, if someone is arrested for viewing children in a public place, it would be a Class D felony if the child is between 12 to 14 years old and a Class C felony if the child is under 12, according to Alexander.

I can think of just a few objections to this approach, including the difficulty of differentiating between plain, old normal "looking" and "peering" with evil intent. And that pesky Constitution would probably be violated.

In the meantime, the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up the issue of whether a state can execute someone for the rape of a child:

In 1977, the Supreme Court said states cannot execute anyone for the rape of an adult. But the high court did not address the rape of a child.

The last time someone in the U.S. was executed for something other than murder was in 1964, when a man went to the electric chair in Alabama for robbery. That same year, a man in Missouri went to the gas chamber in what was the last time someone in this country was put to death for rape.

Louisiana is the only state with someone on death row for rape of an adult or child. In fact, it has two people awaiting execution for child rape. At least five other states — Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas — have similar laws.

The "peering" law pretty clearly goes too far, but I have mixed feelings about the death penalty for child rape. Those particular criminals are at least as despicable as murderers, but the possibility of unintended consequences should be considered. Anytime there is the death penalty for anything short of murder, one likely outcome is the creation of even more murder victims. As the story notes, what's the criminal got to lose?


Harl Delos
Tue, 04/15/2008 - 12:14pm

When my (late) first wife was working at Parkview, I sometimes picked her up after work. If I got there early, I would look through the window at the new babies.

But then, when I was a kid, my parents used to take me to Baer Field, where we would go up to the observation deck and watch the airplanes take off and land.

I suppose I should register somewhere, but I'm not sure whether they should categorize me as a visual sexual agressor, or a visual terrorist. Maybe I should just save them the trouble, and commit suicide.

Oh, there are laws preventing visual offenders from buying guns? Sigh. I guess I will have to kill myself with a bomb, taking all my neighbors with me. That's a lot of unnecessary "collateral damage" but at least they keep the guns out the hands of people that shouldn't have them - people who like to smile at kids and see them smile back.