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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Message in a needle

One value of the death penalty is that it lets society say what it will not tolerate. Like this:

AUSTIN - Backers of a Senate bill to toughen punishment for child-sex offenders said they've reached a deal that would permit the death penalty for offenders who repeatedly prey on children.

The compromise bill, which was distributed to Senate members on Tuesday, would allow the death penalty only for those twice convicted of raping a child 13 or younger. It also boosts mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of sex crimes against children.


Sun, 04/22/2007 - 6:11pm

The political solution of identifying and controlling sex crime offenders (which could include indecent exposure misdemeanors) through registration and publication of names, addresses and pictures flies in the face of the individual protection of the freedoms afforded to mentally disturbed individuals such as the Virginia Tech gunman, Cho Seung Hui. Authorities were not inclined or unable to jail this person who showed all the symptoms of being a danger to himself and others.

When do individual rights trump those of the public as a whole? The Bill of Rights grants freedom of speech but falsely yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater is a no-no.

Laws need to be reasonable and sensible to be effective. The sex offender legislation is over the top. If given the choice, would you prefer to know that a sex offender lives next door or would you rather know that your neighbor is a killer or a thief? If you prefer to know about sex offenders, great, but what about those folks who could endanger your life or your property?