Saturday, September 4, 2010

Are "unintended consequences" REALLY "unintended?"

"I think this is a clear example of an unintended consequence, which can occur when we go beyond what we call police protocol when handling sex offenders. I understand the concern of parents for their children. But we must not allow hysteria to take place."-- Marion County, Florida Sheriff Ed Dean, responding to the suicide of a handicapped Former Offender after flyers picturing him with the words “CHILD RAPIST” printed in big bold letters were plastered all over the community

I am always hearing the term "unintended consequences" in many articles about the pitfalls of overbroad sex offender legislation, but I wonder if the people who have used this term really understand the term "unintended consequences."

"My intent personally is to make it so onerous on those that are convicted of these offenses . . . they will want to move to another state." -- Georgia House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R)

"Is there anything left we can do to sex offenders with a few days left in the session?" -- Louisiana State Rep. Danny Martiny, R-Metairie, during the closing days of a 2006 legislative session

If Georgia passes laws to make living "onerous" and they are conscious of the fact, then the consequences are not "unintended." When a Louisiana state senator half-jokingly muses if we can find ways to destroy the lives of people who have completed their sentences, that is not unintentional. When a state passes residency restrictions knowing they have Iowa's problems as an example beforehand, or they pass the Adam Walsh Act knowing Ohio's problems implementing the laws, that is not unintentional.

Let me illustrate "unintentional consequences," because the concept seems to elude politicians.

In the span of a month, I have experienced both the death of one of my loved ones and the break-up of a two year long relationship which compelled me to move.

The grieving process over losing a loved one is my first exhibit. While in the process of grieving, I was also in charge of the arrangements. I also wrote the obituary. However, because I was afraid vigilantes would disrespect my loved one's memory or use the info to attack my living loved ones, I completely omitted myself from the obituary. That was also the week one of those local mug shot newspapers decided to feature me, and one of my neighbors were quick to mention it to my now ex-fiancee. Then the car broke down in Nashville when I went to pick up a traveler to the funeral, and my mind raced to thoughts of having to show my ID card with "Criminal Sex Offender" in bright red letters to an officer or repair man in a place far from home. Each of those experiences were examples of "unintended consequences." Or are they?

The second exhibit is my break-up with my long time fiancee. There were many reasons for the break-up, but a major aggravating factor is my status as a sex offender. Because she has a child, we cannot live together. For nearly two years, we lived a "double life." Our days revolved around trying to see each other as much as possible while spending as little time with her child as possible, not because I was a risk, but because of paranoia brought on by nosy neighbors. Busybodies abound in rural America. Once we broke up, tasks as simple as returning unwanted mementos of the broken relationship take on new dimensions. As an RSO, you're always suspect of being a threat, despite never showing aggression. It becomes a weapon to use against you. The neighbors stare and whisper, watching that "dangerous sex offender" being hassled by the police for doing nothing more than returning unwanted mementos to its rightful order in neatly stacked boxes. I wish to say those were unintended, but then I reflect upon the events of that day and ask myself it it was truly "unintentional?"

If I committed suicide, would that be an "unintended consequence?" I wonder if that is really what those who pass these laws against me intended for me to do.

I hardly think the impact of these laws are "unintentional." Unconsidered, possibly, but not unintended. The intent of tough sex offender laws is to make life as miserable as possible. It is not about child safety, or about reducing sex crimes, it is about causing the maximum amount of pain upon those who made mistakes. There is nothing "unintended" about that!

I see no changes wake up in the morning and I ask myself
is life worth living should I blast myself? -- 2Pac from the song "Changes"

2 comments:

  1. You're wrong as always, Clay Keys/ T-Sand/ Roar For Truth. You're always too busy condemning others and acting holier-than-thou and that is partly why I have absolutely no like nor respect for your opinion. While you're busy sucking up to AZU they're laughing at you. You honestly think attacking me or Mary has truly earned their respect? That idiot Logue Hater clown sure didn't respect you.

    If anyone needs professional help, it is you. You've spent almost two years now attacking RSO activists over some stupid slight to you that occurred years ago and I wasn't even around then. For you to revel in the suffering of others is something of great concern to me, because it is a sign of relapse. You really need to work on your empathy. You have bully tendencies, and that attitude will only backfire in the end.

    You say we "bring it upon ourselves" but you are seriously in denial. You've put a lot of crazy self online over the years as a result of frustration over these laws. Now you think by sucking up to AZU and act holier-than-thou online, you project your own self-loathing on to others to make yourself feel better. Stop trying to talk like you're a better man, because you are not.

    Lest you forget, the deciding factor in my decision to become an activist was because I did everything society wanted me to do, I was working and paying my rent, keeping to myself, and obeying all the laws, then they changed the laws and took it all away from me. Just because you follow all the laws and do what is expected of you does not guarantee they won't fuck with you later on. You should know better than anyone. I just got tired of being bullied by arbitrary laws, that is why I fight. I would rather I didn't have to. The day is coming when these laws will affect us far worse than they are now. You've done a very good job of alienating yourself. Who would want to help you when that day comes?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Clay Keys, your comment does not get published because you stole my picture and use it to try to assassinate my character. You are wasting your time commenting on my blog because I will never publish your comments. First of all, I will always believe in abolishing the registry because I have seen the harm they cause. I have a right to live where I want and date who I want. I served my time, that is enough. The only reason you don't agree publicly is because you're a sad sack of shit that gets your jollies watching others suffer. But just remember when Florida increases residency laws, it will be YOUR head on the chopping block, and not one person will give a fuck about your plight.

    ReplyDelete