Sex offenses are among the most hated and reviled crimes in American law
books. As such, we often apply very strict punishments on those convicted of
sex crimes. In particular, those convicted of sex crimes in Maryland are placed on
the Sex Offender Registry – a public list of people who have been
convicted of sex offenses in the past. The Registry contains the person’s
name, address and criminal history.
The Sex Offender Registry is somewhat unique as a consequence for a crime.
For one thing, it relies upon public shaming as a punishment – people
on the list are often treated with prejudice, even after they’ve
served their prison time and probation. Whether public shaming should
be included as a punishment is the subject of no small controversy.
The Sex Offender Registry also applies a number of strict restrictions
on the activities and actions of registered sex offenders. In Maryland,
for example, a registered sex offender cannot enter a child-care facility
without explicit permission. The same goes for schools. These laws, intended
to protect children, can land a sex offender in big trouble if they are violated.
Such was the case for a Maryland man, who was arrested earlier this week
after he was found at a high school soccer game. The 67-year-old man was
in the school’s stadium without explicit permission. It is not clear
whether the man had any relatives playing in the game.
The man was convicted 12 years ago of second-degree unlawful sexual contact.
He was released after this most recent arrest on a $10,000 bond.
The punishments for sex offenders reflect the seriousness with which society
regards the charges. In addition to lengthy amounts of jail time and probation,
registration on the Sex Offender Registry often lasts for decades. However,
every defendant has the right to a fair and balanced trial, as well as
the right to appeal an unfavorable verdict.
WBOC-TV, “Registered Md. Sex Offender Caught on School Grounds” Mitra Zolfaghari, Oct. 02, 2013