Rights v Right?

The main news in the UK yesterday centered around the story that following a ruling by The Supreme Court, Sex Offenders will have the right to appeal to have their name taken off The Sex Offenders register. (15 years following their release from prison)

Last year, the court decided that putting sex offenders on the register for life without a right of appeal was “disproportionate”.

Judges said they should be allowed to prove they had changed.

See the full article here: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Sex-Offenders-To-Get-Right-To-Appeal-Being-On-Sex-Register-For-Life-Theresa-May-Speaks-In-Commons/Article/201102315932225?f=rss

This news has been met with mixed reactions obviously, ranging from the “‘what about the rights of the victims?” to “you’ve done your time…”

The focus here seems to be the issue relating to the type of sex offence committed originally (it had to have carried at least a 30 month sentence) and the age of the offender. Many are referring to the case of the 11 year old boy who is now obviously much older and believes that being on the register is preventing him leading an ordinary life, for a crime he committed whilst a minor.

There is no proof that a cure or rehabilitation exists for the perpetrators of such crimes; and therefore, many are saying that they will still pose a risk to society and go on to re-offend. The rate of re-offence is actually quite low (compared to other crimes) at 25%, but people believe that being on the register is a deterrent against re-offence.

Is that the case? Does being on a list, stop a paedophile or rapist going out and doing it all again once released? Should people convicted of these crimes have the right to an appeal?

As mentioned in an earlier post, lesser crimes are sometimes committed at an early age that lead to more serious ones, so is the argument for minors/younger offenders valid or would leaving them on the register help to prevent the seriousness of their crimes escalating?

Is the 18 year old from Wigan (who raped a six year old boy when 11) now no longer a sexual predator, thanks to his time in jail, that the public don’t need to be wary of  or is he a monster in waiting?

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2 Comments

  1. Ellie

     /  February 17, 2011

    What a good post.

    Reply

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