It’s been a long time coming. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on June 3rd in a 5-1 vote that part of the Adam Walsh Act is unconstitutional. The decision rules against 2 provisions in the Act that was passed in Ohio in 2007, which go against the ‘separation pf powers’ doctrine of the United States Constitution. This is very important people, that despite our political climate in 2010, that there are still people in government who have some sense, and a head on their shoulders.
“Why is this a good thing?”, you ask, “sex offenders are horrible people and should be castrated physically and shunned from society!”
Let me direct your way of thinking here, do you realize that the way the law works today that anybody and everybody is one accusation away from being listed as a sex offender. Before the Adam Walsh act was passed the offenders classification was left up to the overseeing judge of the criminal trial, allowing them to assess a persons risk. A kid in high school who has sex consensually with another student should not be classified as a “Sexual Predator” for the remainder of their life. The Adam Walsh act is wrong to retroactively apply new classifications and restrictions on people, a change in sentence is not remedial – EVER – it is punitive, how many times has a law been enacted which changed a persons sentence for the better?
It’s like – going to jail, getting out because its time to get out, and then the next day, someone picks you up to say ‘You have to go to jail because you committed this crime’, serving a sentence all over again. Is that “Just”…hardly.
Sure there are people out there with a mental illness, people who really are sick, and the statistics for recidivism scientifically explains just that. What those statistics also show, is that there are literally thousands of people nationwide that are being added to this list and classified beyond what they deserve.
This is not about having a bleeding heart for people suffering from injustices in the law. It’s about the foundations of equality and justice this country was built on. It’s about ensuring that people are judged and sentenced fairly, morally, and fitting to the crime.
For more information on this ruling and to get informed on sex offenders and sexually oriented laws check out: