By Shana Rowan - December 21, 2012 Boston Globe Opinion Article
The recent arrest of John Burbine, a Level 1 registered sex offender charged with molesting 13 babies and toddlers, has understandably ignited the emotions of Massachusetts residents.
Does publicly posting names of convicted sex offenders actually reduce the number of sexual offenses?
America has a lot of harsh laws against sex offenders that shame and banish this unpopular group. Miami sends them to live in the swamps with the poisonous snakes and boa constrictors. Georgia bars them from living or working within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop. Pretty much the whole state is off limits for employment or domicile. California bans them from living in just about any of the cities. Those laws are under serious legal challenge, and the Georgia bus stop code is on hold pending the outcome of a marathon lawsuit that started six years ago. But slightly less draconian limits remain in force.
Book Review by Phil Horner
Roger Lancaster’s book, Sex Panic and the Punitive State (University of California Press, 2011) is part scholarly treatise, part impassioned polemic on the dysfunctional relationship between sexuality, fear and punishment in modern America.