Defending Perverts: LA Times Doom Spiral Continues
For whatever reason, the LAT chose to make its Sunday opinion section a forum for a hand-wringer about how badly sex offenders are being treated by the legal system. Really.
Written by a Columbia psych prof (Richard Kreuger) and titled, The new American witch hunt, it calls today's laws against sex offenders "mindless" and thinks it would be better if most sex offenders were able to re-assimilate annonymously into society. Here's a typical passage:
These days, the pendulum continues to swing further toward the punitive end of the spectrum, with ever more draconian sentencing and post-release conditions. Under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection Act, signed into law by President Bush in July, all sex offenders will be listed on the Internet, making information on offenders, regardless of whether they belong to a low-, medium- or high-risk category, publicly accessible; this includes people, for example, whose only crime is the possession of child pornography.Since when did possession of child pornography become something we should readily accept into our community? Krueger is probably one of those enlightened individuals who thinks you can fantasize to child pornography day and night and never hatch the idea to actually turn the fantasy into reality.
He also discounts any thought that Internet porn and societal promiscuity are having any effect on the incidence of sexual crime. How can he say that? Well, because it's all the media's fault!
Why has this demonization occurred? One reason is that offenders are hot news, and the more heinous the sexual crime, the more the media focus on it.Got it. Krueger does correctly point out that there is a difference between a child raper and a guy who just exposes himself to children. But he sees the difference as one of danger to society while most of us just see it as a difference in time: The exposer hasn't had enough time yet to become a full-blown rapist.
Kreuger uses the LAT to promote his idea of treatment instead of incarceration. Do we detect a bit of self-serving here? The guy's a clinical psychiatrist focusing on sex and he wants more treatmetn for predators! He scoffs at GPS controls as being too expensive, but doesn't bother to point out that paying him and his fellows will cost much more, with greater risk of failure.
Any sane newspaper would have scanned this op/ed and launched it towards the trash can, but not the LAT. No, it saw Krueger's piece as an opportunity to crawl out even further on the weak and trembling liberal limb, taking a position only those too intellectually advanced to think clearly could take.