Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Press Release from the National RSOL

                                                                                                       Cambridge, Mass.

For Immediate Release...
July 26, 2010
Contact: Jennifer Van Waes

Fox News Hosts Discussion of Sex Offender Laws

Cambridge, Mass.— July 26, 2010   Today, Fox News program “Fox and Friends” missed a golden opportunity for a meaningful dialogue and debate on the effectiveness of our current laws dealing with sex offenders.  The program brought together Mark Lunsford, father of Jessica Lunsford who was murdered in 2005 at age 9 by a convicted sex offender, and Kelly Piercy, head of “Georgians for Sex Reform,” an affiliate of National Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL).
Mr. Lunsford, who was instrumental in legislation known as the Jessica Lunsford Act, campaigned tirelessly in a successful effort to make more stringent not only the tracking and monitoring of registered sex offenders but also the sentencing of them.  At that point, it became a snowball that didn’t stop rolling, the result being that over 700,000 individuals, the overwhelming majority of whom are not predatory, violent, or putting communities at risk, are now on the registry with thousands more being added yearly.

Mr. Piercy, who was convicted of possession of child pornography, spent time in prison.  During that time, he requested and successfully completed treatment.  Since being released, he has worked tirelessly to reform laws that research has shown to be ineffective in protecting children.  Current laws are not only ineffective but have put our children more at risk, said Mr. Piercy. Due to the efforts of his organization, Georgia’s Supreme Court recently struck down some laws as unconstitutional.  The length of time some former offenders are required to register was an issue that was addressed in this action.
If the producers of “Fox and Friends” had seen fit to devote more than four minutes to this “debate,” the potential for the emergence of meaningful information would have been much greater.  As it transpired, Lunsford’s greatest contribution to the dialogue was a statement that “…never in the history of mankind has anyone (a sex offender) been reformed.”  Piercy rebutted,  “Treatment for the first time offender is highly effective.”  This is borne out by study after study, (Human Rights Watch, p.2; Iowa Sex Offender Research Council, p.7) and Mr. Piercy was surprised that Mr. Lunsford was unfamiliar with the studies.

Mr. Piercy stated that reform of the laws is essential in order to “…make communities safer and protect our children….” When asked what he thought Georgia should do, Mr. Lunsford said not to change anything and indicated that if a problem arose with unconstitutional laws, they should be handled individually in a courtroom.  The clog on our court system that would result from this strategy staggers the mind. 

RSOL wishes to thank Fox News for presenting this opportunity for a fair and neutral exchange of opposing ideas on this very sensitive topic.  For more information about RSOL, please visit the national website

Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL), founded in 2006, is a consortium of state affiliate  chapters whose purpose is to promote the prevention of sexual abuse while preserving the safety and dignity of all citizens through carefully structured laws targeting the truly violent, forced, and/or dangerous predatory acts of sex. RSOL believes that many aspects of the current approach to sex offenders seriously undermine justice and actually increase the threat of sexual assault against others, particularly children. RSOL opposes a publicized registry of sex offenders and seeks to bring an end to the humiliation of people who have already paid for their crimes. RSOL asserts that only by supporting justice for all people—offenders and victims alike can a truly safe society be built and secured for all Americans.

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