Thursday, August 5, 2010

Has the Scarlet Letter Been Passed from One Persecuted Group to Another?

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First there was the Salem Witch, then there were the Communists, after that there were the gays and homosexuals, now there is the Sex Offender.  All of  them could be accused by anyone and with out evidence convicted in a court of law and sentenced, sometimes to even death.  As time trudged on, each of these stigmatized groups moved forward, fought for their equality, and some were able to move on.  In the cases of the Salem Witches, most were put to death, in the cases of Communists they were incarcerated and persecuted, with the homosexuals they were persecuted and shunned, with the Sex Offender in some states death can be a sentence even if no one has been killed and persecution follows an offender for life, with no reprieve to earn any rights or respect over again.  It would appear that our society has compounded all those groups that have been ousted from our society and applied them all to the Registered Sex Offender. 

Never in history has there been a public list so easily accessible than the Register Sex Offender lists that are online for anyone to see.  In the past if there was a registered list of any kind of offenders it would be held at law enforcement offices and only available to those personnel.  With the advances of technology and the easy access to technology have all contributed to the persecution of one solitary group of people that may or may not be guilty of the crime they have been convicted of, but due to the fear and hysteria surrounding the Registered Sex Offender, if you are accused your life for all intents and purposes is over, for an accusation is all that is needed in today's courts to garner a conviction whether it be by jury trial or entering of a plea.

What is most common amongst these groups that have been persecuted in our history is laws and regulations were created out of fear and to exert political muscle and show voters that politicians were being "tough on crime" whether that crime be towards the state, someone, or no one, it was used to help gain poll points and political stature.  Those that are in the persecuted group, pay with their lives and usually livelihoods. 

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