Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Unintended Consequences and [Insert the Name] Laws

I noted a nice post yesterday that Corey Rayburn Yung had put up regarding how Jacob Wetterling’s mom, of Jacob’s Law and sex registry fame, had concluded that unintended consequences had followed the passage of that law that were actually counterproductive to the goals. Today, Corey has another good post along the same line, only this time regarding the negative consequences of the Adam Walsh Act. It’s hard not to want to just lash out and hurt things when something horrific happens to someone you love, but it’s like how you put your fist through a wall or start hurling things around a room (not that I’ve ever done that). At some point, no matter how good it felt at the time, you’re going to have to clean up your mess and fix things back. Will we ever get to the point where we realize we need to do something better than screw up the drywall to start with?

[For a case that combines ex post facto punishment and the validity of pleas that wouldn’t have been taken had the punishment after completion of sentence been known at the time of the plea, endangerment of the offender’s innocent family members, and strong reactions to shaming as a sanction resulting from Jacob’s Law, you’d be hard pressed to find a better one than this case now being appealed in ME.]

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