Monday, February 16, 2015

Are We Right to Encourage Hatred, Violence, Rape Against Sex Offenders?

Close your eyes and remember the worst thing that ever happened to you. Maybe you lost a loved one in a tragedy. Maybe you suffered a horrible accident that left you paralyzed or disabled. Or maybe you are one of the more fortunate ones, and the loss of an expensive diamond ring or the break-up with a boyfriend or girlfriend is the worst you have experienced.

Or maybe you are like Diena Thompson and suffered the almost unimaginable—the violent death of a precious child at the hands of a rapist and murderer. What kind of revenge would you have wished on her killer? What type of payback would ease your pain a little?

Jarred Harrell is right where he belongs, in prison for life for the brutal murder of little Somer in late 2009. Would that be enough for you, or would you want more payback, more revenge?

The house where Jarred had lived and Somer was murdered had fallen into disrepair and long been condemned. Earlier this month, it was burned to the ground as part of a fire-training exercise by the Orange Park, Florida, fire department—and Diena Thompson. She participated with glee, her smile described as “cathartic” by a journalist, and, according to his interview, she felt delight in the act, proclaiming herself “the big, bad wolf this time.”

I am sure there is not a one of us who does not understand her feelings.

The media is making much of this, and beyond the local level. Is this wrong? If so, why?

One answer is found in the comments posted to the comment board of one article. They range from, “He [Harrell] should have been in it,” to, “Maybe he will be getting raped for life where he is. Wouldn't that make you feel better? And when he is 80 and some young 25 y/o comes in and rapes him and the guards ignore his screams, that will be part of justice.”  

No, that will be part of something that has no place in justice. That is part of vigilantism. That is as much a part of evil as that which Jarred Harrell committed. What irony it is that, in a protest against sexual violence, one wishes for more sexual violence to be committed.

The journalist who wrote that article and played up the joy that Diena experienced in her metaphoric act of vengeance knew that comments would be of that nature, as did the media outlet that published it, as did other journalists and outlets that wrote and published like stories, and they are many.

The harm is more than just giving vigilantes a platform from which to spew their hatred, ignorance, and violence. There are, according to fairly difficult-to-gather figures, somewhere over 700,000 men, women, and children registered as sex offenders in our nation. A scant handful have come near the atrocities that Harrell visited upon Somer, but the vigilante mentality is unable to process that.  To those determined to hate, stories such as this are all of the justification they require to continue the hatred, to refuse to believe the facts, to demand with every opportunity the harshest possible consequences to everyone on the registry because, you see, they all molested children; they are all rapists and destroyers of innocent young lives, and if they haven’t murdered yet, well, just give them time because they will all do it again and will probably kill their next victims.

They are undeterred by the facts that give lie to these spurious statements.

So the questions remain: Are we right to encourage hate and violence against sex offenders? Does it really help those in pain heal? And the biggest question of all, in a paraphrase of an old cliche: Does an eye-for-an-eye make the world a safer, better place to live—or just a blind one? Or, in this case, a raped one? 

6 comments:

  1. A while back there were TV commercials sponsoring different campaigns. I don't know if they still run now but one of them was "Erase the Hate". The problem is as it is with all sex offenses is that Man is fearful for the sex offender. I would much rather fear God than the sex offender. Now I could preach to you about a perverse nation and other things but I won't as I think you get the idea. As far as those that take out there vengeance on others those would be just as guilty or just as guilty. Its common to man to want to do harm to others that have did harm but those who do have a weak mind. On a serious not, man does not under their own Nature of the Beast.
    While some do foolish things like that its not acceptable but man in his own wisdom think it is acceptable.

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  2. """A scant handful have come near the atrocities that Harrell visited upon Somer,""

    obviously you haven't looked at your registry lately or scanned a "block parole" website..

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  3. Looking at the registry does not tell you what they really did. It doesn't tell you they peed in an alley at 2 am in the morning, that they were 1 year older than their high school sweetheart and had sex, that they were two people having consensual sex in a not so private as they thought place, that they were harassed by the FBI pretending to be a teenager in an adult only chat room for weeks until they finally agreed to a meetup and were arrested the second they showed up though they had not touched anyone at that point or done anything to show sex was the only thing in their mind and only reason they would have shown up, etc.

    What does the registry really mean when the very rich, politicians, police, judges, DAs, and their friends all manage to keep off the registry for doing the exact same mistakes?

    Lastly, if a crime is wrong for one individual, it is wrong for all including vigilantes. Wishing sexual assault or murder on anyone or approving of such actions is wrong period. Where once upon a time victims had no rights, now they are being given far too much to allow them vengeance which is mine sayeth the Lord. I found the comments on the article mentioned completely disgusting and don't understand why a young man is being prosecuted for posting two stupid emoticons on Facebook while all those vile and explicit commenters are still walking around.

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  4. NO ; the worst of a punishment is to live with the wrong doing for the rest of ones life .
    The most thing that is never brought to peoples attention is when incarcerated everyone is equal, serving their time, and protecting those on the out side from committing instinctive actions of revengeful powers thought to be justified, also within prison walls . Its more a mental illness when the children are so young . Thats the tragedy that fears us all with words like sex offender, rape and the level system .
    When the word teen is used all tho still children in the case of the brooklyn MC donalds violence, but children having babies at 14 years old, where is laura ahearn and megans law and who is the offender farther no matter the age should all be on the sex offender registry .
    And to include homeland securties with a 14 year old female child on board an airplane crossing state borders .
    This is when parents for megans law should be investigated and be refused funds from homeland securities, at this point they are only essentials with todays technologies .
    Troubled kids ? Troubled system troubled world . This is not hate, this is not revenge, this a comment of mis management, lack of parenting and common sense .
    Time for the polliticions to stop using sex offeder fear for votes and grant money, let the police do their job .

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  5. CLIMB ON BOARD EVERYONE – THE TIME IS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It HAS begun and now the registry MUST GO!
    Here is you official chance to take your stand and take it down! 

    The WAR Admin Team AND our Class Action Core Team are proud to announce that we will begin work this week on two law suits to be filed at the federal level this fall. That’s right – two of them!

    The first is on behalf of registered sex offenders and the second on behalf of families and friends of registered sex offenders.

    The challenges will be against SORNA and the impact to the registrant families, which has been verified and documented by researchers. Also, the public impact will be defined in an upcoming survey being developed with the assistance of Professor Crysanthi Leon of the University of Delaware.

    Even though these laws were mandated at the Congressional level then enacted to varying degrees by the state legislatures, we will be asking the court to rule on “the law” thus removing the manner in which legislators have purported to keep children safe – punitive punishment for registrants and families. It is time to take the issue out of the state legislators hands and campaigns and place it firmly in front of the supreme courts.

    The concept of filing based on the collateral damage experienced by those who seek to provide positive support at re-entry and thereafter will gather steam and provide a more assertive approach than is being used today.

    Please consider this your invitation to visit our website where you will instantly see the announcement as well as the opportunity for participation. We have also listed some Frequently Asked Questions to help answer as many immediate questions as possible.

    http://www.womenagainstregistry.com

    Join the ‘Movers and Shakers’ in these law suits.

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  6. No because regardless of what they may or may have not done they are still people. As the wife of a man accused by my daughter's of sexual assault I can't determine what our future holds because he has not been convicted but my heart doesn't believe he is the monster they are making him out to be. This is the absolute worst spot to be in. I love my children but I also love my husband. This whole thing has taken to long already, my boys miss their dad. As for him being in jail, it makes me worry every day. He has never been a violent man. I pray every day that God fixes my family mess.

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