Smart Links 07 January 2013

Crime and punishment for ‘sexually dangerous persons’ in the United States.

I worked my way through my early years of university, until I learned how to win scholarships, by working in bars as a disc jockey. The places I worked in made it very good sense to be on good terms with the bouncers as hiding behind the disc jockey turntables when customers 'went wild' was not always optimal.

Along with Bill Brown who had been hit so many times that his nose was flat to his face the other person who had my back was ‘Big George’ who had a beard and hair down about a foot past his chin, looked like a Volkswagen on stilts, and moved like a gazelle. Big George had spent about 3 years in prison for armed robbery and had shone a little light on his time in jail from time to time.

One day in the summer of 1997 having just seen the movie Short Eyes I asked Big George why the other prisoners hated child molesters so much. 

He bristled and said something like ‘it was disgusting that those perverts were mixed in with the general population’, to which I replied ‘well you all broke the law so what’s the difference?’


Big George gave me a hard stare and said, ‘you are lucky I like you, go figure it out’.

This important article is about how sexually dangerous persons are identified, tried, and punished in the United States.

It is wrenching to read.

New Yorker -- The Science of Sex Abuse
Is it right to imprison people for heinous crimes they have not yet committed?


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The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

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