What the Hell?


An Ohio legislative panel yesterday rubber-stamped an unprecedented process that would allow sex offenders to be publicly identified and tracked even if they've never been charged with a crime.

No, really. What the hell?

The concept was offered by Roman Catholic bishops as an alternative to opening a one-time window for the filing of civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse that occurred as long as 35 years ago.

What? The? Hell?

[The] law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit.

What the hell?

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  1. Next logical step, don’t you see? It’s for the children.

  2. Yes, but if you are innocent you have nothing to hide, right? If you are innocent, then you would gladly allow us to monitor and track your life. Only the guilty are worried about what might be found.

    And besides, who would know more about this subject than the Church? They’re only concerned about YOUR WELFARE and the welfare of YOUR CHILDREN!

  3. This (in addition to cities thinking about banning sex offenders from living there) + Imminent Smoking ban + High taxes + Nazi-like (not kidding) State Troopers = Me fleeing Ohio…very soon.

    Any suggestion as to where to move? I know it sounds dumb, but I am thinking the South.

  4. A rather brazen swipe at the 14th Amendment, no?

  5. I guess this explains why I haven’t had a date in months…

  6. Alabama + nasty winters = Ohio.

    Not completely fair to Alabama. There is probably a job opening or two in Alabama and the taxes are lower.

    Run for your life!

  7. I sorta moved to Ohio recently ( I still technically live somewhere else), and I don’t understand this place at all or why anyone lives here. I immediately noticed everything Ayn Randian mentioned. I also dont understand why there 8 or 9 different taxes, property taxes 3x what I am used to, and every 6 months there is a special election to raise property taxes for schools ( plus there is something called a “school tax”). Fortunately, I haven’t had any police encounters. Especially considering I probably do look suspicious.

  8. Move down to AZ, everyone else from the midwest seems to be doing it. We’ve got a fairly good job market down here, although I bet our housing costs are higher than Ohio. There’s a somewhat libertarian streak among many citizens, although a lot of the folks coming here from back east or from California do bring their liberal ideas along with them (not to generalise, but it certainly seems that way, since I’ve been here for over 20 years).

    Fuck it though, I’m looking at property down in Belize. Aside from the frequent hurricanes, it seems like a nice place to live. 🙂

  9. Don’t bother moving guys. This sort of thing is bound to take over. The populist appeal is just too much to resist for our smart, well-educated public servants.

    It is very doubtful, however, that it will survive legal challenge. May be for the best. Keeps the courts too busy to cause further harm.

    Jeez, it is impossible not to be cynical. Fighting it is like running into a rubber wall.

  10. Alabama + nasty winters = Ohio.

    Yes, absolutely. A perfect analogy. If only in the sense that they’re both states.

  11. Yes JD, Ohio has a nasty penchant to want to pass “X.X. mill” levy every four freakin’ months. Oh, and try saying you’re against it sometime:


    Oh yeah, and don’t forget the high cigarette/Alcohol (“vice”) taxes, the “eating in the restaurant” tax, the soda tax. Also, we have government (surprise!) too stupid to realize the implications of its policies. (Ex: Columbus bans smoking in bars. Now the City is complaining that there’s too much cigarette litter outdoors. OMG, seriously?! I never would’ve imagined that!)

    Ohio writes more tickets than California…and no, that’s not “as a percentage” or whatever, that’s just plain MORE.

    Ohio is the Joe Lieberman of the states: the worst of right and left instead of the best.

  12. Could we find one judge in Ohio who realizes what a bad law this is, and convince them to place the members of this legislative panel on the civil registry for sex offenders? We wouldn’t even need to charge them with a crime.

  13. Any judge that rules against The State will be put on the list.

    When will you people learn that resistance is futile against us? We are The State. You will obey us. You will respect us. You will fear us. You will love us.

  14. If you’re innocent, you don’t need due process.

  15. Another, related bill has also been introduced in Ohio’s General Assembly to require sex offenders to display special license plates on their vehicles, and, get this: the special plates will have a pink background. This seems more about public shaming than protecting children. What does driving a car have to do with child molestation?

    Under the other proposed law, what prevents a Democratic candidate for office from going to the Democratic DA and asking him to go before a Democratic judge to declare his Republican opponent a sex offender?

  16. If you’re civilly declared a sex offender do you get put on the sex offender list? Must you disclose to employers and landlords you’re a sex offender? If you can’t get a job or a place to live because of this, will Ohio pay your room and board? If somebody gets beaten or killed because of this, will Ohio do anything about it?

  17. “If you’re innocent, you don’t need due process”

    Because if your innocent the cops will not arrest you.

    Think of all that money we waste in having a judical system. It’s nothing but a left or right wing conspiracy.

  18. That’s OK Ethan, we already have our version of the Scarlet Letter here in the Fatherland we call Ohio. It’s called (among the snarkiest of us) the “party plate”. It’s a licensce plate that looks like New Mexico’s and it’s for certain people who have DUIs. I grant that this has more to do with cars than molestation, but it’s always bothered me just the same. And people wonder why I don’t care which mental midget wins the governorship this year; both are just as likely to support the “pink plate”.


  19. If you’re civilly declared a sex offender do you get put on the sex offender list? Must you disclose to employers and landlords you’re a sex offender? If you can’t get a job or a place to live because of this, will Ohio pay your room and board? If somebody gets beaten or killed because of this, will Ohio do anything about it?

    Yes, Yes, No, No!


  20. When I first heard about this, it seemed to be vaguely similar to police cautions issued in the U.K. People given police cautions are entered into a database of offenders without actually being convicted of an offense. Those given police cautions for sex offenses are placed on a sex offender registry that prevents them from such sensitive roles as working in schools. (I should add that the registry is not made available to the general public as a vigilante guidebook for idiots not knowing the difference between a paediatrician and a paedophile. That responsibility is left to News of the World.)

    On further inspection, I see that the Ohio law, though, goes to a much greater extreme. Those given a police caution in the U.K. must admit to a offence and accept the consequences of the caution in lieu of criminal charges. Ohio, meanwhile, sees fit to defame people with allegations of criminal behaviour without the evidence of guilt required by civilised societies to overcome a presumption of innocence.

  21. Next thing you know – some city will name Jerry Springer as mayor or something…

  22. I have discovered that my own state’s sex offender registry contains a problematic provision. According to Illinois’ online registry:

    “Persons required to register as Sex Offenders are persons who have been charged of an offense listed in Illinois Compiled Statutes 730 ILCS 150/2(B) when such charge results in one of the following:

    “(a) A conviction for the commission of the offense or attempt to commit the offense,

    “(b) A finding of not guilty by reason of insanity of committing the offense or attempting to commit the offense, or

    “(c) A finding not resulting in an acquittal at a hearing for the alleged commission or attempted commission of the offense.”

    Part A is not a problem, as those falling into that category were given due process and convicted according to law. I don’t have any problem with Part B, as juries acquitting by reason of insanity must determine that the State proved all elements of an offence beyond a reasonable doubt in addition to finding that the defendant probably committed the offence due to insanity; such individuals are demonstrably dangerous by virtue of having committed a crime.

    Part C worries me. Does this include cases dismissed without prejudice for lack of evidence? While the purpose of this provision is not entirely clear, it seems to include a class of cases in which the evidence of guilt is not beyond a reasonable doubt. Does anyone know the legislative history of such a provision and what the effect has been in the grand scheme of a sex offender registry?

  23. why even pass a law requiring this, Jesse. Just have president bush pass a secret executive order authorizing such under his constitutional powers designating him commander and chief of the nation during times of war. Then kidnap people at night, implant the chip, and set them on the way.

    Anyone who objects is a stooge of the MSM. Heh. Indeed.

  24. I’ve heard parents vow that they would take matters into their own hands if they “knew” of someone harming their child.

    With public confidence low regarding the current penal system’s efficacy in protecting children from molestation, how would (or would?) libertarians move to prevent this type of occurence: http://tinyurl.com/kfedt ?

  25. If that link is broken, here’s another:


    which is the same as:


  26. I’ve heard parents vow that they would take matters into their own hands if they “knew” of someone harming their child.

    With public confidence low regarding the current penal system’s efficacy in protecting children from molestation, how would (or would?) libertarians move to prevent this type of occurence

    Sorry, but the big fear of child molestation that is happening is part of some larger socio-sexual trauma that the U.S. is suffering. There doesn’t seem to be all that child molestation going on, yet people become more and more fearful and paranoid every day.

    Perhaps it is because the U.S. is both highly sexualized (look at movies, TV, advertisments, loaded with sex)… and yet at the same time is highly anti-sex (where else is abstinance the only form of birth control taught to kids). Creating non-existant cases of child exploitation are a way for Americans to both indulge in deviant sexuality (by trying to find out all the nasty details of “sex abuse”), and at the same time remain sexually pure (they want to punish the “evil doer”).

    Regardless, the way to deal with people who carry out revenge killings for paranoid fantasy crimes are to punish the people commiting a murder.

  27. “I’ve heard parents vow that they would take matters into their own hands if they “knew” of someone harming their child.”

    Go turn on yer TeeVee.

  28. I was at a sex offender awarness course for a teaching job. It’s standard in the education industry. The speaker made a obscene comment, then explained that he did it to see everyone’s reaction. He claimed he could diagnose pedaphilia by looking to see if someone’s eye brows raised too much or too little in response to his comment.

  29. For years now, property has been confiscated (forfeited) without due process or conviction, as “justified” by the War on Drugs; and people have been imprisoned indefinitely without so much as being charged, as “justified” by the War on Terror. How can it come as any surprise, now, that your right to reputation is just as disposible?

  30. Are you kidding me? Placed on sex offender registery because someone accuses you of a sex offense. Bob Smith, I believe, said no problem, the police would not arrest you if you had not done something wrong. What hole has his head been stuck in? How about I go to the cops and say you raped me. See how fast you are arrested. I can see it now. Wives mad at husband and say husband molested child, girlfriends mad at boyfriends and say he raped her and list goes on. A friend of our was accused of raping 13 year old twins, at different times. The twins did not report it for a month or so after they said it happened. So not DNA evidence or anything like that. One the so called rapes happened when he was 50 miles or better from home. It took a year to go trial and all the while the girls rode their bikes by the “rapist” house taunting him and his family, giving them the finger and calling them names, harrasing his wife at the grocery store by circling her van while she is strapping the children in. The SA really wanted to drop the charges, but the mother insisted that the case be tried. They were both examined by a doctor and he stated their hymen was in place and believed them both to be virgins. Oh by the way mom does not take care of the twins, they are being raised by their grandmother. After 3 days of jury selection and trial it took the jury only 30 minutes to come back with a not guilty verdict. Females, young and old, lie. We need due process. Next will be that I can say you were driving drunk and you will be arrested for drunk driving. Sex offenders registeries do not protect anyone anyway. So he’s on a list. If he wants to do it again he will and the registery is not going to stop that. The danger is not the stranger anyway. The danger is the people your children know and trust. Check the stats. Stanger danger is rare. Also check stats and reoffend rates. Sex offenders have a reoffend of less that 6% according the Department of Justice. It’s the person who has not been caught that is the danger. People need to wake up and realize all of these laws they are making are to make the public feel good and get votes. They don’t protect anyone. The sex offender registry just gives the public someone to hassle and make their life harder instead of letting them get on with their life and support their families. By the way don’t go piss behind a tree, you might be caught. And in our state that is sex offense and will get you on the registry for 10 years. Not everyone on the registry molested a small child. Wake up people.

  31. As a former cradle Catholic, I don’t understand why the bishops don’t just order their priests to voluntarily confess to any and all sexual misdeeds they ever committed. They are under the Church’s authority, aren’t they? Then those who committed paedophiliac acts could volunteer for the registry.

    OK, back in the real world, I live in a diocese where the Archbishop had to retire early because he was dipping into church funds to pay off a former “young male friend” so he wouldn’t blab to the press and/or police. (And people wondered why he was so sympathetic to “gay Catholic” groups.) He hasn’t been prosecuted for fraud (or worse), either.

    The fish rots from the head.


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