Brandishing the Mark of Cain

Branding a person a sex offender is the most damning
label available in modern society. No other term evokes
such universal disgust. The label sex offender carries a significant
burden. All states require those deemed sex
offenders to register on a regular basis with local law
enforcement so that the community where they live and
work can be notified of their presence.1 They may have to
put signs in their yard announcing their new status as outcasts
or even have special license plates on their vehicles to
further distinguish them from the rest of society.2 Failure
to comply with any of these requirements is a crime, often
a felony.3 On top of that, nearly half of the states have some
form of residence and/or employment restrictions that follow
those declared sex offenders for as long as they are
required to register.4 So when the government brands
someone a sex offender, it is a serious action. Given the
severe consequences that flow from having this label, the
process by which a person receives it should be scrutinized.
There actually ought to be a process, not just an automatic
action. In the haste to mark those convicted of sex-related
crimes as deviant, the constitutional rights of those individuals
are often ignored.
Brandishing the Mark of Cain

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