Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Stirring up odium...

Governor (I use the title lightly) Arnold Schwarzenegger and California’s rightwing Republicans are playing on the populace’s emotions again. To gain voter support, which has been slipping badly, they want to all but exorcise from the state sex offenders who have served their sentences. Since they can’t just lock up offenders and throw away the key, they want to mandate lifetime electronic tracking and open the door to lifetime state hospital commitment for them.

As odious as sex crimes, particularly against children, may be, lifetime removal of privacy or indeterminate hospital commitment for a past sex offender is abhorrent. Such punishments undermine any sense of justice and fair play in our legal system, and they are insulting to the idea of liberty that underlies America.

While America condemns this sort of “eye-for-an-eye” primitivism in other parts of the world, are we to adopt it here? Can it really be that our rightwing religiosity has brought us to become what we oppose?

Mr. Schwarzenegger and the Republicans in California who support him should be ashamed of themselves. And so should any voter who supports such hateful legislation. ...But, if such measures ever become law, perhaps Mr. Schwarzenegger should be the first offender to be shackled with a tracking device.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home