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June 23, 2006

Comments

Mike Huben

Once again we see bald speculation used as a rationale for a bizarre policy proposal.

"Even if the residents of an offender's place of residence and place of work take precautions, the offender has innumerable other opporunities to recidivate in adjacent locations. So the effect of registries on the incidence of sex crimes is probably miniscule."

That's speculation all right. And not very clever speculation, since there might be OTHER effects of the registry, such as creating an impression in the offender that it is easy for the public to learn of his past crimes and notice if he is committing new crimes. That could be a substantial deterrent.

"The obvious answer is to make sentences for such offenses far longer. That has a cost -- roughly $30,000 per year for incarceration..."

Let's try one of the libertarian solutions: equip the victims with axes and let them satisfy themselves. (Courtesy of David Friedman.)

But you know, for the money spent on a few person-years of incarceration, several studies could look into the effectiveness of these registries. That sounds like a much better thing to do than enact policy based on speculation.

Alan Brown

We need special communities where these offenders can live after they are released. Maybe we can make them sign a lifetime lease as a condition of early release.

Jay

I've long said that registration is wrong; the sentence should be the sentence. If we are not comfortable with people being released when they are, the sentences should be longer.

This is especially true if registration did not start as an explicit part of the sentence, but was added after the fact. It's especially wrong to say "your punishment will be X" and then impose additional punishment Y tacked onto the end of that.

Nuno Palma


Professor Miron:

An is it fair, from a libertarian perspective, that the public pays for the incarceration of criminals or potential criminals? Shouldn't they pay for themselves?

I would appreciate your opinion on this.

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