You know, I've been thinking a little bit about sex offender registration. In the past few weeks, I've noticed that my colleagues and I have picked up a number of sex offenses where the defendants are already registered sex offenders.
On one hand, it makes life easy. If your client is already a registered sex offender, you don't have to worry about avoiding a disposition that is going to make him have to start registering.
But, on the other hand, it makes me wonder, "What the heck is the point?" Did it deter the defendant? No. Did it alert the neighbors to keep their kids away from these guys? No. Are there enhanced sentences for repeat offenders? No, not any more than there would be for any other repeat offenders.
Although, I do question whether or not it could lead to more wrongful arrests. Perhaps if the police have a sex offense to solve in a given neighborhood, they'll go lock up the registered sex offender without much more investigation, leaving the real offender out on the streets. I'm not saying that's what has happened in any of my cases, or, at least, not that I know of yet, I just wonder if that's a possible factor.