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Megan's Law Doesn't Work

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Shirley Turner’s son was not a child rapist. He was a teenage boy madly in love with his girlfriend and three weeks before her 16th birthday they could wait no longer and made love in her bedroom while her parents were out at the movies. When her father returned and discovered them, he reported William to the police. He was charged with statutory rape, convicted, sent to jail and on his release his name was added to the sex offenders register under the version of Megan’s Law applied in his home state of Maine.

Shirley Turner’s stepfather, Brian, was a child rapist. He raped her at the age of 5. As Shirley approached her teens, her mother grew jealous of her husband’s apparent “preference†for her daughter. When she was 15, Brian took off, dragging Shirley with him and forcing her into marriage. William was her only child, fathered by her rapist.

When Stephen Marshall, a vigilante, started surfing Maine’s sex offenders register for child molesters to kill, it was William’s name he found, not Brian’s. Brian was never registered because Shirley never reported the crimes of the stepfather who became her husband. William is now dead, along with a more conventionally guilty paedophile in his town, both shot by Marshall. Brian is in jail, to Shirley’s relief, not for sex offences, but for attempting to murder her when she finally fled.

This was the tortured narrative I came across in Milo, northern Maine, in 2006, while looking for evidence of whether or not Megan’s Law worked. Shirley, a haunted shadow of a woman, wept warm tears on me as she told of the loss of her beloved son. She was one of the few people I connected with in this unsettling backwater where jaunty Stars and Stripes flying from clapboard houses disguised an underside of pure American Gothic.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/c...icle6819258.ece

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I thought the thread on paedophiles would have generated some discussion.

It's a very sad and very unusual story which underlines that no law can be perfect in an imperfect world.

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It's a very sad and very unusual story which underlines that no law can be perfect in an imperfect world.

So would you want to see a Megan's law in the UK?

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It depends what you mean by 'work'

Most of the public probably want to know where paedos live so they can sneer at them and make their lives misery. In that respect, it works perfectly.

There will always be mad vigilantes, Megans law or no Megans law.

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It depends what you mean by 'work'

Most of the public probably want to know where paedos live so they can sneer at them and make their lives misery. In that respect, it works perfectly.

There will always be mad vigilantes, Megans law or no Megans law.

True, there are. Which is why there's a very good case for not pointing the mad ones at the wrong people.

Megan's law was about right wing political correctness. Everyone knew somebody would end up dead as a result. The dishonest part was spinning that the person who died would obviously deserve it. As this article shows that was never going to be the case.

Inevitable of course, but some groups in the USA don't really care if the wrong person gets hurt, just so long as they get votes by pointing at somebody getting hurt. Nothing to be done about it, we just have to accept that aspect of US society and, hopefully, learn to avoid copying it here.

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True, there are. Which is why there's a very good case for not pointing the mad ones at the wrong people.

Megan's law was about right wing political correctness. Everyone knew somebody would end up dead as a result. The dishonest part was spinning that the person who died would obviously deserve it. As this article shows that was never going to be the case.

Inevitable of course, but some groups in the USA don't really care if the wrong person gets hurt, just so long as they get votes by pointing at somebody getting hurt. Nothing to be done about it, we just have to accept that aspect of US society and, hopefully, learn to avoid copying it here.

Let's see every underage teenager who gets pregnant, plus the father of the child forced to sign the sex offenders register. That might cure the teenage pregnancy problem in Britain.

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Vigilante mob attacks home of paediatrician

Vigilantes have forced a doctor from her home after daubing her walls with anti-paedophile graffiti.

Yvette Cloete, who works at Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, found her home daubed with the word "Paedo". Police said they believe vigilantes confused the words paediatrician and paedophile.

A spokesman said: "There is nothing to justify what was written on the walls and door of Dr Cloete's home. These people should think long and hard about what they have done to a member of the community who has devoted her life to helping children."

Dr Cloete confirmed she had left because of the attack last weekend. "For the time being I have moved out... We removed the graffiti within hours but what happened was a terrible thing and it has been extremely distressing."

A Royal Gwent Hospital spokesman said: "This... has been a pointless and distressing event for Dr Cloete. She is a valued and respected member of the paediatric team, where she has worked for the last two and a half years."

The most frightening thing is this is not a Daily Mash article.

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I can't bear to read or listen to this sort of thing. It grips me about what happened to those little boys in Doncaster.

I find myself wanting to repeatedly punch the first social worker I come across. Or failing that, a Guardian reader!

Does that make me a bad person I wonder? :unsure:

No, it doesn't, as long as you don't feel the same way about readers of The Independent.

I have two grandchildren and the thought of them falling into the hands of animals like that is scary.

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