Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Beginning of Sorrows

     The nightmare continues. The sentencing is past. Between one day and the next, my son was labeled a sex offender. It did not matter that what he did in many states is a misdemeanor, and in many more, not even thatin Oklahoma it is a felony. It did not matter that the only person harmed was himself, that the incident happened years ago and was not repeated, that until then his worst offense was a speeding ticket.  What mattered was that the charge pertained to the three-letter word: “sex”. 
In the beginning, the Asst. D.A. gave us hope for leniency. Considering that his career and reputation were destroyed, he had paid enough. Then the press got a hold of it. They lifted that one act out of the context of his life, because it is easier to report a fact than a person.  After that, everything was infected with politics. Both the judge and D.A. are thinking of reelection and no one wants to appear soft on crime, especially crimes that have anything to do with the three-letter word. My son was transformed from a human being, to a column inch. to an example.
     As for the judge, he did his job with the cold, detached efficiency of a machine, if a machine could be said to be arrogant. Yes, I understand the customary groveling is supposed to show the respect due his office, but it only shows fear, and breeds hubris. He has forgotten that he is but a man with all the weaknesses and inclinations to sin as the rest of us. When my son’s lawyer explained that his client’s home, wife, therapist, and support group were in another state, and requested he be allowed to return to them under D.A. supervision, the judge denied it out of pure malice. It could be nothing else, for what judge anywhere would not want to rid his state of convicted felons?  
     Now my son has begun his thirty year exile in the mine field of restrictions that is the Sexual Registration Act. We will visit him and the others in that hell in my future posts. For now it is enough to say that the lawmakers have done just about everything they can to shame, hound, and isolate these people.  All that is lacking is for them to be required to bare the tattoo “RSO” on their foreheads. Who knows, maybe that very requirement is pending in some legislature somewhere.
  If they would have allowed me, I would have gladly registered in his place. But then, if the law allowed that sort of thing, the prisons would be filled with the mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters of the convicted.  It would be a world where people thought twice about committing crimes, knowing that someone they loved would take there punishment. But that is not the way the world works. That is the way God works.

1 comment:

  1. My heart goes out to you as I can relate. One key for us is educating the legislators with facts from studies like Justice Policy Institute, Human Rights Watch and other credible sources.
    The other key is educating parents, teens and children about staying safe.
    There are over 763,000 men, women and children (as young as 8 in some states) required to register across the states and folks are lead to believe this "registry" will make their kids safe. The "crimes" range from urinating in public, sexting, streaking, exposure, false accusations by a soon-to-be ex-wife, angry girlfriend, or spiteful student, viewing abusive OR suggestive images of anyone18 years old or younger, playing doctor, solicitation, Romeo and Juliet consensual sexual dating relationships, “allowing a 16 year old girl to perform oral sex on you and a drunken party and you are over 18, rape and incest.

    If you multiply the number on the registry by 3 or 4 family members you can see there are almost 3,000,000 wives, children, moms, aunts, girlfriends, grandmothers and other family members who suffer the collateral damage of being harassed, threatened, beaten, have signs placed in their yards, asked to leave their churches and other organizations, have flyers distributed around the neighborhood, wives lose their jobs when someone learns they are married to a registrant....all these things occur when these people try to hold their family together and help their family member get their life together and re-integrate into society. They want to work and support their families but, the more laws, restrictions and barriers the more likely that cannot happen.
    Vicki Henry
    Women Against