Bad choice for offenders

Published: Friday, July 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 30, 2005 at 10:28 p.m.
Good intentions gone bad. I refer to the sheriff's offices of Marion and Alachua counties publishing in newspapers directories of photos and addresses of sexual predators and offenders.
I am in no way condoning the actions of these felons, but at some point we must assume that a person who has served his time and paid his debt to
society for any crime should not have to be subjected to further "cruel and unusual punishment."
If the punishment does not fit the crime, then by all means, increase the punishment but not with this kind of list. This list harkens back to the days of branding one's forehead with the scarlet letter "A" for adulterer.
How long do the sheriffs think it will take before an angry mob gathers outside someone's home screaming, "we don't want their kind living here"? This directory is sure to bring back reminders of the days of lynchings, cross-burnings and vigilantes.
Perhaps, the next step will be to publish the photos and addresses of persons convicted of assault or larceny. Then, I could know which of my
neighbors is most likely to break into my home.
In short, this is a sad day when we turn over the responsibilities of our judicial and law enforcement officials to the public's mob mentality.
Ben Butler, Alachua

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