No this is not a story out of Tehran. In Georgia, a federal court is considering an interesting challenge to the state’s sex offender laws. Wendy Whitaker, 28, has had enough. She was put on the sex offender list after being found guilty of having oral sex at 17 with a 15-year-old boy. She has now had to move twice because she is not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of places where children congregate. She has been told that her new home is also off limits because it is near a church.
Whitaker should not be on any sex offender list to start with. Her case is another example of how some prosecutors fail to use basic common sense and discretion. Teen sex should be a parental not a criminal matter. It is an outrage that prosecutors took such a case and prosecuted Whitaker. However, this is the state that gave us the Genarlow Wilson outrage, here.
States and cities have been passing more and more stringent residency limitations for sex offenders. This has led some to become homeless because they cannot practically rent a home — a counterproductive result since they become less trackable. However, the biggest problem is the scope of the sex offender laws. The inclusion of teens on such a list is ridiculous and debilitating. Hopefully, Whitaker’s case will force legislators and prosecutors to show some responsibility themselves. While it may be popular in the Bible Belt to prosecute teens as criminals and put them on the same list as child molesters, it serves neither justice nor society.
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