Archive for September 12th, 2016

Sentencing Sex Offenders

posted by Judge_Burke @ 14:30 PM
September 12, 2016

If there is a class of defendants who generate little sympathy from legislatures and judges, the “winner” is likely to be sex offenders. There is an understandable desire to monitor the defendant’s behavior.

Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy excerpts this interesting case. From the excerpt:

Proponents of using the penile plethysmograph correlate arousal data to deviant sexual behavior by assuming that individuals with a history of sexual offenses who respond to illicit sexual stimuli are likely to react in furtherance of their responses. There is no scientifically accepted data presented to justify this assumption, nor does it have any logical basis.

. . .

[A]dministering a penile plethysmograph test necessitates the person administering the test to be engaged in the possession, use and distribution of child pornography. There is no exception in the statute to exclude therapeutic purposes or intent from culpability.

. . .

The presuppositionless assumption is that any “arousal level” occasioned by the exposure to child pornography stimuli is deviant because convicted sex offenders are unable to resist or subdue their impulses. Urges, however, are not always overwhelming. Otherwise, there would be no opportunity for moral decisions or even so-called enlightened self-interest decisions to be made in the crucible of an experience.

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