Member since Jul 9, 2009



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Re: “Guest Commentary

Well-said. The only thing missing here is that you may perhaps underestimate how strong the temptation is to take advantage of easy prey.

I'm talking about prosecutors here. The temptation to pursue easy convictions, especially when professional status and livelihood is often tied directly to conviction rates, is tremendous. Even prosecutors who recognize that sex crime laws have expanded well past the point of betraying their original intent still have the same professional incentives. (In fact, there can be sharp disincentives for NOT pursuing these charges, no matter how frivolous.)

It's unlikely that legal reform will be forthcoming anytime soon. In the meantime jurors need to start saying no to these kinds of convictions. No one is talking about allowing rapists and hard-core child molesters go unpunished. Rather, jurors need to send a message that they're not going to sentence a teenager to prison time and life-long stigma for having consensual sex with another minor. The public can disapprove of teen sex, and even censure it, but it doesn't need to criminalizing it.

Posted by dcrockett17 on 07/09/2009 at 1:13 PM

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