Today in my local paper, the Bangkok Post, there was a brief article saying that one of my favorite authors apologized for statements made in the British Daily Telegram. “In our current politically correct world we have to be very careful what we say.” John Grisham said, quoting the article, not necessarily Grisham: “not all men who look at child pornography should be sent to prison and that sentences for such crimes were too harsh.” What do you think?
In my case, as a contrarian regarding the subject of trafficking, I agree that an apology is needed in order to allow Mr Grisham to continue with his career in a world gone a bit mad.
I strongly oppose child pornography
My opinion is that here is no room whatsoever for any kind of child pornography and attacking it from the demand side of economics makes good sense. I can not understand child pornography. But, in the nuanced sense of what Grisham said, not everyone should go to prison. If a person creates, purposefully shares, or markets child pornography then, yes, I think prison is appropriate, far more so than is the case if a person simply has inappropriate pictures of children. But even that circumstance requires good sense and justice. That quality seems to be lacking especially in the United States due to social panic about that crime.
And that is a subject of Mr Grisham’s up coming book.
The article I read concludes this way, quoting John Grisham: “There’s so many “sex offenders – that is what they’re called – that they put them in the same prison. Like they are a bunch of perverts, or something – thousands of them,” he said. “We’ve gone nuts with this incarceration.”
America seemingly has “gone nuts” over many things and more so now than ever before. I want to refer anyone who is interested in the excessive hyperbole Mr. Grisham is referring to to consider the 2010 book: The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things, Barry Glassner, 1999.
This book offers some history of Americans going a little crazy (or a lot crazy) over issues far out of proportion to reality.
As I write this in 2014 America is going more than a little nuts over fears of spread of embola. This is something to keep watch over but hardly something for ordinary people to fear.
America has been on a rampage over trafficking for about 15 years. Some would say the principle of national sovereignty suggests that America should leave that issue alone .
Thanks to John Grisham we are talking about both pornography and sex offender lists.
I have a little more to share about sex offender lists and Mr Grisham would probably like you to this know too. I read recently, and can’t cite the source now, that America has roughly 700,000 people on various sex offender lists. Crazy!
If it is true that would be 5% of America’s population. There are roughly 3,500,000 Americans. If 700,000 are on a sex offender list, that is 5%. Look around you and count 20 people. In theory one of them is a sex offender. I don’t believe that! I just don’t!
Common sense tells me that is another issue out of proper perspective!
Another source I will share in just a moment explains that many people on sex offender lists are children as young as 10 years old. Something as simple as urinating in public can lead to being on a sex offender list. Construction workers with no portapotty, marathon runners, and college students who drank to much may urinate where people might see them, and as a result they may be required to register as a sex offender – for life.
Trust me when I say that secret urinating is purely a recent American phenomena. Travel guides will tell you even a major first world city like Amsterdam is known for people standing to the side of a building or behind a bush when they need to urinate. American sex culture would require that all of them be arrested and put on an offender list.
Grisham has become a celebrity champion of a tough cause. We need his book. Just like America’s other inappropriate fears, these sex offenders lists are out of control.
Many people are harmed by sex offender lists.
But many more people face inappropriate fears because of these lists and what they are supposed to mean.
I strongly recommend this website:
Catherine Carpenter, a law professor, offers a very rational legal explanation of the current state of sex offender lists – –