Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sexually Based Offenders Pretending to Be Homeless

Media Still Misses Boat on Sexual Predators

In a bizarre video by Eric Mansfield and the usually trustworthy WKYC, they attack a "loophole to hide the whereabouts" of sexually based offenders in Megan's law. According to the report, "Police are powerless to stop [sexually based offenders] who claim to be homeless." Mansfield noticed on the Summit County website that many are claiming to be homeless, and therefore have an ability to move without the reporting requirments. I do not understand why the media always throws objectivity out the window when reporting on America's last boogie men: sexual predators.

Ramona Robinson declared it, "quite disturbing," and the anonymous woman on the street said that "we should be able to chose who lives on our street." Mansfield did not correct her to say that U.S. law does not allow neighbors to decide who lives on a street ever since the KKK was thrown out of running the government in the South. Mansfield identified this as a "growing statewide problem," but he did not identify what problem he was talking about. Since the shelters in Akron will not allow sexually based offenders to live there maybe the men Mansfield identified where in fact homeless. Where was the objectivity in his report? Why did he not ask "experts" about this "claim" of homelessness? How did this get by the editor? Then WKYC throws in the towel on fairness by allowing the reporter to end the story with a comment about how disturbing this whole situation is in our community.

Why is it surprising that if every community in the state puts your picture on a website when you are released from prison with a sexually based offense that no landlord will rent to you in any neighborhood? Why is it a surprise that many then become homeless? Why would anyone pretend to be homeless to get around the reporting requirement? When is someone going to start critically analyzing these laws? When are the reporters going to report that most sexually based crimes are committed by men who know their victims not by strangers waiting near a park or schoolyard? The entire story is so charged that reporters get out of control, which has led to very bad laws being passed for the past 10 years.



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