6.24.2005

Sex Offender Maps - Right or Wrong?

Today on Slashdot we read this:

Surely this won't cause any controversy. davenaffis writes "Here's a little site I developed that uses Google Maps to map sex offenders. Only Washington, D.C. data is available right now, but I'll be adding more states soon."


Of course this is pretty bad, but you decide and comment on my comment below:

Even when the person has done something wrong there are immoral, ignorant people out there who turn their rage into action.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050623/NEWS01/506230368/-1/CINCI

In this case, the entire thing has escalated into something amazing. The linked story doesn't explain what happened, but basically someone spray painted "RAPEST" on the offenders house and then it was set on fire. Ok, fine the guy might have done it, seems so. But it is totally wrong for the house to be set of fire. What if someone would have died? Well, knowing my city, no charges would have been filed against the white people - but is murder okay?

Fight over the fine points if you want, but this is freaking America!

There is a much simpler solution. Someone else said that maps should be used for things like auto thieves, but what purpose is there besides vigilantism? Most cities already tell you what crimes happen in certain neighborhoods:

http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/police/downloads/police_pdf10077.pdf

And Google tells us that many cities have the same online:

http://www.google.com/search?q=neighborhood+crime+statistics

Fuck it, ask your real estate agent before you buy. Really, what does it matter? There is only so much you can do to keep yourself from being a victim - educate yourself and be mindful. Anything you do after becoming a victim is morally wrong - revenge is wrong, no matter how good it feels. Otherwise what is the point of scareing everyone? Sex offenders aren't the only reason to keep your kids close, and educated btw.


I'm glad to report, the map has been removed.