The Champion

December 2009 , Page 12 

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Sexual Offenders: How to Create a More Deliberative Sentencing Process

By Ian Friedman, Roger Pimentel

The past decade brought about an escalation of media and cultural focus on the problems of Internet child exploitation and online sexual predators. Indiscriminate fear and perceptible public anger towards sexual offenders have been fueled by the speed and intensity in which this topic has become a hot-button concern. The widespread interest in this issue perpetuates a cycle of sensational and inflammatory reporting that ultimately undermines the common goal shared by all — the protection of the community. For example, virtually every American is familiar with the controversial Dateline NBC reality series “To Catch A Predator,” wherein men engage in sexual chats with purported minors and make arrangements to meet at a home where hidden cameras and law enforcement officers lie in wait.1 In part due to the manner in which sexual offenders have been portrayed by the media, the increasingly popular notion of “lock ’em up and throw away the key” has taken hold among members of the general pu

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