states minimu probation

Arizona One of the Most Invasive

The state of Arizona has instituted a program to deny certain convicted felons who have served a portion – or all of their sentences – the right to privacy and to conduct their lives in a normal manner free from illegal intrusion by law enforcement. Arizona’s program for dealing with sexual offenders is probably the nation’s most intrusive to date. It is, simply put, a system of sentencing to lifetime probation anyone convicted of a sexual offense, especially against children. There is, as the term “lifetime” implies, no release from its curriculum of scrutiny and its invasive agenda.

The Arizona law provides for placing even first time sexual offenders on lifetime probation and empowers the courts to impose this sentence of probation “up to and including life and that the court believes is appropriate for the ends of justice.” The statute appears to satisfy, but actually circumvents, the double jeopardy clause of the constitution’s fifth amendment — and possibly the eighth amendment’s restriction against cruel and unusual punishment — by imposing the lifetime probation on counts other than the one on which the offender was originally tried. By dividing any offense or series of offenses into multiple counts, the law is able to apply a virtual life sentence to an offender after having served his sentence on the original count.

Only a few short years ago adultery was considered an illegal form of sexual expression. Now some national leaders seem comfortable enough with it to practice it themselves on occasion. However, as illustrated by the recent case of Lt. Kelly Flinn, the Air Force’s lone female B-52 pilot, only the military openly forbids adultery with accompanying punitive measures–and not because they are possessed of such high moral standards. They are fully aware of its damaging effects upon their personnel and, hence, their “mission”–or simply stated–their ability to kill, efficiently. In ancient Judaic law homosexuality was a capital offense. Until just a few short years ago, homosexual activity between persons eighteen years or older was considered perversion and punishable with imprisonment. Now it is so only if one is eighteen and the other younger.

Now, with all of the self-righteous fury that can only be generated by a nation possessing such an amazingly polarized double standard as does this one, we consign a 19-year-old to a lifetime of rigid government scrutiny and invasiveness because he had engaged in consensual sexual relations with a 13- year-old just days after he turned eighteen. (Refer to quoted U.S. News and World Report Article).

In the speech President Clinton delivered at the White House ceremony for the signing of Megan’s Law he made the declaration, “There is no greater right than the right to raise children in peace and safety.” This statement seems to ignore the fact that the constitution delineates no rights for peace, rather it implies that the greater right in raising one’s children is in freedom and safety–a freedom being denied many under that law.

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