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November 5th, 2009
08:39 PM ET

Sex Offenders: Who's Keeping Watch?

Anthony Sowell.

Phillip Garrido.

Both are registered sex offenders, and both are accused of committing crimes that went undetected for a long time, even though red flags were raised.

In Garrido's case, neighbors complained about people possibly living in his backyard, years before his arrest this year for the alleged kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard.

People living in Sowell's Cleveland neighborhood say the awful smell alone should have alerted police that something was wrong long before 11 bodies were found at his home in recent days.

Cleveland city council member Zach Reed tells CNN that he received a call about the stench in 2007 from someone who said it smelled like a "dead body."

He's now calling for an independent investigation into whether police and health authorities should have spotted signs of foul play.

This Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, we're taking a closer look at the Sowell case, and we're raising the question, "Who's keeping watch over sex offenders?"

We would like to hear from you.

Please leave us your questions and comments.


Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    These people have a total disreguard for female life they need to be taught while in prison that women are the same as them they can feel pain and there feelings can be hurt and they are loved by others the sex offenders are looking at females as if there a bottle of water .

    November 6, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  2. Diane

    Does it seem to everyone these type are increasing not decreasing? Why? What is society doing wrong? USA needs to get tougher on knowing where these type are living. Another problem too many who are not serious offenders get labeled wrong such as older teens who get involved with younger teens (just one example). There are not enough personnel to weed out the bad bad bad ones – lets get this straightened out America.

    November 6, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  3. dennis linville

    who is keeping watch ? American families trying to live right while watching our government release these rabid animals to our neighborhoods to prey on our families.Instead of putting these rabid animals to death the government releases them to do it again.Does this not make the ones releasing them accessories to the crimes they commit after release? I often wonder how these people sleep at night knowing they released these animals back out on the public.
    30+ years ago the argument was made to let them study sexual preditors so they could look for ways to prevent this nature. Good idea with the exception of,they havent used any of this knowledge ,they found in most cases they cant cure this behavior but still they collect them and now release them back into society to do it again!
    161 sexual preditors surrounded the little girl in florida and this is just the ones that our government knows. Which means the ones released back on the streets are there ,preying on your children, because the government put them there. How long are Americans going to allow this to happen?

    November 6, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  4. Natasha

    Just the statement "It smells like dead bodies" alone should have warranted an investigation. Authorities are often bogged down with so many unwarranted complaints that when a real complain comes in they don't feel the need to investigate. Stenches and people living in backyards should have raised a red flag. Police departments should have a requirement to take each complaint seriously and if they do not have the man power then perhaps the government should instill more positions for police forces.

    As for who is keeping watch over sex offenders, no one when it comes to small communities. There are cities that require sex offenders to let the neighborhood know they are there but not every place has these requirements. If they are already a registered sex offender then it should be mandatory they notify a community they are living in. Other than that, more community watch programs could help. Crime isn't going to go away though. Look at Chicago, Detroit, New York, and even Boston. Even with more programs to prevent crime, crimes are still occuring at alarming rates.

    November 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  5. Theron

    I think they should lock them up forever.Don't let them back out,because when they do,they commit the same crime again even worse,they end up killing when they get out. These people have no place in this society. I say lock them up and throw away the key,what have we got to lose if we lock them forever. What is so bad about locking up rapists and child molesters forever. If they are locked up for good then no one would need to watch over them,that would be one less concern that people would have to worry about. And come to think of it,that is one concern that people shouldn't have to worry about in the first place. Why are we going easy on these people,these people deserve life sentences. The first time they rape someone or molest a child, I say throw away the key and call it a day.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  6. sandra

    I used to live in Cleveland, Ohio but moved out of state due to the crime. There is very little police coverage due to budget problems. Some rural areas have a corrupt police force which still operates on the "old buddy system". Note that big corporations like the Cleveland Clinic are prospering, building huge new facilities. A shining city of OZ in the midst of extreme ghetto conditions...Euclid avenue so full of potholes you can hardly drive down it alongside the Clinic. Employees are expected to park in outlying parking areas (unsafe) and be shuttled into the facility. The Clinic and other such businesses get huge tax breaks as the city tries to hold onto what employers it has. But these companies cannot even stretch out a hand to uplift the neighborhoods in which they are located. So its no surprise that incidents like this occur.

    November 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  7. MickeyHawk

    Why aren't the RICO LAWS of America being used to arrest people who associate with known criminals? Like, drug dealers, Osam Bin Laden, street gangs, etc????

    November 7, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  8. Carmen

    Good evening,
    More than 2 years ago I filed a report on the Megan's Law website to report a registered sex offender who is living one half block away from an elementary school and to this day, according to the MEGAN'S LAW website he's still living there. The apt manger is aware as well. It's very frustrating when officials do not act on a warning...Officials should focus more on this problem.

    November 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  9. Pattie

    First I see a lot of comments that just are not educated on why this is happening and why the worst of the worst are not being monitored well. First off the sex offender registry has become so overloaded with consensual teen sex, children for what once was normal child hood exploration, things that just have nothing to do with sex at all such as urinating in public. False accusations, those once innocent pictures of your kids in the bath tub, breast feeding pictures, and the list goes on.
    The registry does not protect because it has become useless with all these others on there who are no harm to any one. Police don't have the resources to monitor all that it is required. The registry as it is today is a threat to all of us for ending up on it. So yes does the American public need to wake!! No one will be protected under these laws as they are on the books today. It has come against the very ones it was intended to protect the children. Media with out getting the facts has instilled fear and ignorance. So get the registry cleaned up, get those who are no threat to people off and have on going treatment for the worst of the worst instead of just throwing them on a registry to the public which does not have the facts. Then those like these two men will be able to be monitored more closely by law enforcement and their activities. So I challenge the media to get facts on why this is happening before just throwing out the question and having more information for the public to go on. These laws as are just don't work to protect any one.

    November 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  10. Stephen

    CNN Staff,
    I spent 15 years working in uniform for the California Department of Correction. After achieving the rank of Lieutenant I decided I just could not stand working in such a negative environment and resigned. Over the years I can honestly state that I dealt hundreds, if not a thousand or more sex offenders. Removing the occassional statutory rape between teenagers, there are many offenders for which there is absolutely no cure or rehabilitation of any kind. While working at a coastal prison for example, we had an elderly offender who had bitten off little boy's penises. In addition, he had a long list of offenses against children, but in this case he had been sentenced long term. One year the prison spent almost one half of the medical budget providing surgery and follow-up treatment for his colon problem. I was in a quandry as to why we spent so much money on an individual who permantly (physically and emotionally) scarred so many children, just so he could finish his sentence. This is just one example of hundreds of cases I know of.

    There is only one "fix" for violent and repeat sex offenders, execution. I know it may sound harsh, but releasing them after their sentence just allows more horrid violations. Crimes, especially against children, our most innocent and defenseless, should be viewed in a different light. I also think it unfair that taxpayers should have to support such life forms, there is no point. I understand people make mistakes, but predators are one leopard that will never change their spots. Even if they could, why should society risk the innocents?

    I just read a story out of Saudi Arabia in which a child rapist/murder with 5 victims was ordered beheaded and crucified. I do not endorse such executions, but a firing squad would have had the same effect. Regardless, it was guaranteed that that predator will hurt no more children. We honestly need to review the entire criminal justice system in which a drug/users dealers can be sentenced more heavily than a child rapists.

    Thank You

    November 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  11. Anna

    Please define for me the term Sex Offender. Are you speaking of petafiles? Sex offenders exist in both genders and all races.

    My concern is the sex offender has become the lepar of the world. We do not define who we are talking about...What about the 19 yr old high school senior who dated a younger student and was arrested after she concieved their first child. Parents were aware and condoned until a fight with the girl and then charged the young man. He will be 'registering' the rest of his life. Or the one time offender who has served his time and not reoffended in 15 years of being a productive citizen. From what I have researched on this the recitivism rate of a sex offender (not a petafile) is around 5% on average. Really, I honestly know men and women who have been released sooner and with no registration after multiple murders. Are we telling people it is better to murder?

    November 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  12. Donna

    Councilman Reed did a wonderful job of passing the buck! He said that he himself never smelled the stench but it was reported to him, and he then said that he called the Health Department.
    WHY didn't he himself go to see what people were complaining about?
    He spoke about how LONG it took...did he mention disinterest? But he NEVER went to check it out himself! Maybe if he had gone to that neighborhood himself, he could have pushed the issue with authorities!
    What a disgrace!!!

    November 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  13. Anna

    In the case of Jaycee – many systems failed just as they do every day. Social services...police in the case of restraining orders. We cannot blame those that strive to protect us unless we are willing to step up and assist. Neighborhood watches or neighbors watching it happen and doing nothing? Police and Social Services are over loaded and under paid. They risk their lives every day. It seems to me that finger pointing has taken the place of being a good and helpful citizen. Let's not look to place blame but figure out the why and how of prevention.

    November 7, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  14. Cris

    Fred:

    It seems to me that nowadays NO ONE is doing their job properly. There are too many people out of work – if we find that 'some people' are not doing their jobs right/correctly/properly which allows these criminals to thrive – then get rid of them and hire the people who are out of work and they will do a MUCH BETTER job! They will definitely appreciate their 'new' job and the responsibility that goes along with it. Get rid of everyone who just sits there and collects their paycheck every week for doing NOTHING!

    Replace everyone of those people who do nothing but wait for Friday's paycheck with the people that have NO job! This includes Congress and the Senate! We need to put HARD working Americans back to work and if it means changes in government, SO BE IT! IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!!

    We need to make America shine – not hide in the darkness!!! We need to have pride in being an American – not making excuses or fighting politician with politician – THEY ALL LIE – but Joe Wilson didn't have time to say the GOP lies as well, but they just do it better!

    Come on people now, get it together now.........

    November 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  15. jack g. dufur

    now you tell me to go to a sex offenders web page and find out where sex offenders are located in my city of tehachacpi. even child molesters in my city. i went to that page....it asks for 1.00 and my credit card number......i still dont know where child or female offenders are in my city?????????????/ why should i haVE TO PAY$1.00 AND GIVE THEM MY CREDIT CARD NUMBER??? JUST TELL ME IF MY GRAND CHILD IS IN DANGER BY LETTING ME KNOW IF I HAVE A NEIGHBOR WHO I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT!!!! THANK YOU JG DUFUR

    November 7, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  16. Jon

    Sex Offenders should not be grouped in with Serial Killers. If this man in Cleveland had a history of drug convictions would you be reporting that a Drug Offender killed these women?

    November 7, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  17. anne

    Josh just said that you could go to CNN to find out how to go on-line and find where sex offenders are located in your neighborhood. Well, here I am on Josh's page and NOTHING!! Please forward the info to me. Thanks.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  18. jonathan bell

    THERE WAS A TIME WHEN I THOUGHT SEX OFFENDER COULD BE FIXED BECAUSE I DIDNT HAVE THE COURAGE TO SAY THAT THEY SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH! NOW I REALLY FEEL THEY SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH! IF THAT GUY IN CLEVELAND HAD BEEN PUT TO DEATH AS A REGISTERD SEX OFFENDER YEARS AGO THOSE POOR SOULS IN CLEVELAND WOULD BE ALIVE TODAY! TOO HARS FOR YOU? OK, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN KILLED BY THAT SEX OFFENDER IN CLEVELAND!

    November 7, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  19. Renae

    These monsters should NEVER be allowed out of prison!! If I had my way, they would be "disposed" of upon conviction. There is no reason why law-abiding citizens should have to live amongst sex offenders. Who cares if they are "registered"...that in itself does nothing to keep me and my family safe! Everybody does NOT deserve a second chance! If you are a rapist, child molester, murderer...you should be locked up for the rest of your natural life or taken out to the firing range. Not given a second chance to get out of jail and commit these crimes again! C'mon people. Let's get back to the good ole' saying "AN EYE FOR AN EYE"!

    November 7, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  20. strayze

    Castration of habitual sexual predators is called for, either chemical (drug) castration or surgical castration. Both types can be reversed.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  21. David

    It concerns me greatly how some I see here jump to conclusion and call for death and hate and label everyone into one bucket. I think anyone who does that is the real problem in society and need a dose of their own condemnation.

    The things we're hearing recently are not your atypical sex-offender. They guy with the 10 bodies, or whatever the count is now, is not a sex offender. He is a serial killer! Most things that get sensationalized like this are a handful of sickos that I don't think any of us have a solution as to how to weed them out, without surrendering all our civil liberties. Maybe we need to bring Bush back!

    I said it before and I'll repeat it here: 95% of all sex crimes are committed by someone who s not on the sex offender regstry and thinking that this is the solution or will protect you is insane. Most sex offenses are committed by those persons who you or your child know. That seems to be a good place to start to protect your children. Not creating a registry for a false sense of safety and punishing people in such an extreme way, and even wishing death.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  22. david

    Its not right that you gave that over amped alarmist who makes her money from other peoples sorrow a five minute free advertisement . Someone from law enforcement would have been more appropriate.
    Have you seen her website?
    David Rose

    November 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  23. Mavis

    They should never be let out of prison. They should be maded to have an operation so they will no longer have sexual desires and still kept in prison.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  24. MidaH

    We need island penal colony where heinous convicted sex offenders could establish their own society. I would suggest radio-active Amchitka Island way out on the Aleutian Chain, no guards, no walls, just a run down military base. They could choose who would be tradespersons, business and professional leaders and followers. Supply drops once a month and their leaders could figure out distribution theory. THEY WANT A DIFFERENT SOCIETY, FINE, GIVE IT TO THEM. I don't understand why we have to be part of their lives. If they try to escape track them w/implants and sink the raft or if a storm is brewing well let them be crab bait.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  25. Lynn Barkema

    You said on the program that going to cnn.com/josh would lead yoiu to the links to free registered sex offender sites, so we didn't need to write down the ones given on the program. However, I cannot find these links here. Please help.

    We are forming a neighborhood association in our area, and one of the things we want to have is a Neighborhood Watch. As part of that, we need to know who the registered sex offenders living ikn our area ar e. However, we are a poor neighborhood, and cannot afford the pay sites, and because we are a poor neighborhood, we have a larger number of sex offenders living in the area than in more "upscale" neighborhoods.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  26. Pete

    Theron,

    How about doing the same to every offender, like say a drug dealer, then we wouldnt have to worry about them ever selling drugs again, like to our children. And why we are at it, how about Drunk Drivers, Thieves, Murderers, Arsonists, Robbers, etc. Just throw the key away on all of them. And I say atleast have a watch website for them too. I would like to know if any other criminals are living in my neighborhood too, not just sex offenders.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  27. Liz

    Why do we in America waste our time with sex offenders, tax dollars wasted on worthless souls? This simple solution will work for most of these sex offenders. 1st Castrate these nuts. They will no longer have an urge for raping, malustation, sex abuse, which in some cases they kill to not get caught. However, some sex offenders kill because of the enjoyment as well. How do we figure out the difference? Some that get castrated will still kill for pleasure! Kill them all. they are taking up space in America

    November 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  28. Elaine

    We know that recidivism rates are the highest among sex offenders. We also know that their crimes escalate over time. We know that violent rapists can transition into murderers. We also know that therapy and treatment are ineffective in preventing recidivism of rapists. WHY WHY WHY do we put these people back on the streets. Do we think the streets will reform them? Do we think the lives they take are less valuable? Do we value their victims less for some specific reason? I think it is time we take the position of many western countries and consider methods of prevention that work effectively and protect future victims

    November 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  29. phillip

    My father is the rapist of my cousin. When released he was even crazier. Jail does ready for the outside world. And there is not enough supervision after their release.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  30. Chuck

    Some "sex offender's" do terrible things, no doubt, and they should be severely punished and made to register. But to lump them all in a single category, with no differentiation, and make them all join a public register for the rest of their lives, seems a bit harsh for those who made a single mistake and deeply regret it. They are forever publicly branded wherever they go. It seems unconstitutional.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  31. Julia Mclean

    Probably no one. I don't think anyone really cares,

    We have the Amber Alert but I worry every day about my grandchildren. Their parents worry so much that some one has to walk our grand daughter to school daily.

    The prisons just keep releasing them. The Sex Offenders in our neighborhood got their records expunged. Thankfully AZ keeps their offenses on the books. Some change their names to popular names of Presidents or Important neighbors. There are several free sites. Criminalsearches.com, Publicbackgroundchecks.com

    November 7, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  32. Jarrell A. Easley

    People do not only want to know where sex offenders live, but where they are in real time. Sure human rights activists will cry out "privacy" violations, until one of their families are found raped and murdered after years have passed. I'm no criminal profiler, but I have enough common sense to know that sexual predators suffer psychiatric ills, and always posses a chance of reverting. The ones who rape and do get "caught", serve their time, get out, only to rape again. Only, the consecutive incidences, they murder their victims to ensure silence. This is a sign of psychiatric impairment which cannot be 100% treated. Why should a monster be given any privacy? We didn't let John Wayne Gacy out of prison, grant him rights and privacy, and say "we'll check up on ya periodically". Gacy's last words were, "you can kiss my ass." so much for rehabilitation. LMAO. I say implant these "sick" individuals with some sort of tracking device and provide people with "real time", 200 foot radial alerts of nearby sexual predators. Then make an Free iPhone app called OffenderDefender, and it's a wrap. Oh yeah, no charge to the company who decides to take up on my app, just give me a little credit. Thanx.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  33. Rose

    I know that sex offenders are not watched that well in Missouri especialy because I know of one man who was convicted of first degree statutary rape of a 13 year old girl in 2000. Then in March of 2009 he was caught doing what is called grooming my then 13 year old niece which was getting her ready for the sexual assualt luckly me being a former child rape victim myself I seen what was going on and told my brother in law and he got the man out of his home and got a protection order. All this happened in March of2009 in fact March 25 and from that day on the man who attempted to harm my niece went off the radar for nearly 6 months though many time my family knowing right where he was tried to tell our law enforcement so they could contact the Florida state police and have this man arrested for being an absconder here in Missouri they did nothing.So we contacted the Florida state police and not two days later Missouri put out a warrant for his arrest and Florida officials got him in Santa Rosa County Florida on August 21,2009. It took us contacting another state to get Missouri do anything about this man in fact he had threatened to harm my niece and the rest of my family and still the Missouri officials did nothing.You want know who's keeping an eye on the sex offenders well in Missouri it is not the law enforcement it is the people who put the sheriffs in office and pay the taxes so the cops get payed.And it should not be that way they are paid to keep these guys in line not us maybe if they did their job there would be fewer kids coming up missing and then getting killed and raped.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  34. Liz

    Unfortunatly, America is like the Titanic. Slowly sinking. I wish to jump before we all sink. We need a stronger approach. And please, are we that stupid that when an 18 and 17 year old have sex and mommy or daddy report this as rape these guys are classified for the rest of their lives? Thats messed up America.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  35. Jean McElwain

    Having missed the beginning of the segment, I was of the understanding that coming to this page would give me site addresses to check out where offenders live. The only one I could get from the show was familywatchdog.us If you have a list of sites somewhere, where would I find it? Thanks.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  36. James

    It's amazing how no one ever mentions the fact that many of these people have served their time and paid their debt for their mistakes. Why is there no registry for murderers, armed robbers, house burglars, kidnappers, arsonists, drug dealers (who cause much more damage to far more people, INCLUDING children)? Also amazing is how everyone assumes that a sex offender must be a child molester or rapist. There are, in fact, different risk levels of sex offender from low to high. What did a low risk offender do to be "locked up and throw away the key?" Some of these people are actually trying to simply get on with their lives with their families. Some have wives and even children of their own. Not all of them re-commit their crimes. Some just want to move on... but people with these one-sided views won't let them. Such are the people who likely will make mine and my wife's lives difficult for the next decade while I have to register. And as anyone who knows me will tell you... just talk to me for five minutes and you'll see... I made a stupid mistake, I admit it. I've learned my lesson and don't plan to go through the hell I saw locked up ever again.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  37. Alan Sperling

    Why don't we put micro chips in these sex offenders this way the authorities can keep track of where ever they go. If they leave the area the police got them, plus nuter them like we do to dogs and cats, or build a facility in the desert for sex offenders and ship them there. Put it in death valley, if they escape let them nothing lives in death valley. but we need to inclose them, they should not be able to be allowed to live in neighborhoods with other people. Why can't we do the same to them as they do in Turkey, castrait them, then they will have nothing to use. but micro chip them this way they are in the computers and tracking devices, do the same to these pigs like we do to animals, I mean what seperates them from animals, besides walking on 2 legs and not 4. I gurantee if you micro chip them of nuter them then that will teach them a leason if not then just kill them, because aren't they going to rape and kill again. What does it take for this country to do something right the first time instead of always going through this. Never let them buy or live in a neighbor hood with children or where women are, they are like an old habit, once they start then they never finish. So do the right thing and castrat them or nuter them or build a facility and create more jobs and put these pigs away there, this way you know they are being watched.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  38. Anthony Kiel

    Josh:
    Our elected officials are suppose to protect it's citizens (against sexual predators, specifically).
    My friend keeps watches over a Level 3 sex offender on a 24 hour job every other week (very costly for taxpayers).
    The solution for our society is to castrate these offenders and make them eunuchs. The Babylonian, the Egyptian, and the Roman Empires did this for their government official servants to make them loyal and without threat of sexual desires (which would interfere with their full-time service). Since it was successful for them (read the Book of Daniel, who was a eunuch, and was a very successful servant to the King), why not America?

    November 7, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  39. Freebird

    Lock them up and throw away the key!

    BTW, where are the websites mentioned on your broadcast enabling people to find the sex predators living around them? You mentioned several.

    November 7, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  40. Don

    It makes no sense to spend millions locking away high level sex offenders for life... and even less sense allowing them into our neighborhoods where we must try to keep an eye on their incognito whereabouts/actions.

    Chemical castration is the only answer... shut down their sick ambitions... render them safe for society. Much cheaper, much safer.

    November 7, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  41. Judy

    i have always said all they do is slap theirs hands and let them out to do it again. A rapist should have their own prison and let them rape each other for lifeA concerned g mother Judy

    November 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  42. Theron

    Pete,

    You make good points. But there are people in the inner city who sell weed, I dont think they should be locked up forever,just for selling $5 worth of weed. Why dont we get to the root of the problem. Lets lock up the people who bring it into our neighborhoods.

    Drugs are brought into the black community.Locking up the drug dealers in our communties forever won't solve the problem,because there will be somebody who will take their place. You have to go to the root of the problem. Its not the 20 year old on the corner selling drugs that is the main problem,it is the person or people that brought it into the country and then into the neighborhood to give it to that 20 year old to sell,thats the problem.

    November 8, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  43. Theron

    One of the posters said bring back Bush.My question is what is Bush going to do?LOL. What planet is that poster living on? These people are monsters,they rape women and children and some of them kill them. These predators deserve the labeling they are getting. Forgive us if we aren't sympathetic to child molesters and rapists,and murderers,its not in our nature.We're not the problem in this society, the problem is the rapists,child molesters, and murderers.

    November 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  44. Josh Levs

    To those looking for links – they are indeed on http://www.cnn.com/josh as promised. Just scroll down and you will see them.

    November 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  45. Ann Bathrick

    Hi Josh,

    Re your comment that it would be better to castrate sex offenders rather than stuff our prison systems with them, I believe that is a fantastic idea. It could even prevent these acts from happening knowing that would be the punishment.

    November 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  46. Ana

    This is ridiculous.

    Sex offender or not, we are all people and deserve to be treated with the same amount of respect. I feel that one of America's biggest problems is the way we deal with "criminals."

    People have sexual desires. That is normal. However, when these desires harm others, there is obviously a problem. The way to fix the problem, though, is not to throw these people in jail or take away their sexual organs. Who in the world has the right to take away our organs for heaven's sake?

    What we need is a better system to help those who's sexual desires tend to hurt others. These people don't just wake up one day with a feeling to go rape some 12-year-old girl. It is something that they grow with and are too ashamed to ask for help because having any kind of sexual desire now-a-days seems to be such a great taboo in our society.

    If those who know they have a problem that may lead them to rape someone or hurt someone were more comfortable to ask for help, maybe society as a whole would be better.

    November 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  47. Russ Vander Wier

    Sex registries have become a joke. I really don't need to know whether the guy who got caught by a cop taking a leak outside a bar after it closed or the teenage boy who had consensual sex with his under age girlfirend live next door. There are so many people like that it takes the focus off the truly dangerous perverts that are out there, It's time for our legislators to revisit the problem and develope a system to differentiate between the harmless and the harmful. Why should a person have to register in Michigan when guys in the south can do the samething and not be prosecutered if they marry the "victim"? Talk about a shotgun wedding. Last week the Michigan Court of Appeals held that it was cruel abd unusuall punishiment to make a man register as sex offender eventhough his undelying case had been Expunged under the Holmes Youthful Offender Act. To make matters worse his court records were inaccessibe to prove the facts of the case because of the expungement tht ironically was intended to help him! it seems like my entire neighborhood is filled with"sex offenders" Sure wish I knew which ones really needed to be watched.

    November 8, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  48. Cris

    It's sad to say but in most cases sexual predators and murders can not be re-introduced into the public. I think it is a mental sickness that once acted on you simply can't get past. I am a realist(with common sense) who believes in the chair in situations where you catch the rapists,child molesters, and murderers with their hand in the cookie jar as in the situations with Anthony Sowell and Phillip Garrido. These two twisted murders and freaks can not be reintroduced into society and as a result should received punishment to the fullest extent of the law. There is no telling how Garrido has ruined the lives of Dugard and her children. We hope and pray that the Dugard family can recover mentally. The families of the Sowell murders have had loved ones ripped out of their lives. I pray for them all. Yes each situation should be assessed in the case of rape, murder and molestation. I would want two teenagers engaged in sexual relations to get counseling and guidance not the chair. In the case of Garrido and Sowell I say have no mercy on them!

    November 8, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  49. Donna Romo

    The problem regarding violent sex offenders is that chemical castration and physical castration, only removes the physical means for these monsters to perform physically.

    Sexual satisfaction and desire take place in the brain. Any offender who is aroused and satisfied by violence, sadism and murder, is not going to be controlled by castration. In some cases the castration may only intensify the sex offender's mental obsessions. If a person receives sexual satisfaction by inflicting pain, it doesn't matter if the block and tackle are in order.

    Our challenges lies in determining ways to continue to incarcerate sex offenders who have successfully served straight sentences and are subsequently released, and in training those who conduct prison psych evaluations to understand these people cannot be "cured" or controlled.

    We also, need to amend our state and federal laws to require that these offenders are adequately and consistently monitored. We need to legislate the funding to assign personnel to adequately monitor and track these people. Limits to the case loads of Social Services personnel and Parole officers who must check these people have to be limited and funded.

    We cannot continue to blame our public servants when they have between three and four hundred cases per month. We will simply have to find adequate funding to assist law enforcement in doing their jobs.

    Then, as parents we have to take responsibility for protecting and educating our own children. My own children are 20 and 16. They do not walk anywhere or leave this house without checking in when they arrive in a timely manner. I always know where they are and who they are with.

    We know the names and addresses of the 85 registered sex offenders in our zip code. ( Thankl you Megan's Law)
    My children also know that the sex offenders who are uncaught and unidentified are the most dangerous. The worst monsters look trustworthy. (Example: BTK killer).

    Thank you for this venue.

    November 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  50. Andrea

    People are human beings. People make mistakes. It is obvious that these people need help. Don't call them monsters, don't threaten them, by only saying that makes the matters worse.

    Those who are sex offenders are probably too afraid to even admit that they need help due to the fact that our society is brought up to think that one: asking for help makes you weak. And two: the hype up of hate against them makes them hide.

    What our country needs is a better system. Prisons and Jails aren't the place for rehabilitation. Prisons in our country now is just a storage place and that is wrong. We need to create a system for sex offenders and other criminals to go to, learn and develop better habits, and leave as good citizens.

    Right now, if we just put criminals and sex offenders in jails, that is not benefiting society. It only temporarily relieves the problem. By tackling this, by helping out these individuals, they can come back into the country and help prosper our nation in ways they could never do before because of their disorders and problems.

    With this, more jobs can be created in the Psychological, Sociological, and Medical fields. A rehabilitation system can be created instead of a storage place.

    Humans with needs do not deserve to be put in cages. It is actually quite the opposite of what is truly needed.

    This can relate all the way back to Dorothea Dix and her activism towards prison reform. Because back in 1850s, those with mental disabilities where put in prisons. Dix saw this as injustice and knew that those people needed help. And now, we have a place for those with disabilities to go get assistance.

    Sex offenders and Criminals need help too. It is injustice to put them in a room and lock them up. It's not what they need and it's not what our country can do best.

    November 8, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  51. strayze

    In my post listed far above, I mentioned that HABITUAL SEX PREDATORS might be controlled by castration, either chemical or surgical. Please note the original qualifier adjective "habitual".

    November 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  52. strayze

    Recently the State of Louisiana has initiated a new law requiring castration of habitual sex offenders.

    November 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  53. strayze

    To find the free sexual offender registries, google your state's name, followed by the words sexual offender. My state provides free information including the home addresses of the offender, their name, and their picture. I even recognized a man in there that goes to my church! I had not previously known of his address, but I do now, and he lives in my immediate area. I found that the area where my 10 yr old grandson lives has lots of child sexual offenders. My state allows searches under various catagories of offenders. Some appear on multiple listings, i.e. both adult victims and dhild victims. There is also a listing for violent predators, for predators, for child offenders, and a few others. No registration is needed, for it's a search of the official state records which are kept relatively up-to-date.

    November 8, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  54. Toni Jones

    There are too many sex offenders released back into society. So many of them although registared live too close to schools, parks, and other areas where children are in numbers, this sickens me to know okmur society can not do better to protect children in our society. Sexual predators deserve no rights.

    November 9, 2009 at 1:20 am |
  55. Carol Gallina

    I heard on the news (KTLA) in Los Angeles approx. a month ago,that a sex offender in the South Bay area in California was receiving all types of paid programs such as; (can't remember all his paid programs), but to start with $3500.00 for his rent, WHY?
    $.55/mile to get to each of his paid programs.

    Well, the final tally was, $30,000.00 a month of tax payers hard earned pay to take care of a known sex offender. Again, WHY so much money?

    $30,000.00 a month, some people make that annually.

    I'm single, raising my grandson, laid off my job (18) months and I can't even get Medi-Cal, I have a share of cost of $552.00 a month, who can afford that? I am an American Citizen since birth, worked since I was 24 years old.

    I receive $1064/month in unemployment benefits and my grandson receives $620.00/month from Social Security Death Benefits from my daughter' death (cancer). Yes, my grandson receives full medical benefits from the State of California.

    The State of California says I make over the limit to be qualified for Medi-Cal. Even though I'm considered at poverty level, I'm make too much money. Yet a known sex offender receives all sorts of tax payer assistance.

    Thank you for allowing me to vent. Greatly appreciated.

    Carol

    November 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  56. Theron

    Yes people are human beings, yes people make mistakes, yes people need help, but when you rape and kill women and rape and kill children you are a monster. It has been proven time and time again, that when you release these people back into the public, that some of them rape and kill again. These people belong behind bars, that way people are protected.They don't deserve the same respect as everybody else, give me a break.

    It seems to me that too many people have soft spots for violent criminals. Rapists, child molesters, and murderers deserve no sympathy and no respect. These people are monsters.Calling them monsters dont make matters worse. What makes matters worse is people who feel that they deserve a second chance,which is why we have a total of 11 women murdered by that monster. Having a soft spot for these people and treating them with respect enabled this rapist/killer in Cleveland to do what he did, which is rape and kill more women.

    My question for those who have soft spots for these rapists,murderers,child molesters is, what if your aunt,sister,mother,daughter was raped or killed, would you still feel that they should get a second chance?Would you treat them with respect?

    November 11, 2009 at 2:44 am |