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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

First They Came for the Prostitutes

posted by on February 19 at 0:01 AM

The Democrats are a little crazed this election-year session to look/get tough on crime, and so they’ve been enthusiastically passing sex offender legislation.

The latest bill, which passed the House tonight 80-15, seems a little wild-eyed to me.

It requires people who commit the following misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors to give DNA samples to the state:

Animal cruelty in the second degree; Assault in the fourth degree; Custodial sexual misconduct in the second degree; Failure to register; Indecent exposure; Patronizing a prostitute; Permitting commercial sexual abuse of a minor; Permitting prostitution; Prostitution; Sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree; Unlawful harboring of a minor; and Violation of certain protection orders.

Obviously, some of these are horrendous crimes (e.g. sexual misconduct with a minor). But that only highlights how questionable it is to require DNA samples on some of the other crimes (prostitution?) listed here.

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Humm - I can understand Animal Cruelty because once they move on to be serial killers it's nice to have previous DNA to convict them;

Prostitution is a little trickier... perhaps that's so they can identify dead prostitute bodies easier?

Either way - the FBI isn't going to go build a DNA database and just have it sit empty are they? That would be a waste of taxpayer money.

Posted by Colton | February 19, 2008 12:40 AM

Wow, next time I go streaking, they'll keep my goods on file?

Posted by flyingdics | February 19, 2008 5:30 AM

Like it or not, we are rapidly headed towards a day when the government has a DNA sample on file for every man, woman and child in this country. And I'm not 100% sure that's altogether a bad thing. Microchips scare the hell out of me a whole lot more, and that technology exists right now as well.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | February 19, 2008 6:56 AM

Why am I on the Stranger website and see and ad for Republican Eric Cantor from Virginia? This is wrong on so many levels. Has anyone else noticed that?

Posted by Andrew | February 19, 2008 7:24 AM

-and Fidel Castro resigns as Cuba's President.

Posted by Mr. Poe | February 19, 2008 7:43 AM

@5, Bush and the right wing wackos will take credit for his resignation.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | February 19, 2008 7:46 AM

Cool. Can we add cops found guilty of police misconduct to the list? And how about identity theft and fraud?

Posted by Greg | February 19, 2008 7:48 AM

Permitting prostitution? Isn't anyone who drives down Aurora without calling the police guilty of that?

Posted by Levislade | February 19, 2008 8:31 AM

each party and faction is sometimes right. maybe like a broken clock?

I thoroughly disagree with the libertarian point of view but why do we make drugs and prostitution illegal if it's two consenting adults?

and yes pretty soon we will have a national id card with a chip in it and a dna sample on file and then -- it will be harder to commit crimes.

hopefully it will also lead to confiscation of all guns, too.

Posted by unPC | February 19, 2008 9:08 AM

You think this law is overreaching? How about this one, which proposes to impound the car of anyone caught soliciting sex from a prostitute. Note - you lose your car on the spot, before you are even convicted of a crime.

Says chief prude, Tim Carr -"The positive thing about forfeiture is it would deter the guys who pick up street prostitutes." Why not just execute johns on the spot, Carr? That would also have a positive deterring effect.

Posted by Sean | February 19, 2008 9:17 AM

@10 The death penalty has never proven an effective deterrent.

Posted by T | February 19, 2008 9:52 AM

For indecent exposure? Jesus fucking christ. This goddamn liberal asisnine legislature is getting to be too much.

The facist cops will try charging anyone streaking or riding thier bike nekid in protest with indecent exposure to "scare" them into not doing it.

The fucking system is out of control. I've had it with bullshit "protective" laws that save everyone from themselves.

This bullshit really has my torked.

Fucking idiots.

Posted by Reality Check | February 19, 2008 10:08 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't assault in the fourth degree the lowest form of assault, like spitting or pushing someone? Whereas First degree is a more serious assault? If I'm right that's a hell of a lot of people who could have their DNA taken by the state.

Posted by Chris | February 19, 2008 10:40 AM

I must wholeheartedly agree with Reality Check. Can we please stop wasting our time on BS feel-good legislation so we sound "tough on crime?"

It's also worth noting that pretty soon, the government will have EVERYONES' fingerprints. There are numerous programs out there to fingerprint your kids (to "save" them if they are kidnapped). Except that having your kids' fingerprints on file will only help ID a body. But it will neatly have them in the system for later adolescent hijinks. Some schools use fingerprints for lunch programs. Yay Democracy!

Unfortunately, no one seems to give a shit.

Posted by Dianna | February 19, 2008 10:57 AM

Basically, the legislature is saying, pimps up, hos down.

Why else would they go after the women, and their tricks and not the men that put them out there?

Its not hard out there for a pimp, but certainly hard out there for a ho.

All those years of pre law and the best they could do is pass a law that could have been drafted by snoop doggie dog.

Posted by Louie | February 19, 2008 11:10 AM

@10... that article is freaky. they could impound your car even if you are at a hotel -- meaning not just street level.

i thought we'd be moving closer toward legalizing prostitution and regulating it. this seems the exact opposite. yes, things like this are why i have those libertarian leanings.

dna? car impounded? whatever.

Posted by infrequent | February 19, 2008 11:31 AM

@13--I'm so happy that someone else noticed Assault 4 on the list. That would probably have the broadest impact. I'm not sure what the public policy argument is for expanding DNA requirements so much, but it seems extreme.

Posted by Gidge | February 19, 2008 11:39 AM

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