South Georgians have different views on sex offenders debate - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

South Georgians have different views on sex offenders debate

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Should certain sex offenders be kept in custody even after they complete their prison sentences? It's a debate the U.S. Supreme Court took up this week, and several justices seemed open to the idea of indefinitely holding "sexually dangerous" inmates. Supporters say that would protect children from sexual predators. Critics say it's a violation of basic rights.

Several Justices seemed to agree that the Constitution allows them detain inmates the way they would quarantine a person with a communicable disease. Some attorneys say they are overstepping their official bounds.

Attorney Jerry Brimberry said "It's very disturbing to me not only as a defense attorney, but also as just a citizen."

But South Georgia child advocates say protecting children from sexual predators is too important to take chances.

Amy Boney, Director of the Firefly House Child Advocacy Center said " Frankly, the only way that you can be sure they will not reoffend against a child is for them to be incarcerated."

Boney says research shows the recidivism of child sex predators is extremely high, and that children attacked by a predator are victims forever.

Boney said "The ramification of sexual abuse against children are life long."

Brimberry says Washington bureaucrats should never be given this much power.  Brimberry said "I just think it's another incidence of the Federal Government trying to take control of every aspect of our lives. Even taking the discretion away from judges."

A debate, if public safety is strengthened at the cost of civil liberties and rights

In April, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts granted a request to block the release of 77 inmates in North Carolina, to give the high court time to consider an appeal.

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