Once again the information age is upon us and with the advent of social
media, the lives of many have changed completely. What used to be conveyed
by word of mouth or through a written letter is now widely broadcasted
using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Nowadays, people
are able to share their experiences or thoughts with a myriad of people
directly from their phones at any point in the day. The ability to communicate
in this fashion has broadened discussion, increased the ability to learn
new things, and in general provided the opportunity to share experiences.
It goes without saying that with new technology comes a new set of concerns
which must be addressed in today’s modern and rapidly changing society.
It has been recently reported that the Supreme Court is likely to strike
down a North Carolina law that prohibits registered sex offenders from
using social networking sites. Reports say that during arguments, at least
five of the Supreme Court justices suggested they were leaning toward
ruling against the controversial law. If they rule against it, the precedent
would be set and then similar laws in other states would be open to challenge
and likely struck down as well.
Proponents of the law argue this law has been put into place to protect
children from potential harm. The law is being compared to similar laws
which prevent sex offenders from visiting public playgrounds or other
areas where children may be present. Proponents recognize children are
especially vulnerable to the acts of sexual offences and could be at a
heightened risk, especially via a personal message over social media.
People on the other side argue this is an additional punishment which does
nothing more than continually punish reformed offenders. While the protection
of children is obviously a major concern, it is nearly a universally accepted
opinion that reformed offenders must be re-integrated into society in
order to ensure a smooth and efficient criminal justice system. At some
point society must accept that re-integrating reformed offenders means
restoring some rights which may be controversial when all factors are
taken into account.
Maybe a middle ground could be reached? Any law that prohibits the reintegration
into society of a reformed offender cannot stand. However, at the same
time we must be sympathetic to the concerns of citizens and legislators
when it comes to protecting children in this rapidly changing society.
Social media has a responsibility to provide a means of monitoring children’s
activities when using certain websites and perhaps the burden should be
placed on the individual sites to prevent the types of incidents proponents
of the law are attempting to avoid. Granted this sort of approach is an
imperfect solution, however the law is never perfect - a fact those falsely
accused can attest to. But, perhaps this imperfect solution could help
mitigate today’s imperfect modern age.
The attorney’s at Bleile & Dawson are extremely knowledgeable
in criminal law, especially when it comes to defending our clients against
wrongful accusations, whether in the State of Ohio or the Commonwealth
of Kentucky. If you feel that you have wrongly been accused of a crime
and seek to find the best possible representation to fight for you, hire
a law firm that puts the client first and fights hard to protect the client.
Contact us today for a completely confidential consultation at 513-564-0088.