Jessica Lunsford and Hypocrisy

The rape and murder of nine-year-old Jessisa Lunsford in 2005 was a terrible thing. The fact that her attacker was a violent sexual predator with a past reinforces our fear that the world is filled with dangerous sexual predators. But the fact remains that most people accused of sex offenses are harmless, and do not deserve to be treated like quarantined beasts. Jessica Lunsford's father knows this. He knows it because he might just be a sex offender himself; his son certainly is, at least by standards of current law.
Question? Why were lawmakers so quick to pass Jessica's law, demonizing people without distinction on the urging of a man who had deleted images of child pornography in his own computer the day his daughter went missing in Homasse, Florida in 2005? Why wasn't John Lunsford charged? Why wasn't his 18-year-old son required to register as a sex offender several years later when he pleaded guilty to sexual contact with a minor? Why, finally, the double standards?
Don't get me wrong: I don't think that possession of pornographic images on a computer makes a person a sex offender or a danger to society. If Mark Lunsford had such images in his possession the day his daughter was kidnapped, raped and murdered that should not make Lunsford a criminal.
But the prisons are filled with men who did no more than Jessica's father did. Why are those men in prison? Why are they required to register as sex offenders on release and to be forced into substandard housing, labelled a public health menace and then prosecuted for technical violations of the law?
One reason that sex offender laws have become undiscriminating and driven by hysteria is our tendency to make rock stars of rage out of the surviving members of the family of a violent crime. When Jessica became one of those rare children who are abducted by a stranger, all of our hearts went out to the family. But rather than sequester Mr. Lunsford away and offer him the counseling he needed to cope with shattering grief, we opened the airwaves and legislative chambers to him. We permitted him to make a poster child of Jessica, and politicians piled on to ramp up laws that are already far too draconian.
Why aren't lawmakers extending similar attention to other men who had child pornography in their computers? They are victimized too?
 I blame Oprah, frankly. Panic and sympathy sell. We gave Mr. Lunsford a pass because of what he has lost. It is no wonder that victims of the current sex offender hysteria are outraged at the hypocrisy. Mark Lunsford is permitted to stir the demons lurking in other people's homes without being held accountable for the demons in his own computer. See: child porn on the computer the day she went missing?
It gets worse, of course. Joshua Lunsford, Mark's son and Jessica's brother, was eighteen when he was charged with felony sex assault of a minor. He was permitted to plea to a misdemeanor. He spent 10 days in jail and was not required to register as a sex offender. Our prisons are filled with men serving prison sentences measured in far longer terms for the same offense. Why did Joshua catch a pass?
Once again, don't mistake me. I don't think Joshua should have gone to jail at all or been required to register as a sex offender. My understanding his contact with a 14 year old was consensual. For many years in the United States the ages of consent for sexual contact was far lower than fourteen. Romeo wasn't a felon when he wooed Juliet.
But the Lunsford's ought not to be given a libidinal past because of Jessica's murder. When Joshua turned up at his own sentencing wearing a T-shirt with Jessica's picture on it, where was his father to insist that son not engage in such tasteless theatrics? And why did Clark County Ohio Judge Tomas Trempe give this boy a slap on the wrist while presumably hammering others?
Jessica Lunsford has been used by politicians pandering to frightened voters to increase monitoring of those on sex offender lists and to increase mandatory minimum sentences. But it turns out that Jessica's family knows more truths than one. Losing a child to a stranger is horrible, but not every person possessing child pornography, and not every Romeo in pursuit of a Juliet, are sex offenders. If the Lunsford's believed that, father and son would be registered now, and their neighbors warned that predators are in their midst.
Why Fox News called upon Mr. Lunsford to serve as a spokesman for ramped up sex offender news suggests that the network is using Jessica too. To what end?, I ask. Perhaps it's high time to stop sanctifying the rage of crime victims. We say that no one can be a judge in their own case. But let a child get murdered, and grieved parents get a free pass: they get to sublimate their rage into national fame. Just ask John Walsh, who, decades after his son went missing, still hosts a national television show.
There is something sick about a society that tolerates such rank hypocrisy and hysteria. The illness isn't caused by so-called sex offenders.

Also listed under: Sex Offenders and Justice

Comments: (12)

  • Bravo!
    Posted on July 28, 2010 at 1:36 am by VDog
  • A voice of reason in a sea of hysterical thinking....
    A voice of reason in a sea of hysterical thinking. How do we get the word out to the rest of the population? I am more worried about a drunk driver on the highway or a murderer in my neighborhood than someone who has viewed some questionable photos or been a teenager with raging hormones. When did it suddenly become politically correct to take away a persons civil rights or inflict cruel and unusual punishments on a small group of individuals?
    Posted on July 28, 2010 at 7:23 am by K Mest
  • Mark Lunsford is a hypocrite. As far as I am conce...
    Mark Lunsford is a hypocrite. As far as I am concerned Mark has sullied the memory of his daughter knowing he had child porn and that his son was arrested, charged and convicted of a sex crime.
    Posted on August 3, 2010 at 8:19 am by realsexoffenderissues
  • I'm OUTRAGED that hundreds of thousands of harmles...
    I'm OUTRAGED that hundreds of thousands of harmless citizens suffer the stigma and sadistic consequences of 'MURDER' laws, as grown men who act as perverts and criminals themselves, invent and enact these 'MURDER' laws, HYPOCRITES!
    * President Bill Clinton, who exploited a vulnerable female intern for personal sexual gratification and clearly stated to the Nation how, " oral sex, it not sex" ; signed 'Megan's Law' in the U.S. as a response to Megan Kanka's 'murder' and the Kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling , purposely made 'ANY' sexual act or any encounter with a minor a sex crime under Megan's law ; nudity, all under age sexual encounters , sexual contact among 'children & teenagers' all included!
    In fact, oral sex between two consenting teenagers is a Megan's 'MURDER' law registrable 'SEX' crime; but, not sex for Presidents, right, Bill? Megan's Murder Law is crafted to expose, civilly exploit and destroy lives of any citizen with any sex related incidence but, Our Legislative leaders claim, SO Registration an it's attributes are not a punishment, the same a way oral sex, is not sex, right, BILL?

    * Arnold Schwarzenegger, known for groping woman and even escaped a statutory rape charge with 16 year old , Gigi Goyette Aka Gigi Jeffers, when Schwarzenegger was 28 years old. He put Megan's Law registrants on the internet including 'JUVENILE' convicted as ADULTS signed Jessica's 'Murder' Law in California; Which bans registrants, from living peacefully with in society, including gropers and statutory rapist , minor sexual contact charges like grabbing butts, right Arnold? Hypocrite and politician, have the same meaning, right Billy !
    * John Walsh, an 'adult' who admits to having a sex addiction, in which he exploited woman for his 'own' sexual gratification claiming 'Woman are addicting" on Larry King and Senator Mark Foley (Florida), a sexual child predator, who propositioned 16 year old boys;
    Join hands to form the Adam Walsh's 'Murder' Act , John Walsh's celebrity made Law, to over ride and replace Megan's 'murder' Law, in HONOR of himself and to collect more of our TAX DOLLARS for ' HIS' National Predator Registry SORNA . He is America's Law Maker, who can unconstitutionally, retroactively gather 'ALL' Megan's 'Murder' Law registrants, including children 14 - 18 with past sex related Megan's 'murder' Law offenses and make demands that over 700,000 citizens should abide to the Adam Walsh 'murder' Act with even stricter rules, harsher restriction and debilitating penalties, because Adam Walsh was murdered over 25 years ago!
    George Bush signs the Adam Walsh 'Murder Act to appease and follow John Walsh's personal vengeance,sadistic desires and celebrity wishes and to destroy children branded as Megan's MURDER Law, sex offenders' 14 - 18, too!
    Of course he's a perfect example for our young men in America, right? But, When he messes up as a youth , it's covered up and get protection with Daddy's money, wink, wink, Mr. Former President? It's our children who are held accountable to the fullest extent of the LAWS, for LIFE! Right, Bill, Mark, John and George .
    What's more sicker then holding children and teenagers more culpable for their immature sexual misbehavior, then the perverted Adults crafting these 'MURDER' Laws ?
    Mr. Barak Obama claimed, It's time for change, but, March 3rd 2010, was coercing with John Walsh and promised to hand over more of our tax dollars to fund his Adam Walsh 'MURDER' Law and SORNA Predator registry including CHILDREN! The HYPOCRITES, They'll 'Tax You Without Representation' ; deny you your rights ;expect you to pay for their cause with your hard earned wages, I support:
    Posted on August 8, 2010 at 3:49 am by Honest Opinion
  • S
    There is a huge differnce between a 18 yr. Old putting his hand down the pants of his 17 ur old girlfriend. And a 32 year old man abducting a 9 year old and raping her for days and murdering her, who has been im jail for raping a minor several times
    Posted on July 20, 2019 at 1:01 am by N
  • Lunsford Murder
    If this reader thought you had a conscious to try to salve because you choose to earn a living as a hero of many of your guilty clients who are awful individuals, it would be very distasteful, yet somewhat understandable. However, what I see you doing here is wrapping yourself in the flag to excuse
    both the actions of your clientele and yourself, and perhaps even chancing to gain a new client or two along the way if this should be read by certain individuals. There have been, unfortunately, many individuals who have been unjustly tried and jailed in our courts. If this is, indeed, your concern, why choose these particular ‘innocents’ who are accused of sexually-based offenses to represent?
    Posted on August 20, 2019 at 2:21 pm by HS
  • Go crush your balls in a vice
    Your arguments and reasoning are misguided and dangerously over-simplified. People who actively search for child pornography and view such pornography are in fact consuming such heinous acts. Those heinous acts become part of who they are. Much like a person who shoots heroine into their vein, they are an IV drug user. You cannot separate that fact from the individual. As society, we are the ones who decide if that person who consumes child pornography is a danger, because if we feel those acts pose a threat to our children, it is in fact dangerous. Simply put: You fail to understand the dangerous evilness that is child pornography. It is men like you who can stand silently and do nothing while children are exploited. A child's safety is the responsibility of everyone. Period. I hope no child is ever put in a position of needing your initiative towards help.
    As for sexual contact of any kind between an 18 year old and a 14 year old, you disgust me further. This is not anywhere near the "gray zone" of an 18 year old adult and 17 year old minor. Your indifference towards evil, or your inability to know what evilness is, is a danger to society. You have displayed, rather ineloquently, your shortcomings for ever having a child's best interests at heart. You have lost your moral compass. You should be very careful to never cross paths with anyone such as myself. In other words, you shouldn't show your face. There are many more such as myself. You are a disgusting human being.
    Posted on November 1, 2019 at 10:33 pm by Alex K
  • .
    You and your reasoning are fucking pathetic. This is such a gross oversimplification, but congratulations on your edgy opinion; at least you tried. I just wish your mother had. Good luck living life being that goddamn stupid.
    Posted on January 15, 2020 at 12:04 am by Olivia
  • Thank you
    And I'm sorry you had to be subjected to the vitriol of small minded haters. Everything you wrote is correct. Lunsford is the worst kind of hypocrite, frequently used by sleazy politicians looking to increase already draconian SO laws in a race to the bottom for power and votes.
    Posted on February 2, 2020 at 5:08 pm by Selizabeth
  • Sex Offenders
    Offenders are mentally sick. They are not a small group! Why wasn't this SOB in prison? He got his hands slapped before? People making excuses for them? What is wrong with you? They lack restraint. There is no cure! Kids have rights!
    Posted on March 6, 2020 at 4:08 pm by L. Denison
  • JUST WOW!!!
    Pathetic the way people are sticking up for sex offenders here and saying people are hurt by MURDER laws??? So let me get this straight. Mark (maybe possibly it is just a rumor) might have had child porn pictures which shouldn't be illegal according to you but because he had supposedly had photos (allegedly) he shouldn't be able to mourn his daughter or be upset a pervert snatched her. Well the reason kids GET snatched is to produce the child porn you don't think is wrong. And you apparently think the age of concent should be WAY lower than 14 so 9, 10? So I guess the kidnapper should have just manipulated Jessica into sex? Right?
    So basically kiddie porn is ok and sex with kids is ok?
    The only part I slightly agree with is teenagers having sex with other teens is much different. If a say 15 and 17 year old are dating then the 17 year old turns 18 it shouldn't be suddenly illegal. I'd say a 4 year age gap should be allowed and an exception for birthday say someone is 4 years apart 9 months out of the year by 5 for 3 or something like that.
    Posted on March 21, 2020 at 12:11 am by Christina
  • Your repulsive
    Your about as big a scumbucket as the pedophiles you surely represent and assure that they don't deserve to be drug to the bottom of the cess pool and drowned! After reading your appalling opinion I without a doubt believe you have child porn squirreld away on some devise at home. You deserve to sit in a cell with the scum you so badly want to find a common bond with.
    Posted on March 7, 2022 at 9:06 pm by Kimberly

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