Monday, September 03, 2007

Interesting debate about sex offender lists in Daily Wildcat

There was an interesting question posed by the Arizona Daily Wildcat's publishing of the names of 2 of the 3 sex offenders registered for classes at the UA. While their prior convictions are public information, is bringing them to the forefront irresponsible? And to that end, are sex offender lists, which similarly bring already public convictions to the forefront, similarly excessive?

Here's a response from several past Daily Wildcat columnists:
The men to whom the article referred have served their jail time and have repaid their debt to society. What's more, they are apparently making an endeavor to better themselves through education and gainful employment. This is the route one would hope all ex-felons pursue, and the Wildcat should not play a role in needlessly adding to their opprobrium.

To be sure, UA students who are concerned about sex offenders in their midst can easily find that information in a wide array of online databases. But absent any real news story, there is no reason - journalistic or otherwise - for the Wildcat to cast a dark pall on members of the UA community who are ostensibly trying to rehabilitate themselves by seeking an education.
The WSJ recently discussed when public information becomes too public.


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