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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Senate Bill 70 creates an Arsonist Registry

The state of Ohio has decided to "fight" arson by creating a registry for people with arson records, similar to the sex crime registries. The above video introduces the topic, but (like all mainstream news) fails to explain why the state is addressing a problem caused by poverty, financial speculation, and poor urban management by stigmatizing and extending punishment for formerly incarcerated people.

Here's an opinion piece by a friend who may be directly impacted (as in, put on the registry and put back in prison for failure to comply) by the new law.

"Unfortunately, it is not clear whether Senate Bill 70 will retro-actively affect convicted felons. Ohio encourages recidivism, through its insouciant rehabilitation programs, through its arduous conditions of release, and through its branding. Nathaniel Hawthorne opposed branding, but Ohio embraces the punishment; it encourages its citizens to ostracize those who've failed, forcing them to register like culled cows. Two statistics 175 people died in fires in Ohio in 2008 As reported by the State Fire Marshall. 415 people died in car accidents involving those drunk in Ohio in 2008 As reported by DUI-USA. The key difference in these two crimes, while one does not, as purported by the Demagoguery of the Senate, have a high recidivism rate the other does. Drunk driving has the highest recidivism of all crimes, and it has the highest number of public servants committing the crime. Ohio State Rep. Robert Mecklenborg (republican) was arrested for drunken driving last year. The shame is this is supposed to be a free country. A country where you can overcome your mistakes, rise above previous failures, and become a success; however, Ohio Lawmakers desire Orwell to rise up. They want everyone to register, while they do not, separating the classes on paper." 

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