‘Sex offender label problematic’

That's the view of former FBI agent Ken Lanning, WAAY TV in Huntsville, Ala., reports. "Lanning spent 35 years as a special agent for the FBI. He now trains law enforcement officials across the United States on how to investigate allegations of sexual abuse. But even though he's seen and investigated some of the worst cases in the country, he doesn't like the title of sexual predator." Lanning "said the public shouldn't try to fit all [sex offenders] into the same category. Also, he said that not all people convicted of sex crimes should be required to wear electronic monitoring bracelets, and move 2,000 feet from schools or day cares, under laws like Jessica or Megan's Law." And the story doesn't even mention teen-aged convicted sex offenders, young people convicted for acts that may have been crimes, yes, but also possibly may have been huge mistakes made by adolescents who, by definition, don't yet have the impulse control of fully developed adult brains (see "Teenage Brain: A Work in Progress" at the National Institute of Mental Health ). [See also "Juvenile sex offenders & Net registries," "18-year-old registered sex offender," and "Teens to be sex offenders for life?"

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