Alton Sterling: When a sex offender gets a candlelight vigil

What’s amazing to me is that usually when we hear of sex offenders who had sex with someone underage, we see them as a incorrigible monsters. They can’t live near a park. They can’t hand out Halloween candy. They are sometimes not even allowed to walk their own children to school. Their humanity is completely obliterated, even if they have served their time and are now loving dads getting up and going to work. We attempt to welcome back most citizens returning home from prison. But sex offenders we treat as permanently toxic.

Just today I read about a mom so incensed that her daughter’s school bus lets her off in front of a sex offender’s home that she is transferring her daughter out of the school. This, even though of the nearly one million people on the sex offender registry, the vast majority will never commit a sex offense again.

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics found that sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of any criminals other than murderers.

It seems to take the shock of an unjust death to remind us that sex offenders can be people who are good men, kind neighbors, guys who make us laugh.