Child Molesters have it easy. This is a problem across many of the state criminal codes. I will be using the Georgia State Criminal code to use as my basic example, but you will find that most states a child molester gets less prison time and more leniency than a man who murdered his wife in the heat of passion. But he murdered someone! Yes, well to be fair, that murderer is far less dangerous than the child molester.
According to Holmes, psychologically a child molester neutralizes their behavior to negate the responsibility of the actions (Holmes, 2009, p. 171). This is indicative of someone who knows exactly what they are doing. In order to justify their actions, they have to sit down and think about why their actions (which society doesn’t accept) are acceptable. Rationalization keeps the person continuing in the same pattern, as long as they can make excuses they can keep their conscious from telling them their actions are wrong.
There are various classifications for child molesters as there are many different motivations for their actions. Not all child molesters have intent to harm which is the prerequisite for first-degree murder, which is why a comparison between first degree murderers and child molesters cannot be made. However, in most cases, harm does occur (even if it’s psychological). Many of these offenders (especially the ones who are driven by sexual desire) will not stop fixating their desires on children. Simply put, it is a fetish (hence the term pedophilia).
Second-degree murder cases do not need to prove intent. Even more so, many of these offenders will get too old to keep up with their ways. With the exception of career serial killers and first-degree murder cases; it is likely that a murderer will age out. Aging out is when a criminal reaches the end of their criminal careers. For most gang offenders this is around the age of 25 – 30 when they realize they need to settle down and do better for the families. Those who kill their spouses in the heat of passion (even if above the aging out limit) are not likely to go looking for another victim. These were people looking to ‘solve a problem’ and now that the problem is solved they don’t have the same motivating factor as a serial killer or a sociopath to continue to kill.
In Georgia, according to § 16-5-1 (2) A person convicted of the offense of murder in the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 30 years.
§ 16 – 6- 4 (b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person convicted of a first offense of child molestation shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years.
The exception is when a child is physically harmed and it is considered an aggravated case in which the sentencing is a similar to that of the second-degree murder charge.
Due to overcrowding in many of the prisons those who have shorter sentences are being released, or those who are close to being near the end of their current sentences. This is reintegrating more child molesters (especially those who have a lesser sentence) back into the population. There is no rehabilitation for these offenders. They are fixated on children and always will be. I am not okay with them being getting the easy route because they had no intent to harm a child. The children live with the psychological damage for the rest of their life. Compared to the damage a child molester does to children, they are only getting a slap on the wrist. This needs to stop. Our children deserve better.