Video Suggestions

by | Sep 30, 2020

Video 1

Video 1—Related to Article 1 (“Feds Release Nationwide Sex Offender Registry Regulation”) of this newsletter: “Shawna: A Life on the Sex Offender Registry”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWPtAJS1kro

Discussion Questions

1. As the beginning of the video indicates, there are over 800,000 Americans on sex offender registries. If you were estimating that number prior to watching the video, would that estimate have been higher or lower than 800,000? Is the 800,000 number due to an eroding moral culture in the United States, overly strict criminal law related to sex offenders, or some combination of the two (2) factors? Explain your responses.

This is an opinion question, so student responses may vary both as to the estimate of the number of Americans on sex offender registries, and whether the high number is due to an eroding moral culture in the United States, overly strict criminal law related to sex offenders, or some combination of the two (2) factors.

2. One argument in favor of strict sex offender laws is that the recidivism (i.e., repeat offense) rate for sex offenses is extremely high. In your reasoned opinion, is Shawna a high risk, medium risk, or low risk in terms of recidivism? Explain your response.

According to the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART), sexual recidivism rates range from five (5) percent after three (3) year to twenty-four (24) percent after fifteen (15) years. In your author’s opinion, it is difficult to imagine Shawna at anything more than an extremely low (if at all) risk of recidivism.

3. In your opinion, should Shawna be a lifetime registered sex offender? Why or why not?

This is an opinion question, so student responses may vary. As mentioned in response to Article 1, Question 2 included earlier in this newsletter, responses to this question will likely depend on what the student views as the primary objective of criminal law: 1) to punish the offender; or 2) to rehabilitate the offender.

Video 2

Video 2—Related to Article 2 (“The USPS and the Constitution”) and Article 3 (“Trump’s Attacks on the Post Office Threaten Democracy”) of this newsletter): “Constitution Calls for USPS Maintenance, Funding: Judge Napolitano”

Note: Judge Napolitano’s discussion of the United States Postal Service (USPS) begins at 4:10 of the following video. His reference to a constitutionally mandated, federally operated postal service is from Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution:

https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6182222176001/#sp=show-clips

Discussion Questions

1. Do you agree or disagree with Judge Napolitano’s contention that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is “way below par” (in terms of performance?) Explain your response.

This is an opinion question, so student responses may vary. As mentioned in response to Article 3, Question 1 included earlier in this newsletter, it is both fascinating and empowering for your author to know that I can still mail a letter from Hickory, North Carolina, addressed to Fairbanks, Alaska, and reasonably expect that the letter will make it to “The Last Frontier” for fifty-five (55) cents (the current postal rate!)

2. Do you agree or disagree with Judge Napolitano’s contention that operation of the USPS is an obligation, rather than a discretionary right, of the federal government? Explain your response.

This is an opinion question, so student responses may vary.

3. As indicated in the Video 2 heading, Judge Napolitano’s comments are intended to be read in the context of Article 2 (“The USPS and the Constitution”) and Article 3 (“Trump’s Attacks on the Post Office Threaten Democracy”) of this newsletter. Has your opinion now changed compared to the opinion you formulated after having read only Articles 2 and 3? Explain your response.

This is an opinion question, so student responses may vary.