Sunday, December 20, 2009

Paedophile mugshots to go public?

From: The News
Law and Justice MPs want images of sexual offenders and their personal data to go public.

According to the amendment to the penal code proposed by the conservative Law and Justice party, courts will be obliged to reveal personal data and images of people who committed brutal rapes or sexual crimes against minors and were validly sentenced.

“So far courts could decided whether they wanted to make sexual offenders’ names public. We want the practice to become a rule,” says Andrzej Dera, author of the draft.

An Internet register of sexual offenders would contain photos of those who committed sexual offences and notes about the crimes.

The idea has already stirred a lot of controversy. Former Justice Minister Zbigniew Cwiakalski criticised the draft, saying that minor sexual offenders should not be treated in the same way as serious, notorious offenders.

Opponents also argue that courts should take the decision as to the publication of offenders’ data because they will not be influenced by public opinion.

On the other hand supporters praise the idea, saying that similar registers exist, or will exist in other countries, such as the US, Peru and South Korea. Great Britain also has a database of sexual offenders but it is available only for police and the secret services.

Jakub Spiewak from, a foundation which fights against child pornography and paedophilia, claims that Poland needs a sexual offenders register but a classified one, as the average citizen does not need such information.