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W4-1. The Scarlet Driver’s License A Delaware law features a new version of the

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Criminology | 0 comments

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W4-1. The Scarlet Driver’s License
A Delaware law features a new version of the scarlet letter. Anyone convicted of a sex crime (including sexual abuse of a child) is immediately issued a new driver’s license with a “Y” stamped on the front. The meaning of the code is explained on the back of the license. If the ex-offender moves to another state and turns in the Delaware license, that state would be alerted as to the offender’s past conviction. This new law was added to the existing Megan’s law, now passed in virtually every state, that requires convicted sex offenders to register with local police and child welfare agencies so that neighbors can be notified even after the offender’s sentence has been completed. The sponsor of the new law said, “This additional information will give police the ability to thwart some sex crimes before they occur.” Simply checking a person’s identification will alert police to a past conviction for a sex crime. Opponents argue that such a label will interface with an ex-offender’s ability to get a job, cash a check, rent an apartment, or do anything that requires picture identification. This will impede efforts of former sex offenders to live law-abiding lives. It also unfairly discriminates against sex offenders versus other kinds of ex-offenders.
Assess the moral permissibility of a scarlet letter such as that used in Delaware.

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