Activists are just as bad: Unfortunately, your story about the battle over how to treat sex offenders ("Sympathy for the Devils," Kyle Swenson, August 22) did not do enough to highlight the harassment that anti-sex-offender activist Valerie Parkhurst has dished out, including harassing the daughter of one registered sex offender in Michigan. In fact, Dr. Phil's show was set to feature this nutjob on air until they told her the aforementioned registrant's daughter wanted to confront her on the show and then she backed off. Nor did your article care to mention that many of the other vigilantes out there also have criminal records for violence. Indeed, many of the recent vigilante killers, like Patrick Drum of Port Angeles, Washington, or Jeremy and Christine Moody of South Carolina had extensive criminal histories. People like Valerie Parkhurst are no better than those they attack. To this day, Valerie Parkhurst blames everyone but herself for her arrests, even claiming Davie PD poisoned her dogs as retaliation for suing them. The only "devil" in this article that's getting undue sympathy is Valerie "Valigator" Parkhurst. oncefallendotcom
Death is better: If you are going to brand a person for life the way we brand sex offenders and then deprive him of his livelihood, you might as well just kill him. Juan R. Pollo
Reader Mail: Brand Sex Offenders for Life
Lock 'em up: Gail Colletta is fighting for her son's rights, but his bust for kiddie porn shows he would have grown up to ruin and destroy other kids' lives. It's good they locked him up sooner rather then later. Offenders like him should all be lined up and shot. The only good sex offender is a dead one. There's no cure for that sickness. cpelata
Fix the system: The system is fatally flawed, much to the disadvantage of many innocent people. I'd like to see a concrete figure on the number of people who were put on the list for having sex with a 17-year-old when they were just 18. This list ruins lives forever and is a million times worse than jail time and a regular criminal record. The system needs major reforms — not for those who are guilty, but for those who are innocent. Zach McElroy
Brand them, literally: You say sex offenders are "branded for life" like that's a bad thing. They should be actually branded like cattle, right on their face! At least then the world will know who is who, and those offenders who thrive and take advantage of the weak will no longer be able to stay incognito. Nomejodas Pleez
WWJD?: There but for grace and mercy so go we all. Everyone has sinned. Yet so many feel justified to stand in judgment of others. What right have we to condemn a person a second time after they have served their legal sentence? A person who sets himself up as a judge greater than the law places himself above the law and esteems himself greater than the lawgiver. Who is more wicked, the one who sinned and served his sentence or the one who lifts himself above the law and justifies himself by his own self-righteousness? rice9
Too broad a brush: The trouble with the "sex offender" label is that it's applied too broadly. A drunk guy who pees in public is not the same as a pedophile. A rapist is not the same as a 17-year-old who has sex with a 16-year-old. The pedophile and rapist can be shot as far as I'm concerned, but the drunk and the 17-year-old shouldn't have their lives ruined because of something minor. awfkiwhistler
Bad laws: Laws so strict that they drive sex offenders to homelessness just give them much less to lose by committing a similar crime again. Plain and simple. David Goldfarb
Whatever it takes: I am glad we have people like Valerie Parkhurst willing to stand against these deviants. If tactics like hers are what it takes to protect our neighborhoods, then I say go for it. Do what it takes to get the job done. I just wish she lived in my neighborhood. Jimmo
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That was so 1992: Was your column about what makes a true Hurricanes fan ("Do You Rep the U?" Francisco Alvarado, August 22) reprinted from 1992? The Canes really haven't been all that relevant or compelling for a long time, and their "swagger" days are way in the rearview mirror. I'm actually a fan of every South Florida team, but I really don't miss much of that era at UM. It's supposed to be a university, not a football factory, first. If more emphasis is now on stricter academics for athletes and that results in a team that is no longer quite as dominant, well, that's good. This was never supposed to be professional football. Steven