the problem is in both our definition of laws and the curroption of our legal system. Laws, by thier nature are not enforcible as a whole. They are ideals and edicts diesigned to protect society from itself. The two principles you have to ask when faced with justice are protecting society, and preserving its freedom. Thats it. Anything else is useless bias. The same principles of an individuals right to defend himself apply to a societies right to defend itself. No matter how angry you are, it is simply not a usefull factor in deciding punishment. Ironicly, this way of thinking leads me to believe that punishment should be much more severe. Even if someone is not mentally competant to stand trial, their danger to society is still very real, and they should be incarcerated unless they have shown that their mental condition would not pose a significant danger to society, even if this results in a longer sentance than would be required for someone who had his facaulties at the time the crime was commited.

The problem with abuse is that it is hard to define who is the victom and who is the abuser. People think that extensive abuse renders a person beyond rational thought, and a lot of times it does, but they must still be held responsible for thier actions, if not on thier behalf, on societies. Once you are sane, then you are responsible for your actions while you were insane, so even if you do recieve treatment, you should still be incarcerated. It is kind of unfair, but if you dont hold a man or woman to be responsible for his own actions, regardless of circumstance, then there is no basis for justice. Justice must be upheld without regard to how much you empathize with someones plight, no matter how much a violation of the law may have been a rational, human condition. If you have to hotwire a car to drive somebody to a hospital to save thier life, you have still violated that persons right to his property, and he still has a right to protect himself from that violation. That is the truth of survival and life in the modern world. That is why property has to be redefined past our societies childish notion of "mine", so justice serves to establish community and individuality.

The problem with child molestation is our confusion with who is the victom and who is the perpatrator. People feel sympathy for people who abuse who have been abused themselves, who have abused thier own family while at the same time presented an image of a healthy member of society they can identify with. The molestors are not dirty old men, they are thier next door neighbors. Instead of confronting the evil in themselves and changing thier world view to coincide with reality, they deny the reality of sexual abuse, continuing the cycle of self destruction and pain.

This process consists of denying our existance as survivors of sexual abuse. Most of us never abused anyone, and we all were abused, and most studies back this up. But we are looked upon as an aspect of life that they are trying to deny. The only way to change this is to create empathy with people, to show them our pain and convince them that it will always be the monster in the closet until they are able to confront the truth. Thier children will never be safe until you stop pretending like it doesnt happen.

Maybe this is all just restating the obvious, but its the truth regardless. But i really think there is hope, that people can be shown that this is real and that they have to deal with it.