Longrider's analysis is excellent. Take a look. If paedophiles truly operated under the compulsion of a mental illness, they would not be criminals at all. They would deserve compassion. Legally they would be innocent and should never be imprisoned in the first place. If, on the other hand, they are sane and capable of making free choices, then when they break the law they are criminals like any other. Their statistical tendency to recidivism (little different, I suspect, to that of other criminal groups) does not mean a given individual should be denied the chance to reform when he has served his time. Arguing that Paul Gadd should be allowed to live in freedom unless and until he commits another crime, is not to condone what he did. No-one who has argued against the new powers the Government has introduced - and which the odious Jacqui Smith is now brandishing to the applause of the mob, is supporting paedophiles or advocating paedophilia. House of Dumb, in condemning "the lefty blogosphere" (I have not been called "a lefty" since my days as a teenage Maoist) writes;
If you're going to insist that paedophiles have the same rights as everyone else, then you're arguing that everyone should be treated as though they were a paedophile. Once you claim there's no meaningful distinction to be drawn between the average citizen and degenerate filth, then you're faced with either letting maniacs run free or clamping down on the rights of the non-depraved.
Take the word "paedophile" and replace it with "murderer", "racist", "homophobe" or (in an earlier age) "homosexual" and the passage works just as well as demagoguery. Everyone should have the same legal rights as everyone else unless and until convicted by due process of law. Those rights should then only be removed (or rather suspended) until the expiry of the sentence passed by an indpendent court in accordance with the law. It is not libertarianism which is leading to "clamping down on the rights of the non-depraved," it is such addled, tabloid emotionalism as this.
The witch-hunters cannot have it both ways. However much they may describe any attempt at rational thought as "...near-lunatic ranting..." If they are allowed to get away with their afternoon-TV, chav sentimentalism, what next? After all those with criminal convictions for violence are a statistical threat to children when released. Why should such individuals be allowed their liberty when their sentence is served? Or what about someone who has killed a child by dangerous driving? Might he not do so again? When every threat to the children has been removed, what about other young people? What about the elderly? What about other vulnerable members of society? What about everyone?
What is it about sex that robs the British of their senses? Yes, paedophile sex is a vile assault. It is a repulsive attack upon innocence. So are many other kinds of assault on the weak and defenceless. These people seriously speak of the "weirdness" of the libertarian position. Yet they are quite prepared to set free, perhaps to re-offend, someone who has killed, maimed or raped. Whose position is "weird" again?
I could understand if those who seek to bind Paul Gadd with legal restrictions for the rest of his life were to argue that paedophilia should carry a life sentence. For that matter, I could understand if they argued it should carry a death sentence. At least that would be honest. At least there could be a sensible debate about comparative sentencing for different crimes. But the hybrid position they are defending now is quite simply stupid.