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Americans in Washington State want life sentences for child rape, better protection on streets and Internet
  Mar 22, 2006

This is a random sample of 440 respondents of Washington State in Bellingham, Lynden, Everett, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Spokane between March 16-20, 2006. This poll features a margin of error of 4.15% 19 times out of 20, @97% competency.

Question #1
In your opinion are Internet search engines ‘sufficiently protected’ to keep children from accidentally viewing pornography on-line?
Yes    46 %
No    51 %
Question #2
In your opinion should persons convicted of child rape receive life sentences if convicted of their crime?
Yes    87 %
No    13 %
Question #3
Recently, a Republican based organization telephoned 10,000 homes in a city in Washington State to inform those homes that a recently paroled convicted child rapist was living in their area. The telephone calls also mentioned that two Washington State Representatives had failed to sign legislation that would make child rape a criminal offense punishable by life in prison. In your opinion did this Republican organization do the correct thing by making these 10,000 telephone calls?
Yes    62 %
No    34 %
Don't Know    04 %
Commentary
Commentary- Respondents were not asked whether or not they had the Internet, or if they did if they frequently used the Internet, or if they ever viewed pornography on-line. Public opinion is split in the State of Washington on whether or not children are sufficiently protected from viewing pornography on-line. Some respondents who said “No” felt that although they might be somewhat protected now, they don’t think they can protect them in the future. Some of this confusion relates to the lack of knowledge that many respondents, including those familiar with computers and the Internet have of the sophistication of nefarious computer ‘hackers’ and others who might exploit children for profit and perversion. Conversely some respondents who felt that children were currently safe (“Yes”) also were doubtful about the ability of Internet search engines to continue to keep children safe.
With Google facing off with the White House over the issue of pornography and viewing safety on the Internet watch for cyberspace to become incrementally more regulated. One job that all governments must perform well is in protecting in citizens particularly the most vulnerable. Child pornography and crimes against children including rape is the ‘new domestic terrorism’ on the continent of North America.
There is little doubt residents of Washington State are of the opinion that child rapists should receive life sentences. We believe that some of those who responded “No” in question #2 were affected by the apparent lack of information in the question rather than the criminal sentence offered, including a few who wanted to know what “precisely” we meant by “child”. Rather than comment on this residual sentiment, it is likely fair to hypothecate that notwithstanding the awfulness of this crime that a few respondents believe a life sentence is too harsh.
There is no doubt that the majority of residents in the state of Washington are unlikely to feel cause to support redemption for child rapists.
The Republican Party organization did the right thing by telephoning residents in Washington State to warn them about a recently paroled child rapist. In fact it was reported that this individual had raped a number of women including a child. A minority of the respondents who did not think it was the right thing for the Republican Party organization to do, believed that “so many calls” was “political” and that people in the area where the recently paroled child rapist was located should have been the ones targeted.
Insight-The Republicans have themselves a crime and punishment issue that goes along with their legal case for cooperation amongst Internet search engines relating to children and pornography. This issue will carry a lot of weight into upcoming fall elections with the electorate.
Safety of children is paramount to residents of Washington State and presently there is obviously some concern that children may not be safe either on the Internet or on the street, or in the alternative that people who mean to do harm to children are being treated too leniently by the judicial system.

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