I agree with you that we should make more adequate efforts to ensure that the wrong people are not convicted. Unfortunately, there are instances of police going after one guy despite the evidence, or when law enforcement agencies have evidence acquitting their suspect of a crime but cover it up.
Also, we should also have more nuanced sex offender laws to take things into account. An 18-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old shouldn't be punished so severely. A 40-year-old having sex with a 9-year-old shouldn't be allowed to go free in public. There's a definite difference between the two and each should have different punishments.
My basic rule of thumb is that the younger an offender is the more lenient the law should be to them. I once read a report that stated that the number one common factor of death row inmates is a lack of education. I think that if we provide better education of not just sex but also sexuality to teenagers, then we can avoid a lot more of these offenses.
That's why I favor psychiatric treatment for offenders who are younger because I want to allow for them the possibility that they may be able to live normal productive lives. Those who are older and are repeat offenders, however, should know better and are a danger to society and should be locked up.
I think that before meeting out greater punishments, there needs to be a reevaluation of what constitutes "child molestation."In some ways, child molestation is worse than homicide because the victims suffer the effects of the crime forever. The victim of a homicide suffers briefly and then doesn't suffer anymore.
In theory, I am a "victim" of such molestation myself. In my experience, getting molested is a fun and worthwhile experience. Being 13 and "suffering" the attentions of a 22 yo hottie is ostensibly not a fate worse than death. I would actually be happy to repeat the experience.
It seems to me that even if one isn't to acknowledge the ability of a 13 yo to fully consent to sex, some distinction should be still be made between kids who were genuinely abused by sexual predators and kids who just wanted a more experienced guide as they explored their own sexuality.
You're right that our "sex offender" laws are completely screwed up.
I'm sexually attracted to women, but that doesn't mean I "can't control" myself from raping every woman I see and then blaming it on "being straight". That's just wrong.