There is really something wrong with the out-and-out pedophiles. Whether its taking the "lost youth" syndrome into a pathological extreme or whatever.
But I am pretty uncomfortable with the blunt instrument laws that we have in this country. I don't see any evidence that they adequately separate the dangerous ones from the harmless ones. Or really do anything to reduce the danger from the real sickos.
Also, it isn't easy to draw the line exactly where pedophilia starts. Are teenagers who sext each other pedophiles? Should they go to jail? It seems really wrong to send a 19 year-old to jail for 20 years because his 17 year-old girlfriend's parents don't like him.
Something seems really wrong about sending people to long prison sentences for the crime of looking at a picture. (One guy locally was sentenced to 16 years last week for downloading a picture - and he happened to be an invalid who couldn't even get out of a hospital bed.) I seem to recall reading that the law was recently amended to clarify that accidentally viewing pictures of nude minors, without actually searching for them, is a felony. Couldn't you just anonymously email some pictures to your enemy, and call the police? Yes, you can. It all seems to have gotten rather out of hand.
While we're at it, shouldn't we tear down all of the monuments in Washington, and scrub the founding fathers from our stamps, money, and history books? Those guys were all pedophiles.
Anyway, I don't think pedo's should get off the hook, but the response / punishment should be a lot more proportional to the actual crime. It's hard to imagine any legislative body making such changes though. Even backing off the most absurd statutes would let your political opponents call you all sorts of vile things. Seems like it would have to be part of some larger judicial reform process.
edit: obviously, I'm procrastinating some real work