Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This Is *Not* The 'Feel Good' Story of the Day...

The BLNN reports something to make you reach for something of the boomstick variety:

Suburban park listed as sex predator's home
STATE POLICE have allowed a sexually violent predator to register his address as a suburban community park that's a popular hangout for children - and the local police chief is not happy.
"It's absolutely insane," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said. "The State Police should have asked him what bench he was sleeping on so we could find him."
Now, first off, let me start by saying that I disagree completely with the concept of a "sex offender registry". If they're so dangerous that we have to keep tabs on them, keep them in jail. Putting their name on a list and requiring that they register their address sounds like a reasonable idea - presuming, of course, that the "violent sexual offender" takes the time to, you know, comply with the law. How often do criminals do that, exactly?

With that said, let's back-calculate just to make things crystal clear. He's 30. The event happned 10 years ago, so he was 20 - certainly old enough to know better. And the girl that he assaulted was 13 - this wasn't a case of an 18 year old boyfriend and a 17 year old girlfriend here. This is a grown man who attacked a (barely) teenaged girl - and served time for it (no comment on why the girl's father didn't feed some pigs with his corpse, but...)

And the local police are "outraged" that the State Police "allowed" this scumbag to register a park as his address? Pro-tip: The PA State police most likely have no idea where the address actually is. $20 says some entry level clerk maintains the sexual predator database and was intellectually uncurious when the address was given. It sounds like the cops are waiting for an excuse to bust this dude, although I'll bet that they're far more angry that he made them look foolish than out of any concern for the local "civilian" population...

But hey, at least he didn't list 1060 West Addison as his address, right? 

That is all.


Anonymous said...

His parole officer should have caught it,


Glenn B said...

You can be listed as a sex offender for anything from being a pedophile to having a record for soliciting prostitution. The law requiring them all to register is ridiculous. I agree with you, if so bad, keep em in jail; better yet - I think we should exceute the convicted pedophiles - it would assure zero recidivism.

All the best,
Glenn B

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree -- both with the reason the address was accepted and with the utility of the registry.

The registration requirement is useless. Either:

A. You're not dangerous (i.e., not predatory). Romeo-Juliet situations (18yr old with 17 yr old girlfriend), the college students making out behind the bushes in a dark park who get popped by a cop for "public indecency", and horny business men who solicited a hooker are not automatically predatory (nor even likely).

B. You ARE dangerous, in which case the studies show that you CANNOT be reliably "reformed", and registration simply allows the cops an microscopically larger chance to track you down after you've raped someone else.

If they are too dangerous to be given full liberty, either put them down or keep 'em the Hell locked up like any other dangerous animal you cannot just release back into the wild.

And I apply that to ALL felonies -- once you've done your time and are no longer serving a sentance (including any probation in lieu of confinement or post-release parole), you should be fully restored to your civil liberties. You might never get a security clearance, or you (if an alien) may have blown your chance at naturalization or legal residency, but if you're safe enough to let out of jail without ongoing monitoring and allowed to go start a blog or buy gasolene and a Bic lighter, there's no reason to keep you from voting (for citizens) or owning guns.

Twisted as it sounds, you can potentially reform someone who breaks the law for mere money. . . there's a cost-benefit analysis (however faulty) going on there.

You cannot trust someone who does it from an internal desire for the crime itself -- whether it's a psychological drive to commit rape for the rush, start fires for the sexual thrill, or anything similar, it's not about someone making a rational (if mistaken or unacceptable to society) decision that the gain outweights the risk. A "normal" thief can be taught that thievery is too risky, but a pedophile can only be taught that his method is too risky.

Just as it would be impossible to reliably "reform" Jay or myself so that we would not take violent action were our children threatened. Send us to jail, let us out again -- if someone hurts our kids again, well, I guess we'll get to see if we remember how to make a shank out of a toothbrush again, won't we? Because, defending our kids is not based on a rational risk balancing -- you hurt my baby girl, and I will do whatever I can to ensure you are "permanently reformed".

Geodkyt (aka Shorter Half)

* I'll admit the utility of parole and probation for some offenders, to see if they have reformed. . . it's just that some, like predatory sex offenders cannot be trusted, even if they think they've reformed in their own hearts. A thief general steals because he is lazy or simply greedy. Someone who bangs little kids does it because he is sick in a way that cannot be corrected. Likewise for most serial arsonists (a real firebug literally cannot stop wanting to burn stuff. . . ). For common criminals who can be reformed, parole or probation might be a useful step in letting them establish their bona fide rehabilitaion and ease their reintegration into society under heavily monitored circumstances. For pedophiles and the like, they cannot be reintegrated reliably.

JD Rush said...

Around here, they list the rest areas as their homes. Or did.
Speaking of rest areas, did you hear about the Dem rep in Minn, Gauthier,arrested for NAMBLA offenses (56 on 17) at a rest area? Of course in Minnesota, 16 won't get you 20.

Anonymous said...

OK, so tell me where you draw the predatory line....

Obviously not at 18 and 17, as expressed, but 18 and 16, 15, 14, 13? As a medical practitioner, I've seen 13 year olds that could easily pass for 21, and some that have. I know of one 15 year old that has been busted multiple times for public drunkeness after having been tossed out of bars! Yep, she must have good fake ID!

I also know one man who has spent the last 12 years in prison because he got his girlfriend pregnant when he was 18, she was 16 and 9 months. His original sentence was for 4 years. Then he had no way to consistently report to his parole appointments because he had no reliable transportation to the office that was 40 miles away and thus got repeatedly busted. Then he got busted for public intoxication at a festival, another parole violation. Then for a positive marijuana test, another parole violation.

All because he got his girlfriend, who was exactly 18 months younger, pregnant. Because of the parole violations, he hasn't ever seen their son, because the judge issued a protection order since he was a "habitual offender".

He's never had another sex offense. She has repeatedly petitioned that he be allowed to see the child, and she testified at his trial that it was consensual.

The sex laws are messed up, and the predator laws are just as bad.

We all want to protect our children (or grandchildren in my case) but tell me how any of what has happened to him has helped ANYONE!

Registries were designed by do gooders who were afraid to lock up true offenders the way they need to be. Sex offenders have a recidivism rate 4 times as high as non-sex offenders. Statistically, if they are over 21 when they are arrested for a sex crime, they will likely re-offend, and thats just the ones we catch and convict.

Anonymous said...

We can decide what the definition of a predatory sex crime in one of three ways:

1. The people, through their elected representatives, set black and white rules.

2. We leave it as a question to be decided to a jury (either as as an available charge to the decided on, or as a sentancing issue), based on the evidence (including expert testimony).

3. A combination of the two, where certain crimes may be statutorily determined to be presumptively predatory (forcible rape, rape of a preadolescent, rape via abuse of authority, etc.), yet still leave jury discretion intact, so they can make a call based on the evidence and expert testimony.

Option 3 is basically how we handle capital cases today.

As for straight age based statutory rape cases, I agree that the razor thin line of "18" is unworkable. A better line would be to set consent at a flat age, but have a stautory exception for the "Romeo-Juliet" scenario. Many states do -- and it's better to state the age of consent as, say, 18 years old with an exception for a partner who is 3-4 years older, than to simply state (as many states, such as Maryland) a juvenile age as the age of consent without regard to how old the older partner is, "Hey! She's 16 -- Come and get it, Roman Polanski!".

Another problem is something you refer to -- there should be an affirmative defence of "reasonable mistake", i.e., she LOOKS old enough, she SAID she's old enough, she was in a bar that DOES check ID, and the defendant had no reasonable reason to believe she was underage. I'm not aware of any state that has such an affirmative defense on teh books, but I am not only not a lawyer in all 50 states, I am not a lawyer at all. {grin}