Thursday, May 05, 2005
Tracking Bracelet Not the Same as Jail Cell
I heard a wonderful piece of ear music on the radio a while ago. It seems that a pair of convicted violent sex offenders have removed their ankle tracking bracelets and are now on the run here in the Houston area. As the alert was being read the announcer emphasized the need for caution and again reminded the listening audience that these men are considered to be extremely dangerous. This news item has not surfaced on any of the local news web sites or I would link to it.
Pardon me for bringing this up; why are these men not locked away in a jail cell if they are considered to be extremely dangerous? The board of pardons and parole has let the public down many times over the years; ostensibly because the prisons are full to capacity and they have to make room. The next obvious question is; room for what? If you already have one violent prisoner behind bars what is the logic of letting him go just to let a different violent prisoner take his place?
Let me put it a different way. Suppose I own an assault weapon, complete with a thirty round magazine of bullets, and I have no room left for that assault weapon because my rifle rack is already full. Then I place that weapon in the middle of a crowded shopping mall and walk away, but only after attaching a homing device to the weapon so that I can track it, just in case somebody finds the weapon and removes it from the shopping mall. Would I be more negligent or less negligent for having left the same loaded assault weapon in the shopping mall if I had not attached the homing device to it?
Here’s a temporary solution to the problem that may not sit too well with the board of pardons and parole. I submit that until these convicted criminals are back behind bars that all of the members of the board who granted the “monitored” release of these criminals, that they be placed in prison to serve out the remainder of the imposed sentence just the same as if they themselves had committed the original crime. If there were some responsibility attached to their actions and lack of concern for the safety of the general public there would be fewer violent criminals released from prison. As it stands now the public has no way to defend itself from either the criminals or the system put in place to keep those prisoners separated from them.
On a similar note, I was listening to Sean Hannity as he related a conversation he had with the lawyer who represented a convicted sex offender, one who had molested somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 children. This particular sex offender had asked to be chemically castrated, supposedly rendering him “harmless” and able to be returned to society. I won’t go into the debate as to whether or not the physical castration step actually would render a predatory criminal harmless; personally I believe that most if not all sexual deviant crimes originate in the mind and that the physical aspects of the crime are only an extension of that demented imagination.
What bothered me the most was that during the interview, as related, the lawyer was asked if he would like to have such a “rehabilitated” sex offender as a next door neighbor and the answer; “No.” Well then, would you want this same person to baby sit your children or grandchildren, “No.” Then, I have to ask, why the hell would you let one of your unknown neighbors, those being the rest of society; why would you put them in that position? There has to be a long silence from the lawyer because there is no answer to overcome that line of questioning. I say put the lawyer in the jail cell as collateral until the remaining jail time has been served for the original crime. I wonder if the lawyer would be so eager to help “spring” his client under those conditions.
Posted by T. F. Stern at 4:01 PM