Bring It On!

This is one group of human beings

March 3rd, 2007 | by Craig R. Harmon |

about whose plight I do not care. Perhaps this makes me a bad person and a bad Christian but if protecting children and women from molestation, rape and murder means a lifetime of detention for repeat sex offenders, fine with me. The article points out that many of the sex offenders being detained voluntarily, on the recommendation of their own lawyers, do not attend the treatment arranged for them. Fine. Let them die in detention. What they do to one another, on the other hand, is their business.

Full disclosure: I was repeatedly molested by a trusted friend of the family growing up. I am constitutionally unable, I suppose, to sympathize with sex offenders.

Update: Here’s an earlier article on a New York sex-offender detention statute.

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  1. 13 Responses to “This is one group of human beings”

  2. By Ann on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    And this is one group for whom I’d actively campaign to bring back hanging, drawing and quartering - in fact, I’d volunteer be the one to hold the rope and, whip the horses arse.  

    I’ve become increasingly concerned over the last few years or so, Craig, over the volume of accusations of paedophilia at high levels, for example - 

    across the political spectrum http://www.johnnygosch.com/  http://www.arcticbeacon.com/28-Feb-2007.html  http://www.spiritone.com/~gdy52150/littleboys.html  ;  

    the church http://news.google.com/news?q=%22sexual+abuse%22+priest&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&sa=G&edition=us&scoring=d  http://www.unknownnews.net/vaticanpedophilesclub.html     http://www.bishop-accountability.org/  ;

    in government detention centres  http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/14864     

    everywhere   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/03/wsudan03.xml      . 

    And, seemingly, your current adminstration seems to have made ’legitimately’ abusing children a whole lot easier   http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/092006search.cfm

    I am beginning to fear the problem is so entreched that we will never see an end to it. I’m just wondering what your thoughts are.

     

     

  3. By Paul Watson on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    Craig,

    Well, I’m going to be unpopular here for sure, but I disagree. If they’ve served their sentence, they’ve served their sentence. If there is concern, and there certainly should be given the high recidivism rate and the appalling consequences, then for these type of offences they should be given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum term and only released when they’re safe. Or released on license as murderers are. But to keep people, regardless of the crime, in detention after their full sentence has been served is flat out wrong.

    Should there be tougher penalties? Yeah, there probably should. Are their crimes sickening? Absolutely. But the law applies equally to everyone. That is the whole point of having a system of laws. If the sentences for these crimes need to be changed, and they probably do, then they should be changed, but until then, they should be treated under the law.

    And Ann, disagree with you too. Murder shouldn’t be condoned by the state, even for people like this. 

  4. By Paul Watson on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    However, if I’m honest, this is a principle position, because if I had kids and someone abused them then there’s a pretty good chance I would go to prison for ripping the bastard’s dick off and feeding it to him. But that is why we have the law so that the wronged don’t go and seek bloody retribution directly.

  5. By Ann on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    “Murder shouldn’t be condoned by the state” Usually I’d agree with that statement, Paul. Not in this case though, sorry.

  6. By Ann on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    Paedophiles are the scourge of the earth, and even what I’ve suggested is too damn good for them.

  7. By Craig R. Harmon on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    Paul W.,

    As I’ve said, I’m hardly an unbiased observer so my opinion should be taken as such…but…the first job of government is the protection of its citizens. As the article points out, these detentions have been examined by and condoned by the courts because their purpose is not further to punish but to rehabilitate. Many of those who need rehabilitation do not take the state up on their services, thus condemning themselves to life-long detention — which is just fine with me. If it will prevent another child going through what I’ve been through and worse (I survived after all) then that’s what needs to be done.

    I would disagree with you about execution being murder. It’s not. It’s protecting society from any further danger from that criminal, it’s balancing scales by a government tightly held to procedural standards, it prevents vigilantism, and deters crime. Murder intentionally and unjustly kills one known to be innocent; executions justly kill those who have been judged to be guilty after a trial in which the defendant got the presumption of innocence, throughout the trial, and the state was held to high standards of proof of the defendant’s guilt, where constitutional standards were tightly controlled such that evidence was eliminated from being considered, even probative evidence, if there was the slightest question about whether proper procedures were followed in uncovering the evidence, where ever witness was cross-examined by council whose concern is holding the government to the highest standards of proof.

    Show me one murderer who went to any length to provide anything comparable and you’ll still be showing me someone whose acts are to be distinguished carefully from the government in capital cases by this: the citizens of the state and nation have entrusted the carrying out of justice to its government for the sake of good order and the common good. No murderer was ever elected or entrusted by society as a whole with protecting its welfare. 

    Executions by the state are not murder. 

    I’m opposed to the death penalty. The preceding paragraph is not a defense of executions, it is the proper distinction between murder and executions.

  8. By Paul Watson on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    Craig,

    Fair enough on the death penalty. I am guilty of using overly emotive language on that point. As I’m sure you understand, given our debates on other controversial matters, I do tend to get overly dramatic at times.

    As to the other, I am very wary of the government being able to effectively override the courts and add a condition to the sentence that was not imposed originally. I have no problem whatsoever with a condition being set to all sex offenders’ cases that they have to be treated and adjudged safe before they are released and would probably say the same should be added to those convicted of violence as well, but that should be done through the proper, statutory measures, rather than just imposed as appears to be the case here.

    I think we disagree over a very slim area of this. For understandable reasons, you place protection of children far above the procedures. Not saying I don’t, but being a cynic I can see how this could be abused if it isn’t properly defined and want it defined to prevent that, but the idea isn’t one I have a problem with, just how it’s been introduced.

  9. By Jersey McJones on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    Wow.  That was some honesty there, Craig.

    I figure that was should have a separate court system for sex offenders in which they evaluated and if found permenant recidivists they should be quarenteened from the general society sort of the way Castro quarenteened the HIV patients in Cuba.  They should be comfortable and live in decent conditions (provided they have already served their regular time).  Think of these as sex offender villages.  These people have a disease, a disease that affects and harms other innocent people.  They suffer incredibly high recidivist rates.  But I don’t think prison is the place for them if they have already served their time.  Remember Craig, the very reason you admit bias on this issue is the very reason some of these people commit these offenses and suffer this mental illness in the first place.  They are usually victims themselves.

    JMJ 

  10. By Craig R. Harmon on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    Paul,

    I understand fully about the death penalty/murder thing. I’ve faced it a lot in my journies through the blogosphere, frequenting, as I have, the more liberal blogs. I, myself oppose the death penalty on grounds that we seem to place way too many people on death-row who have later been found, by independent investigators, not through the normal court procedings, for one reason or another, not to belong there. I don’t like incarcerating people who don’t belong in prison but at least the wrongfully incarcerated can be set free with society’s apologies whereas those we’ve executed wrongfully have no recourse but to haunt and curse us from beyond.

    I can also understand your wariness of government but I’m not sure what procedures you feel are being circumvented. As is pointed out, the courts have reviewed this and approve.

  11. By Craig R. Harmon on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    Jersey,

    I’m not opposed to decent living standards for sex offenders in such detention. I wish we had decent living conditions in prisons. I’m not sure why you think a separate court system is required for sex offenders, though.

  12. By Jersey McJones on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    Sorta like the Drug Courts, Craig.  A court system devoted to monitoring and evaluating the offenders and making decisions about what to do with them after they’ve served their regular time.

    JMJ

  13. By Craig R. Harmon on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    I guess I wasn’t aware that there were separate drug courts. Huh!

  14. By Jersey McJones on Mar 4, 2007 | Reply

    Well, it’s a new concept being tried in some states - the ol’ labs of democracy. It’s beginning to pick up steam nationally. The idea is to try to separate the drug offenders from the rest, prevention, medical help, etc. It’s an interesting idea.

    JMJ

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