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Legal loopholes

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This really burns me up. A sexual offender uses a loophole to go off and probably/possibly prey on his next victim. And who is to blame?
post #2 of 10
That is ridiculous! I would hope that this will be a pretty high priority on the agenda of the legislators this session. He's right, they are idiots!
post #3 of 10
Gosh, he's sick.
post #4 of 10
Well here's a thought for Missouri and for any state that rushes through new legislation. For all the lawyers out there who work on frivilous indemnity cases, (you know those ones that result in a multimillion dollar payout for a broken fingernail), these lawyers should be put to work in pointing out these legal loopholes. At least this way, work is done for the greater good of the community.
post #5 of 10
Oh great. A convicted sex offender that's smarter than the law makers.

At least he cut the fence and will have to go back for that. Except I guess he gets out after 7 years oppossed to... however long he was in there for the first crime.
post #6 of 10
While I'm all for getting the predators off the street, I have a real problem with any attempt to force an involuntary mental health commitment AFTER the person was found competent to stand trial and after they have completed their sentence. This person was being held in a facility because someone feels he MIGHT commit a future crime. Also, I find it hard to justify a felony over the minimal damage created by cutting a fence. He was getting OUT, not breaking and entering.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
George, I can see where you're "coming from", but the problem is that many, if not most, sexual predators are mentally competent. Psychopaths and sexual deviants cannot be "cured", so it is in the public interest, considering the recidivism rate, to keep them locked up after they've served their prison sentence. Note that this man was found guilty of multiple charges. In the case of a "serial rapist", for example, I believe protecting the public should be put before the rapist's rights.
post #8 of 10
So who decides which people will be locked away? Violent criminals, particularly where gang membership is involved, are actually MORE likely to be repeat offenders than are sexual criminals. Then there's the idea that certain racial, ethnic or religious backgrounds also have a much higher rate of committing specific crimes. No, the standard for involuntary commitment has historically been mentally or emotionally incompetent and an immediate threat to themselves or others - not a "might do something in the future" evaluation. With all the wide variation in opinions in the mental health field it is always possible to get a psychologist/psychiatrist/social worker to claim someone "might" do something in the future.

According to the article, this person was "convicted of four sexual attacks in the St. Louis area in the 1970s". It also said he was accused (but no mention of conviction) of stalking. As I recall, there is a "innocent until proven guilty" concept in the US courts, but apparently not in this case. He escaped in 2001 and was recently captured - but no mention of any other crimes during those 2+ years. It also said he previously had completed his parole, again no indication of any criminal activity. Now if he didn't commit another crime during this period how accurate is this "might commit another crime" prediction?

I have a real serious problem with this approach. As it is people who commit "sexual" crimes are treated differently than those that commit other violent crimes (of course - streaking is considered a "sexual" crime!) Why don't murderers and those that commit home invasions or other violent assaults have to register and let the public know where they live after they get out? Who would you rather have live next to you, someone that was caught in a college prank streaking an awards show or a person who killed someone while committing a gang related drive by shooting? In my opinion, locking people away without a conviction is a serious violation of a number of Constitutionally defined rights and guarantees and is counter to the most basic concepts of a free society.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
The "problem" is that I've spent most of my adult life in Germany, not the U.S., and the legal systems are quite different. There is no such thing as the death penalty or "life without parole" in this country, and consecutive sentences are practically unheard of. On average, someone sentenced to "life" serves 15 years in Germany. However, there is something called "Sicherungsverwahrung", which means indefinite commitment to a mental institution following imprisonment. In short, somebody like Bundy, Dahmer or Berkowitz would be sentenced to "life, plus Sicherungsverwahrung.I was raped at 18, and also the victim of stalking by a man who later received a life sentence for homicide (of his father), and his stalking was one of the reasons I decided to live in Europe, rather than in the U.S.. I've also been a victim of mugging and burglary, and, believe me, there is no comparison. My stalker was a suspect in the killings of a number of young women in Wilmington, Delaware (since solved; he wasn't the culprit) & Delaware County,PA(unsolved) in the late seventies. So I put myself in the victim's shoes, not the perp's. I've learned that I'm also capable of violence; if confronted with this guy's violence again, I'd probably be capable of killing him.
post #10 of 10
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