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Monday, March 20, 2006

Judge Connor's Resoning in Pedophile Case Dubious

The legislature in Ohio has backed off of its effort to remove Judge Connor from the bench for his decision to give no jail time to a child rapist. However, citizens of Franklin County are circulating a petition to have him removed. The members of the justice system have enjoyed an immunity from responsibility for their decisions that is unwarranted. Their claim that they should be insulated from political pressure is valid but shouldn't be absolute. Situations arise when the judiciary should be subject to the checks and balances that the other branches of government are. There are some disturbing aspects to this case that may lead one to question the soundness of Judge Connor's decision process.

Husted said Connor erred by invoking his own alcoholism -- and subsequent recovery program -- as evidence that Selva could be rehabilitated. Connor, an alcoholic with a string of drunken-driving arrests from 1978 to 2002, told Selva during sentencing that both had diseases that could be managed through therapy and supervision.

Connor also was convicted of possessing cocaine during a traffic stop in 1984. The judge said he's been sober since 2002 and is in a 12-step program for alcoholism.

"He's using his past and current problems as an excuse for giving a lenient sentence," Husted said.
Call me old fashioned or unrealistic , but what is a man with more than one DWI and drug conviction doing on the bench? What is revealing is his overwhelming vote for reelection. Experience leads me to believe that most people pay little or no attention to the campaigns for the bench, in Franklin County at least that may change. Judge Conner's decision may have been influenced by his own shortcomings which should not be.

Of Selva's behavior, Connor said in a court transcript: "I can find that it's manageable, but I can't say — I have no evidence — I can't look at the future and say Mr. Selva will, in fact, manage it."
Add to that the convoluted conclusions of the psychologist and one has to wonder if anyone involved in this case has their head screwed on tight.
Dr. Kristin Haskins, hired by the state, was more circumspect.

"Mr. Selva's risk to re-offend can be reduced and managed by participation in and completion of a sex-offender treatment program," she said.

But, she added, "should he remain in the community, great care should be given to Mr. Selva not being allowed to be alone with any male under age 15, except his own son, for any length of time, no matter how short — not even seconds."

Haskins said she couldn't determine whether Selva truly is a pedophile.

To state that he can't be left alone with boys for any time at all and then suggest that he is not truly a pedophile makes one question the soundness of the person making such a statement. How anyone can conclude that a man who rapes children is not a pedophile is just goofy. I guess it takes a high level of education to relieve a person of their common sense.

It shouldn't take many more cases such as this to cause people to scrutinize the courts and the laws they are to uphold more closely to try and bring some sanity back into the system. Unfortunately other children are going to suffer before this issue is resolved.

2 Comments:

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Anonymous Old 'n Cranky said...

>>but what is a man with more than one DWI and drug conviction doing on the bench?<<

Well, in our bend over backwards attempts to be understanding and all its the easiest way to achieve truly fair "peer" review.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous brokengun said...

If their heads need screwing down a bit tighter, in my shop I have a really large wrench.

8:55 PM  

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