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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sex-Predator Laws Stiffend in Virginia

Last week I wrote about child rapist and cop killer Paul H. Clouston who was released from prison on mandatory parole. The governor has signed a law increasing the mandatory sentence for sex crimes against children from 5 to 25 years. It would also make the placement of child rapists in "civil commitment" easier.
Virginia is one of 17 states with a civil-commitment law that calls for sex offenders deemed too dangerous for release to be confined in a treatment center after they have served their prison sentences.

The hole in the system is the common practice of plea bargaining to a lesser charge. This practice is used to spare the child involved additional trauma from a trial and testimony. The increase in the mandatory sentence will make this practice less of a risk. The civil commitment program is supposed to treat the offenders to change their behavior. It's track record is, not surprisingly, very good.
While 28 men have been committed to the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation, adjacent to Central State Hospital near Petersburg, only 25 are there now.

One man was freed on appeal, another was sent back to prison, and the third is accused of committing a new sex crime and is awaiting trial on that charge, said a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services.

The man freed on appeal abducted and sodomized a juvenile and now is serving a new prison sentence.
Society in general knows the chance of rehabilitation for child rapists is near non existent. The politicians need to realize this also. This law takes a step in the right direction. More needs to be done to remove these beasts from our midst.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't we just give them the death penalty? Where is the political courage for that?

8:37 PM  

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