Friday, May 20, 2005

In the absence of leadership the people will drink sand

My Way News

There is a scene in the film The American President when an advisor played by Michael J. Fox tells the president, played by Michael Douglas, that the people want leadership! In the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert to a mirage and when they discover there is no water, they will drink the sand.

As often happens in the world of criminal law, fear rules the politicians and other so called "leaders." Those that are supposed to govern fear the loss of their jobs. Hence, they pander to the fears of the public. They do easy things that have little positive effect but seem hardlined,rather than do and say things that can really makelife better.

The news story above is a perfect example of how people in power treat the rest of us like mushrooms. They don't tell us the truth. They keep us in the dark, and they throw manure on us. The new "no sex offender" rules at all Six Flags amusement parks is the perfect example of the "mushroom phenomena."

It seems the good folks at Six Flags were sued last year, because a worker at one of their theme parks molested three(3) children. They were hit with a six figure settlement. Their answer to the problem? They have decided to ostracize anyone who has ever been convicted of a sex crime whether they are an employee or a visitor.

According to the Associated Press:
"Six Flags added wording on the back of (2005)season passes to all 30 of its U.S. amusement parks this year stating that it reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone convicted of a sex crime. The amusement park said it does not actually plan to run background checks on everyone entering the park, but visitors seen acting inappropriately could be subjected to a check and thrown out."

Didn't they already had a right to throw out anyone in the park who acts inappropriately? So why am I complaining about this rule? Because it is nonsense. It is meant to give unsuspecting parents the idea that Six Flags parks are safer because of this rule. It is not true. It is no safer than last year. It is however an idea that will catch on because it is easy to do and costs the park nearly nothing. It does however ostracize further, a group of people who have a bunch of problems to begin with. Worse yet Sex offenders have no one who can fight for them, as they are on the outs in their communities,schools, even in their own families.

Soon we will hear about how it is legal to ban them at church! ("I don't want to sit next to this guy, he is on that sex registry even though his "crime" was having sex with his 15 year old girlfriend when he was 20, 40 years ago.")

How about this as a solution. Six Flags will step up security at their parks. They will do a better job of screening their employees. They will also give instruction about this crime to their supervisors. Then they can give a great big donation to groups that work to rehabilitate offenders.

Oh, I can hear the great masses now: "You call yourself conservative? Don't you know you can't rehabilitate a sex offender? You have to keep them off the streets for as long as possible, and once the get out, keep them out of your town. They are dangerous"

WRONG. I have worked on a great many sex offense cases, and I can tell you (and so can most other professionals in this area) many of these individuals can be helped. Some however cannot be helped. Sex offenders fall into distinct categories, and their rehabilitation experience must be tailored to their needs individually.

In fact those most likely to reoffend after successful rehabilitation are those that molest children under ten (10) years old of the same sex.
Rehabilitation is very possible for over 80% of offenders. It is costly and lengthy. In fact it is a well known theory that jailing most sex offenders makes it harder to rehabilitate them.

A Recent study in Canada following nearly Five Thousand (5000) offenders found:

"...using the data from 10 follow-up studies of adult male sexual offenders (combined sample of 4,724). Results indicated that most sexual offenders do not re-offend sexually, that first-time sexual offenders are significantly less likely to sexually re-offend than those with previous sexual convictions, and that offenders over the age of 50 are less likely to re-offend than younger offenders.
In addition, it was found that the longer offenders remained offence-free in the community the less likely they are to re-offend sexually. Data shows that rapists, incest offenders, “girl-victim” child molesters, and “boy-victim” child molesters recidivist at significantly different rates. These results challenge some commonly held beliefs about sexual recidivism and have implications for policies
designed to manage the risk posed by convicted sexual offenders." .

So if this is true, why not spend our tax dollars helping those we can help, and further incarcerating those we cannot help? Because it is easier to tell us none of them can be rehabilitated. Then pass a few laws that play into the fears of our constituents over incarcerate offenders so we seem tough on crime.

From the days of Sen. Joe McCarthy (actually earlier, try the Salem Witch Trials) politicians and so called leaders, foster mass hysteria for their own political gain, and then to keep their jobs blame a straw man for the problem that they refused to address. This has always been the answer for those that will not lead but will stand up at the mike and sell us sand.

Mine is not the popular view of sex offender correction, and it is not one that the parents of the injured child want to hear, but most sex offenders can and should be rehabilitated as quickly as possible. Not only is Jail not a deterrent to a real sex offender but it actually can aggravate the problem, most, if not all of the time. Again I am not advocating light jail sentencing for all sex offenders. I understand that there are a some that will be recidivists and in fact will probably take bigger chances in order to get their thrills. I am however saying, that passing stupid rules or ineffective laws makes us no safer. It fosters a false sense of security which could lead us to be less diligent. In fact it surely doesn't help us to address the issues in an honest and forthright way.

That is the real crime here. That we are not safer and could be in greater danger, and we are not talking about it because no one has the intestinal fortitude to confront the conventional thinking.

A true conservative wants government to interfere in the lives of its citizens as little as possible. Politicians who call for keeping someone in prison for even one day longer than necessary to rehabilitate them, are not conservative. They are lazy and are wasting our resources. Those are not conservative values. Waste is a tool of the left who love throwing money at a problem even if it fails to yeild a desired result.

It is time for true conservative politicians to start having the hard conversations about the principals in our Constitution, its Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Now those guys in 1776, They were leaders.

As always if you want to reach or speak to That Lawyer Dude, you can reach me here by leaving me a message or sending a email through the contact page of our website: www.colleluorilaw.com
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