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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Couey Convicted

As all of you have heard by now, John Evander Couey has been found guilty of the rape and murder of little 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford.

Couey is a prime example of how dangerous registered sex offenders can be when they're let loose into civilization. Already a convicted sex offender, Couey moved in near Jessica's family and, when the time was "right", he kidnapped her, raped her for days, and finally buried her alive in garbage bags, where she slowly suffocated to death while clutching a stuffed toy.

There are some child molestors who have great excuses: "I didn't know he/she was under age", "I was wrongfully convicted", etc. And yes, some of these excuses may be valid. However, the legal system was set in place to gauge the veracity of such statements. Although it's not perfect, all who are convicted are condemned due to a trial by jury. So, for future argument, let's assume that all who are convicted have at least some degree of guilt.

There are levels of child abuse. The police are less hostile toward a man who's slept with a 17-year-old-girl than toward a man that's raped a 9-year-old child, for obvious reasons. And someone that's raped a young child is usually banned from being near schools or parks where they might play. The man who's molested a 17-year-old will normally not face such sanctions after he's served his time.

Couey had already been convicted in 1991 in Kissimmee, FL, on a charge of fondling a child under age 16. In the 70s he had assaulted another girl during a burglary. He would've been an excellent candidate for at least chemical castration, if not physical castration because he had already proven himself to be the worst sort of molestor. Such a move would have prevented his perverted desires and his subsequently acting on them. It would have saved Jessica.

Instead, Couey was free to roam about the country, settling where he may. Although he was not supposed to be living where he was found, our system did not force him to conform to his court orders. He was one of the many criminals who dropped through the cracks in the system. His parole officer was apparently too busy to check up on him.

Also, we are so busy protecting criminals' rights that our children have none. They are not safe anywhere. They cannot (as we used to) play outdoors, wander around ponds skipping stones, catch tadpoles, climb trees, or freely explore. There could be a child molestor nearby, watching and waiting for that one opportunity.

If Couey had been restricted, Jessica would still be alive. Until we get our priorities straight, such criminals will continue to have more freedom than our children do.

15 comments:

The Lazy Iguana said...

Actually, once on the registered sex offender list you are boned. Even if you are on it because you had sex with a 17 year old who furnished a fake ID (for example).

But the problem with the registered sex offender list is that it dances around the problem. To enact it, and track everyone put on it, will require a small army of parole officers. Not that we can not hire enough people, just that it will require taxes to go up to cover the additional payroll. Most states would vote that down - either for "police state" reasons, the "all taxes are bad" reason - or both.

But in the case of this guy - ever stop to consider mental illness? Would a sane person do that? I do not think so. Is it any wonder he did not follow the sex offender rules? Not really.

I agree that children should be safe in their own home or neighborhood, and that society should at least provide for that safety if it is going to stand by and let France have a FAR BETTER public education system - but lumping sex offenders in with people with some kind of severe mental disorder may not be the ultimate solution.

The man spent his trial doodling on paper with a crayon. It may not be an act. I think the guy is loony tunes.

Once again, a sane person would not do that.

The sex offender list law thing needs to be updated. How about a list for those who are convicted of child molestation OR violent sex assaults. The 21 year old guy who slept with a willing and ready 17 year old who told him she was 18 does not need to be on any list. If the list can be shortened by 25%, then that is 25% less people needed to administer the list, 25% more people to track down those who fail to register, and so on.

Hans said...

I suspect you’re not going to find too many people that will disagree with you on this post.

I guess my question is what is the role of the criminal courts supposed to be? I should preface this by saying that I’m not a legal expert or even a lawyer. I personally believe that the role should be to protect society at large by enforcing our laws while not being UNNECESSARILY cruel to the offenders. Revenge is not the domain of society. So the question becomes how do we protect society from people like Couey?

It is my understanding that when sexual compulsion is the motivating factor recidivism rates are as high as 95%. Simply put, the urge is always there. Castration, chemical or physical, can be effective as a means of controlling the ability to perform the sex act but the desire to rape isn’t just about the sex act. The gratification comes from enforcing the will of the rapist on the victim. The violence is the thrill. Therefore castration is less effective in controlling the desire to rape. It would just manifest itself in other forms of violence against the victim.

Therefore I propose that the only logical solution is to put these animals in jail and throw away the key.

Hans said...

Lazy-

The registered sex offender list is like the apology that has to be asked for. It doesn't really mean anything but it makes people feel better.

Matt said...

I don't think there was ever any question about the difference between a nine year-old and a 17 year-old.

They're two different crimes, the former being "sex with a child under the age of 12."

Matt said...

I thought you were going to blog today about Scooter Libby.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Nothing I have read about either physical castration or chemical castration indicates that it has much ultimate effect. Yesterday there was a lengthy thing on TV about "Treatment" for sex offeders which unwillingly came to the conclusion that, for the most part it is an excuse to keep folks incarcerated beyond the times to which they were sentenced. I don't know of a solution, though with His record, SOMEBODY should have been keeping better track of him, and I still can't figure out why there was no prosecution for the other inhabitants of his trailer.

Senor Caiman said...

Saur,

These types really irritate me. I just don't understand why we don't put these guys in the general prison population so they can be tortured and killed.

Darn liberals.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Caiman - to be put in general population the guy will have to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Sentencing him to die puts him on death row, far away from general population. Nobody on death row gets buggered in the shower with a broom stick - they have their own private showers.

Darn death penalty.

~Deb said...

It amazes me how quick these sex offenders get off from jail time. To me, they're just as bad as murderers - because they're literally killing the spirit of the child.

I haven't heard about this case, but it's so sad.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Deb - remember that "sex offenders" range from 18 year olds that have sex with a 16 or 17 year old to people that violently rape. So when talking heads on TV claim that "X% of sex offenders are given time served and parole" you have to ask - what do you call a sex offender? Do they mean violent offenders? Non violent offenders? Creepy old men who molest a 14 year old? Or some 19 year old busted with someone only a month or two shy if their 17th birthday?

One can prove almost anything using just numbers.

Hans said...

What about a 23 yo with a 14 yo?.

What if that 23 yo is an attractive teacher and the 14 yo is a student?

Doesnt' the law distinguish between a sexual offender and a sexual predator?

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Your last sentence is a powerful statement, and, unfortunately, all too true.

Cranky Yankee said...

On a somewhat related note. My wife just took our kids to Florida to see grandma. I didn't go. All the time they were gone I worried about the kids. What is it with Florida? Why are all the nutjobs there? Other than the southern tip of Fla there is nothing I would even consider visiting. It is a human wasteland.

My brother lives near you Saur and just had his first child. My advice to him was to leave Florida as soon as possible. Between the whacked out child molesters and bad schools his kid does stand a chance.

The Lazy Iguana said...

No, the law seems to lump sexual offenders and sexual predators in the same boat. Because the laws were made as a reaction to events - they were created quickly so that voters would think the State was "doing something". The whole system was not well thought out.

Cranky - Florida has the same problems as every other state. The schools are good - depending on the school you are talking about. But as with every other state in the South - the concept of decent public education is "communist" and therefore rejected. The Republican Party has done a great job getting people to think that. They can find a whole load of tax money to give back as corporate welfare, but none for schools.

If I had kids and was lucky enough to have family overseas, I would send my kids to school in Europe so they would get a real education and not the Mickey Mouse crap that passes for "education" here in the USA. In Europe they actually teach science in science class, math in math class, and so on. Students get out of high school being at least bilingual, but knowing three or more languages is not uncommon. America wants to teach religion in science class, teaching kids a second language is anti-American cause the world should speak English, math is racist against everyone who is not Asian, and so on.

It is a sad day when the greatest nation on Earth is allowing itself to become second rate.

R2K said...

Should just kill everyone.