Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ending Up With Neither

Very challenging story out of WI, likely overshadowed by that pedophilic jerk in CA taunting law enforcement . A paroled child sex offender (for relations with a 16-year-old and 14-year-old) told his parole agent that he was having inappropriate thoughts about kids and going to malls and such to look at them and imagine them. The agent told him to talk about them in his treatment sessions. The offender didn’t, so the agent revoked his parole. No offense, no touching, no nothing. Just thoughts and the threatening possibility that exists with every parolee. I know we get frustrated with gov’t inaction in cases of abusers for whom we have to wait for the abuse and victimization, and I’m sure that’s what was going through the agent’s mind. But there is a price to pay for living free, and that’s not allowing gov’t to punish based on what might happen someday. It’s tragic when that price is high, but the alternative, a government that now has the precedent to lock people away simply for their thoughts, isn’t more tragic? Oh, right. Would only happen to bad people. Not you or those you care about, who never have thoughts that you admit to only to wish you hadn’t. When did we stop teaching and learning that those who think they can give up freedom to have security will end up with neither? Pretty clear where we would have ended up in that “give me liberty or give me death” thing. (And in another case of fear overruling freedom, check out the harassment of a female sex offender who’s done her time but whose address is known to a mob community, including a guy who’s threatening her, a guy who’s got 4 prior assault convictions but feels he’s a moral beacon. Jeez, what a world.) [One last note: There’s actually a major criminology conference being held on how to maintain freedom in a security-obsessed world. It’s in Britain.]

1 comment:

Andrew Wiseman said...

Update: A Waukesha, Wis. jury returned a verdict on Thursday, committing the person in question to indefinite, involuntary "treatment." This was the last step in a process that began two years ago, when he confessed to having thoughts about abducting and assaulting children.

The story is available at, the website of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal.

Said defense attorney Steven Prifogle, "the verdict could dissuade sex offenders in the community from cooperating with the people who supervise and treat them."