Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Justice System?? Fails Again

-Ladue residents Jim and Bren Souers are walking in shoes that no parent wants to wear. They sent their beautiful and talented daughter Tiffany, a graduate of esteemed Villa Duchesne high school, off to get a quality education at a great university in South Carolina, only to have her fall victim to a paroled sex-offender. They had to bury her a few days ago. By all accounts, Tiffany was a top-flight person who would have brought enormous joy to her parents, and quality to the life of anyone she encountered. Too bad our swiss-cheese, hit-and-miss justice system didn't allow that to happen.

Our way of handling these human-scum predators needs to be reviewed...and strengthened. If cockroaches like 35-year-old Jerry Buck Inman of Dandridge, Tennessee, who DNA evidence says killed Tiffany, can put in a few years behind bars for a terrible sexual crime, then be let go to force his fantasies on the innocent, someone is not getting it. Investigators say Inman was "in the neighborhood" and liked the way Tiffany looked. So, it sounds like he was going to force himself on someone and she was the unlucky one.

The people who sit on parole boards are surely pressured by the fact that there isn't enough space in our prisons to house everybody. So, the assessments of psychiatrists and doctors who sit with these guys in prison and try to evaluate their mental state carry all too much weight. For anyone to think that sitting in prison for a few years changes the usually hopelessly-twisted mind of a sexual predator into one who that will be harmless on the outside seems to be folly. There's too much evidence to the contrary. Do these parole boards ever consider letting someone serve out their FULL SENTENCE? If not, why not? Aren't people in prison for the protection of society? What is the overwhelming reason to let them out? What value will they bring to society? Will they find a cure for cancer? Will they win a Nobel prize? Do you think any of these guys would get out if those making the decision knew that they would move in next door to them?

Doesn't anybody ever take into account that these guys are probably going to be more dangerous after they get out of the slammer? They've been sitting for years with these pent-up fantasies and have had no way of acting on least not with "real people". Plus, they probably have the feeling, rightly or wrongly, that their lives are worthless when they are set free because of their record. So, why not just live it up until you die? "If they catch me, they catch me"...they probably think. Do the book-educated mind-doctors and dubiously-qualified parole board members of the world give that any thought? You tend to wonder if they do their job with any common sense when you read about all of the crimes perpetrated by parolees. So, an innocent, young woman succumbs to the sexual rage of a man who can't, or won't, stop himself from using her as an object of his bizarre thoughts.

It's terribly sad that good people aren't better protected from the bad in our free society. I'm sure the grief of the Souers family is shared by all of us who try to live life the right way and have worried about our kids when we took them off to college. I know that won't make them feel any better about what has happened. But, they can be sure that we understand their horrible situation, and will hug our own kids a little tighter next time we see them. As for fixing the justice system, mandatory full sentences might be a start.

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