Friday, July 11, 2008
~Gov Jim Douglas
It’s been said before; if you are a convicted pedophile, move to Vermont. Little to worry about, they’re soft on child molesters.
The following statement is from Vermont’s Sex Offender registry:
The registry is based on the legislature's decision to facilitate access to publicly available information about persons convicted of sexual offenses. EXCEPT FOR OFFENDERS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED ON THIS SITE AS HIGH-RISK, THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY HAS NOT CONSIDERED OR ASSESSED THE SPECIFIC RISK OF REOFFENSE WITH REGARD TO ANY INDIVIDUAL PRIOR TO HIS OR HER INCLUSION WITHIN THIS REGISTRY AND HAS MADE NO DETERMINATION THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL INCLUDED IN THE REGISTRY IS CURRENTLY DANGEROUS. THE MAIN PURPOSE OF PROVIDING THIS DATA ON THE INTERNET IS TO MAKE INFORMATION MORE EASILY AVAILABLE AND ACCESSIBLE, NOT TO WARN ABOUT ANY SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL.
Get the picture?
Brooke Bennett’s horrific story has placed Vermont in the national spotlight and everyone is waiting to see what they will do concerning the leniency and blind eye the legislature has shown to sex offenders.
Governor Jim Douglas said the state department of corrections made a mistake when it recommended that probation be ended for convicted sex offender Michael Jacques.
Douglas has come up with a number of statutory changes for lawmakers to consider.
He is calling for civil confinement legislation that would allow sex offenders to be held after they have served their sentences if they hadn't completed treatment or were judged to pose a risk. He also calls for a more detailed sex-offender registry.
He also suggests tougher penalties, including the death penalty or chemical castration.
OK, now go back and read the bold text from the registry.
There have been numerous studies that show chemical castration does not work if the offender does not continue treatment.
From Sex Offenders, recidivism & chemical castration by Marc Alexander:
Among the child molesters the cumulative recidivism rate for new sexual charges was 4 per cent per year, dropping to 3 per cent in the fourth year and peaking at increments of 11 per cent between year five and year ten. The rate of new sexual offenses by the end of the study period was 52 per cent for child molesters.
While some might find such conditions – chemical castration - cruel and unusual, I would argue that pedophilia is even more cruel and has more negative and abnormal effects on the victim. The effect on children is devastating, requiring years of healing and in many cases predisposing the victim to become perpetrators themselves.
Now, back to Governor Douglas. He has no plans to call a special session of the Legislature!
When asked by a reporter, why not call a special session? Douglas replied, "If I thought for a minute that the legislative leaders would embrace a serious package of reforms that we have talked about this afternoon, I'd have them here tomorrow,"
"Their past actions does not give me a lot of confidence that in the aggregate they are prepared to take these steps."
Gee, that makes me feel confident!
Now, what about Vermonters themselves?
ritanita pointed out the following quotes from the Burlington Free Press on the day of Brooke’s funeral:
Low clouds gathered, and the congregation dispersed. Some mourned silently; others speculated on how minors had been entrusted to the care of Michael Jacques, a convicted rapist and registered sex offender. Others suggested people feel guilty about not being able to protect a child in their community.
“There has been a sense that the men in the community let us down as protectors, but that’s just how men are,” said Donna Gerstenmaier of Randolph. “I’ve worked with kids my whole life, so I’ve seen Jacques on the (sex-offender) register. People knew what was going on — of course people knew.”
Jennifer Celley of Braintree has baby-sat for the Jacques family. “He was pretty weird and quiet,” she said of Michael Jacques, “but they seemed like a normal family. I knew he was a sex offender. But the kids loved him.”
ritanita and I both want to know –
Hello? What part of sex offender didn't these people get?