Monday, November 30, 2009

End parole of violent felons

There are too many stories of the problems with our criminal justice system. Sure poorer people get less justice. Sure, the laws need to be enforced more fairly. But also, those of us on the left need to admit that we need to punish people who commit violent crimes. Just as the man accused of killing 4 officers in Seattle was given parole years ago, in this case, Arcade Joseph Comeaux was on parole. What I don't understand is how we tolerate repeat parole violators, and repeat felons getting out of their sentences early. I don't think it is novel to demand that they demonstrate that they are no longer a danger to society.

Here is what the article says,

He was first sentenced to prison in 1979 on three 10-year sentences for rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child and burglary of a building, all out of Harris County, where Houston is located. He was paroled four years later, Lyons said.

His parole was revoked and he returned to prison in 1984 to serve a 20-year sentence on a new charge of indecency with a child out of Harris County. He was paroled in 1991 but was in and out of prison for parole violations until 1996.

Now, I realize Comeaux was in custody and escaped, but the fact that he was able to do so much harm while he should have remained incarcerated is undeniable.

I'm confident there are plenty of people who change their lives around and deserve another chance at freedom. They absolutely should get it if they can prove they are safe for society. The burden is on them. It should be a difficult but reachable task. I don't see how a person could have been paroled in 1991 after being convicted repeatedly of dangerous crimes with children.

If you believe we need criminal justice reform so that money doesn't have too much influence, and everyone is equal before the law, then you have to establish your credibility by being tough against people who deserve it.

The standard you should use is to treat other people the way you would want to be treated. I think all thinking people would admit if they lost their mind or were so evil to the above crimes that they shouldn't be allowed to walk freely on the streets.

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