Opinion: Let he without sin cast the first stone

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David Morris

How do you feel about Dale Matthew Waite being released into our community?

"It upsets me, but not for my own safety. It worries me for other peoples safety."

Junior Skooter Byrnes

"Considering that we've never had problems with sexual predators in precious history, I'm not too worried about it. But it does nag at the back of my mind."

Freshman Holly Dunaway

"I don't think we should have a sex offender here."

Junior Dustin Martin

"it upsets me a lot."

Sophomore Shianna Dockins

" I think he should be in a bigger city and still in jail. It's such a small town. I think it's a little more dangerous."

Freshman Felicia Vasquez

"I don't really have a point of view on him. If you stay clear of him then you're in good hands. He lives all the way near Elk Head so at least he's kind of out of town."

Senior Joseph Romero

"He needs to go back to prison. He's not a safe person to be around."

Sophomore Coltin Neilson

"I guess it worries me a little bit but as long as I know what he looks like and where he lives that's helpful."

Math teacher Jeff Schlim

"My personal opinion is if he was deemed violent that the court would remove from society."

Foreign language teacher Terri Harjes

Imagine living in a community that’s supportive, proactive and safe. The real community isn’t the streets or buildings it’s built on, but the satisfactory relationships between the people belonging to the society. Members within it are successful when making strategic implementations, whether it’s trying to achieve goals with public input or notifying the citizens of issues arising in the community. One might find Craig, Colorado a perfect fit for themselves, feeling comfortable enough to reside in this small town.

Say you consider yourself a “good Samaritan,” unselfishly helping anyone in need of assistance, always making correct decisions because you know it’s the right thing to do. Now flip the scenario, you’re the antagonist. You’ve made some unforgiveable choices that have harmed other people and, consequently, your future. Would a “good Samaritan” stop to help you, or just let you become the latest notch at the bottom of the totem pole?

As for the community in Craig, the name Dale Mathew Waite is particularly familiar, his face being branded in the back of hundreds of minds. Waite gained an extreme amount of publicity for his conviction of sexual assault in 2009 and similar crimes in California in the 1980’s. Waite was paroled in late November and now resides in Moffat County.

At first, when I thought about the new addition to Craig, I felt it was necessary that people take precautionary steps towards their safety. After hearing multiple repugnant comments, I was disappointed in our community. It makes me wonder if we have forgotten what the American justice system is all about.

A person has the right to freely start over after paying a certain debt, not to be hounded and ostracized for the rest of his life. Take Waite for example, he committed his crimes and paid his dues, including jail time in Colorado and twenty-five years of a fifty year sentence in California.

I’m not sitting here denying that there are people in this world who do wrongful things, but the stigma attached to sex offenders - branding them as threats to society is almost prejudice. I understand the feelings of fear when coming face to face with a person who has been labeled with the high intent to reoffend. Fear is natural and substantial, but it can be curved.

Looking at our lifestyles now, this was an awakening that should teach us how to become more aware of our boundaries and our surrounding environment. Take this opportunity and be thankful for the advanced warning of safety the government accommodates within a township.

The Jacob Wetterling Act of 1994 requires sexual offenders to notify law enforcement of their residence in a community. Due to the Jacob Wetterling Act, Craig acquired the advantage of a community meeting and being notified of Waite, but it doesn’t mean we can become our own vigilantes just because we’re afraid someone is going to walk around a corner and do something offensive.

Let these experiences teach us a lesson, we should step off our soapbox and realize Craig isn’t the only place this happens and ask ourselves: If one of us were to be released back into society, how would we expect to be treated?

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Comments

bout2bubble 2 years, 2 months ago

i have lived in craig all my life,and i got to say this town is FULL of jugdemental people who hide bihind the fact that they have not been caught.i know cops who in this community right now who are guilty of what this man was convicted of.just because it happened many years ago and they did not get into trouble for it dont make them better.i also have partied and used drugs with some of these officers.i have also done the same with many of our so called oustanding members of this community,they however feel that they can judge because they have not been caught.before you,as a pillar of this community make judgement calls,be sure to clean out your own closets!! every day i see peolpe over 18 involved with others under 18.WATCH OUT,you could be next! those of you having babies with people under 18 becareful cause you are next!!If i have offended,upset any one good because the tuth is truth.

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Jon Pfeifer 2 years, 2 months ago

I was happy to learn that this was written by a high school student. This person has not paid his debt to society. He served 25 years of a 50 year sentence in California and was paroled to Colorado because California decided to empty their prisons to save money. He is the beneficiary of very outdated laws that treated sexual crimes with far too much leniency. This person has no right to freely start over. None of his victims have that right or that choice. It is an absolute injustice that he has been released. The stigma attached to sex offenders is because these are heinous crimes. The requirement that they register, and the requirement to hold a community meeting for sexually violent predators, is because empirical research shows that these individuals are very likely to re-offend. This person already re-offended after serving a 25 year prison sentence. California didn't care. They didn't revoke his parole. Asking people to put themselves in the shoes of Dale Waite is like asking people to forget the tremendous injustices that have allowed him to go free, while his victims will never be free of what he did to them. I don't advocate vigilantism, but why on earth should we attempt to understand what he is going through? The only thing that should occupy people's thoughts with regard to this person is that he is extremely dangerous.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 2 months ago

Brittany:

Your compassion and idealism are compelling. And, with all due respect, more than a little naïve. There are reasons that societies throughout history have shunned and despised those found guilty of crimes like those Dale Mathew Waite was convicted of – both before and after they have “paid their debt.”

According to a Department Of Justice study, sex offenders are four times more likely to commit another sex crime after their release than non-sex offenders.

  • An estimated 24% of those serving time for rape and 19% of those serving time for sexual assault had been on probation or parole at the time of the offense for which they were in State prison.

*The median age of the victims of imprisoned sexual assaulters was less than 13 years old; the median age of rape victims was about 22 years.

*Of released sex offenders who allegedly committed another sex crime, 40% perpetrated the new offense within a year or less from their prison discharge.

*Approximately 4,300 child molesters were released from prisons in 15 States in 1994. An estimated 3.3% of these 4,300 were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison.

*Among child molesters released from prison in 1994, 60% had been in prison for molesting a child 13 years old or younger. (Excerpts from the DOJ study, cut & pasted from Wikipedia)

You've asserted a couple of things I couldn't agree more strongly with:

  1. That Dale Mathew Waite has "made some unforgiveable choices", and
  2. "..we [can't] become our own vigilantes.."

As to the first point, while Dale Mathew Waite has "paid his debt", I choose not to forgive him. Your characterization of his "unforgivable choices" couldn't be more appropriate. As to the second, you're quite right: we don't need vigilantes. We are obliged to be VIGILANT regarding a convicted criminal who has exhibited a decades-long pattern of reprehensible behavior. If that vigilance makes him uncomfortable or unhappy, he has only to consult a mirror for the reasons why.

I'll reserve my sympathy and compassion for his victims.

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David Moore 2 years, 2 months ago

For once I agree with ranger520, death is the only sentence for anyone who violates a child in any way, period, end of story. However, forget the 90 day thing, take them outside after the sentencing and take care of business right then and there. A .90 cent round or a $10.00 rope is far cheaper than housing the scum for 90 days on our tab.

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

In response to some lies posted here

"According to a Department Of Justice study, sex offenders are four times more likely to commit another sex crime after their release than non-sex offenders"

A 2002 study by the United States Department of Justice indicated that recidivism rates among sex offenders was 5.3%; that is, about 1 in 19 of released sex offenders were later arrested for another sex crime

Sex offenders have the 2nd lowest rate of reoffending of every criminals out there (aside from murders as they have 1% as 99% are crimes of passion)

Saying ALL sex offenders should be killed is insane do you have ANY idea how easy it is to be labeled a sex offender??

heres 1 for you a 6 year old is a sex offender http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com/2008/04/six-year-old-sex-offender.html

So i guess you will go load your bullets and get ready to take out this 6 year old then huh? what about the countless people caught up in this over sexting? 18 year old being turned into one over dating a 16 or 17 year old?

HEY i know lets go after all the people that were lied to about a girls age because you know teenage girls would NEVER in a million years lie to teenage guys and young men in there 20s about how there really 18 and turn out to be 14 or 15.

Or what about the streakers? the drunk people who pee in public behind some bushes? HEY even better a girl that sends nude pics to all the guys she was talking too and now she is charged with child porn distribution and ALL the guys that recieved it are now being charged with having child porn even if they are themselves children

what about the 13 year old boys with 13 year old girlfriends being charged as sex offenders? in some places thats 100% illegal and can be charged with sex offender even if there the same age

you must be running out of bullets now cause WAIT theres more......better load up quick there guy. What about the "crimes against Humanity law" where if you get oral sex from a hooker in certain states its a sex offender even if the woman is 40 years old and your legal you both can become sex offenders regardless of how you feel about hookers it doesnt warrent this charge

ready to load up even more there tex??

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/parents-sue-wal-mart-children-bath-time-photos/story?id=8622696#.Ty1wgOSD-U4

Parents who took photos of there own children in the bath tub non sexual and 1000's of parents have done this had there children taken away and almost forced to register and this isnt a lone case....

Wait a minute here do you have any naked pics of your children? if so......well you know what to do there guys id like to save my money so please do what your wanting to do to everybody else

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

oh yeah forgot around 70% of your grandparents should all be back labeled as well because it was very common back in the day for young men to date teenage girls and marry them

So we might as well go and wipe out those sneaky elderly as well

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daily 2 years, 2 months ago

Memnoch do you really want to defend people who prey on children? The statements you quote are misleading, Sometimes you have to pick a side and stand by it. I cant believe you have any children and I would guess you are under the age of 18, trying to shock people. YOU should be alert.

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

No i am stating the truth and to put an end to fear mongering by you people and lies built up

there is currently close to 800,000 registered sex offenders in the USA closing in 1 million mark with 10,000 or more added each year

94% of all new sex crimes are committed by people NOT on the sex offender registry

I guess you refused to even read what i posted how easy it is to become a sex offender as well

Fact of the matter is YOU are more likely to BECOME a sex offender along with your children than be harmed by one already on the list

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

also btw if you READ what i wrote NOT ALL SEX OFFENDERS ARE AFTER KIDS!!!!!!!!

i listed multiple ways you or your own kids can become a sex offender that has NOTHING to do with harming children

If anything i hope it opens your eyes before this damaged you or your own family

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

Further more here is a list state by state and study by study of sex offender recidivism rates done by the state and not opinions

http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/p/recidivism-studies.html

READ UP ON THE FACTS!!! not lies spread by the news and politicians and fear mongering

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

oh one quick thing im in no way defending a guy whos like 40 years old that goes and rapes an 8 year old or something to that effect

what i am defending is 100's of thousands of people caught up in this nightmare witch hunt in today's Society that arent after little children however are caught up in these laws

lives are being ruined by people who stated all sex offenders should be killed and by the media and politicians looking to incite fear to get votes

Im defending the children of these people who are bullied in school because there parent has been ostracized for some mistake he might of done as a young adult. Im defending the parents who have gotten their children taken away from finger pointers looking to gain something out of untrue statements and im defending your children from being caught up in these horrible laws in the future themselves

it needs to stop and their needs to be change

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

and how is stating actual facts wrong??

Ranger if you missed it NOT ALL sex offenders are after kids or raped anybody!!!!!

Sounds to me Ranger520 is a fear monger who has a blood thirsty mind and would sooner just kill anybody and everybody without any rational thinking involved.

Ranger tomorrow morning you could wake up and somebody you had an argument with or an ex girlfriend or whatever (i dont know your situation so im just giving you an example) could point a finger at you and accuse you with no facts whats so ever.

You will be arrested your face will appear in news paper and may even make the evening news depending on if its a slow news day in your town or not.

Prosecutors will then make your life hell you will lose your job, friends, everything pretty much and you will have people out there like some of you calling for your death.

Even after you have cleared your name the girl could go back and say "i made it all up" and you could have evidence of all of this and its already to late your reputation has been ruined OR in some instances the state decides to press charges anyways and depending on the jury you could wind up a sex offender

All it takes is 1 finger pointer today and honestly i hope nothing like this ever happens to you or any of the other ways i have described you can become a sex offender involving no children or hurting anybody

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Jon Pfeifer 2 years, 2 months ago

Let's play the numbers game, because memnoch is not really grasping the numbers. I will use the same ones memnoch used from the same DOJ study. The recidivism rate among sex offenders is not 5.3%, it is around 43%. That rate is actually much lower than the overall recidivism rate of 63%. There are some reasons for that, including that sex offenders tend to spend more time in prison than other offenders and the number one factor in criminal activity is age (which is why people convicted of murder have an even lower recidivism rate... they tend to spend more time in prison than sex offenders). The 5.3% is how often sex offenders who are released are convicted of another sex crime after being released (well, within 3 years of being released). That is four times higher than the rate of sex crime convictions for non-sex offenders who are released from prison. In addition, sex offenses are incredibly under-reported. 42% of rape victims tell nobody about the crime. In the 1980's, 5% of victims told law enforcement about the rape. In the past 10 years, studies have shown that about 30% of victims tell law enforcement of the sex crime committed against them. Only about 16% of those rapes reported to the police result in convictions. Therefore, if you take that 5.3% of actual recidivism for convicted sex offenders, and you consider that it represents less than 4.8% of the actual sex crimes committed by that group (30% times 15%... and that is assuming convicted sex offenders are just as likely as the general population to re-offend, which as we will see below is wrong... they are 17.5 times more likely to re-offend) that 5.3% reflects a possible real re-offense rate of 90%. To make it simpler, 5.3% recidivism reflects a rate of re-offending of 1 out of every 20 people. With 1 million sex offenders in the country, the overall odds that any one individual is a sex offender is 1 in 350 people. That means that convicted sex offenders are 17 and a half times more likely to be convicted of another sex offense than the general population. Momnoch makes a good point that not all sex offenders are guilty of the heinous crimes we read about, like forcible rape or child molestation. Nothing else seems to hold any water.

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

sorry SMall towner i have to say your math is wrong

here go to this link its by the Bureau of Justice Statistics this is not my opinion at all and this is the math actual experts have come up with

http://issuu.com/soissues/docs/doj---recidivism-of--sex-offenders---released-from?mode=a_p&wmode=0

scroll down to page 8 "recidivism rate for a new sex crime Of the 9,691 released sex offenders, 3.5% (339 of the 9,691) were reconvicted for a sex crime within the 3 year followup period"

24% for any type of new crime all together which could be anything from stealing to killing somebody

Also studies have proven the longer a sex offender can go in life with a stable structure around him or her the rate goes even lower if reoffending (meaning not being harrased by people attacking them and hounding them).

But this really wasnt my main point my main point was all the ways people become sex offenders that have nothing to do with rape, violence, or small children and im atleast glad you read that part and understood it

the laws of this country need to be changed tooo many people are being sucked into this nightmare and lives destroyed because people want to make money and or Votes off it by scaring the public into todays boogeyman the sex offender

The "Only" people that belong on any sort of registry are violent rapists and people that prey on small children and even then it should be left to a courts decision depending on the situation to place somebody on a registry (to prevent the cases of 6 year olds on the registry).

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

btw if you want to check out recidivism rate state by state please go look here and it gives you links state by state of there own findings and reports

http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/p/recidivism-studies.html

Recidivism study from New York for 2006 ex-offenders shows a 0.03% recidivism rate, despite the continual lies of high recidivism rates

Its all there all the math done for you state by state on there states own websites

Nothing has been fabricated nothing has been added as personal opinion or random #s thrown in So please i encourage you all to go check out the findings for yourself

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 2 months ago

Interesting how Memnoch127 & I can cite data from the same 2002 DOJ study, and only one of us is peddling "lies." Instructive, I think, that he's the one cowering behind a veil of anonymity; that the high school girl whose essay provokes the discussion has bigger cojones than he does.

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

and when you zero to add about anything ive said other than now insults it really hurts your credibility and your ability to discuss anything other than reverting to kindergarten tactics .......next you will say i have koodies or something

Ive posted multiple links by professionals listed state by state Mr brian

if anybody here is peddling lies please check out the links and if you want to call every state in the nations findings lies then ok i guess you can live in that world

But for anybody who doesnt want to live in that world please feel free to read for yourself its all government supported Data

and you still have missed my point on how easy it is to become a sex offender in todays Society and how its ruining lives and people that NEVER hurt a child at all

but i guess you will just skip that part and go straight to attacking because you've run out of things to say

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Memnoch127 2 years, 2 months ago

Btw i will give you this argument

Maybe one of the reasons Sex offender re-offending rates are so low is because of the hundreds of thousands of people being drug into it that don't need to be sex offenders?

if we took all the younger people out of it that got caught up in this crazy witch hunt, took all the young men lied to by women for there ages, took out all the people caught in the Crimes against nature laws, took out all the people who did minor things wrong and left only true rapists and people that prey on small children the # for re-offending might be reported much larger?

its like you have a bucket of extremely toxic waste (rapists serial killers or what have you) and then dump it in a lake. the effects of such toxic waste are so diluted you no longer see the danger?

Until we reform the sex offender laws take all these crazy nonsense stupid things off the list we wont really know.

But that wont happen until you people learn to stop being scared and tell your voted in politicians that you want change because until then any senator or congressman that votes for logic is political suicide.

they just keep passing knee jerk reactions to everything and most of it is unconstitutional and costing YOU the tax payer millions of dollars to set up the laws and then to defend them in court and THEN redo the laws and the cycle continues all because they are afraid to look bad come elections.

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Tammy Showalter 2 years, 2 months ago

reading this reminds me of trying to talk to a drunk..... bottom line IMO (mine, just mine) at least we know where this guy is and what he looks like. Your own neighbor could be a pervert who hasn't been caught, so has not yet been labeled sex offender for everyone to judge. Educate your children and pray they stay safe, it is obvious the courts can't lock all of them up.

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westslopeguy 2 years, 2 months ago

As a victim of sexual aggression I truly understand the need to "rehabilitate" or "penalize until cured" the aggressor. But as a (fairly) intelligent observer of our culture and legal system, labeling and forcing registration of the guy that pees on the dumpster, and the 19 year old who got hoodwinked by a 15 year old, and the 50 year old pervert attacking a middle-schooler the same is just wrong. Reading the CPD sex-offender registry and panicking is just wrong. That's what I think Memnoch was trying to say. I only listed three offenses of many. But according to the Colorado Sex-Offense registry, they are all viewed the same way by the average reader. I've known pedophiles and I've known people that got caught up in the "system." They're NOT all the same.

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