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4 February 2012
at 10:44 p.m.
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.
3 February 2012
at 11:23 p.m.
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.
29 January 2012
at 11:40 a.m.
I don't know that the ban will make people who work there stop smoking. They will just have to drive somewhere to take their smoke breaks. This seems like an obvious move though. Health care facilities really shouldn't have smoking anywhere near their premises, given that smoking is so harmful to ones health and also given that people seeking medical care don't need extra stress-triggers in their environment, like enduring the smell of smoke while seeking medical attention.
24 January 2012
at 2:47 p.m.
While this is a very articulate and passionate opinion piece, I have to say that I have no idea what the situation was, and the article doesn't explain it very well. I kept wondering as I read the article if there were grandparents or other family members of the deceased parents. If so, why would “your friend” be a better option for placing the child than his own family? The article almost comes from the position that this system is designed to benefit “your friend,” when it was not. It was designed to help the child. You state without any support that the child was placed with a family “unworthy” to raise him. What makes that family unworthy? What makes any family “unworthy” to raise a child? I have no idea from this article. You haven't articulated a miscarriage of justice, you have only articulated a very emotional response to a process that you felt was unfair, but for all I know from reading your article worked out for the best of the child. You didn't even mention who the parties to the case were. For whatever reasons, social services felt like keeping the child with “your friend” was not the right decision and the judge agreed. Other than understanding that you feel really passionately that this was the wrong decision, I have no idea where the system failed because you left that out. As for your conclusion that none of our systems are worth preserving, what are the alternatives? You want to give up on democracy, then what should replace it? Capitalism has some real injustices, but what works better? As for placement of children, how should that be handled? The wrong thing happens in every human institution on occasion, but you can't simply tear everything down without an alternative… that is anarchy.
24 January 2012
at 1:16 p.m.
Haha, cragnative beat me to it.
24 January 2012
at 1:12 p.m.
Wethepeople: KC Hume was reading a letter written by Ron Rosener. That is actually very clear from the article itself. KC Hume did not express any position with regard to that idea at all. Before you publicly criticize someone, it would be a good idea to read the article.
18 January 2012
at 1:50 p.m.
The problem with moving it to Loudy Simpson is that it would require the City to cooperate with the County. We've seen that the City doesn't play nice with anyone (even veterans). Would the city still pay for the band if the event occurred in the county? Would the county be willing to provide the extra law enforcement and staff to pull off the event? Would sponsors (who are business owners) support the event if it were held outside the city? There would be a lot of things to work through, and as we have learned, any time the city needs to “work things out” they degenerate.
9 January 2012
at 9:07 a.m.
I am very happy that I was wrong. That was a great game!
17 December 2011
at 5:48 p.m.
I don't really care how well the sports teams do in terms of wins and losses. High School sports is about learning hard work, responsibility, teamwork, and leadership skills. And unless things have changed since I went to high school, the coaches are first and foremost educators. Trying to make a coach feel “uncomfortable” because their teams aren't winning every year is like punishing them for taking on something extra because they care about the school community. That's what extracurricular implies. If the editorial board wants to try to measure the accomplishments of student athletes by following them beyond high school, then that would be worthwhile. Implying that mediocrity is the norm in this community is not constructive. You're not creating a dialogue, you're perpetuating negative thinking. That's easy and lazy. Try focusing on the positives a bit more. By highlighting those, maybe you'll convince yourselves and some others that this is actually a community in which striving for excellence is a worthy endeavor.
22 November 2011
at 8:46 a.m.
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