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How many times do I have to say, Megan's Law does not work?

By       Message Mary MacElveen     Permalink
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In a previous article where I lashed out at Bill O'Reilly of Fox News who opined this of the Shawn Hornbeck case: "You know the Stockholm syndrome thing, I don't buy it, I never bought it, I don't think it happened in the Patty Hearst Case. I don't think it happened here." One must ask what O'Reilly thinks of the present case before us where, Phillip Garrido allegedly kidnapped and raped Jaycee Lee over an eighteen year period and produced two children from Dugard . I only say allegedly because the case against him has not been proven by a court of law where he has been convicted.

With no opinion coming from O'Reilly that I have heard, I will leave that aside, but broach a larger issue: Does releasing sex offenders from prison actually protect us as a society? I have written of this subject for years-and-years and have come to the opinion, the answer is an emphatic NO!

For eighteen years, Jaycee was held captive and where society did not come to her rescue. A monster by all definitions, kidnapped her, raped her and produced two offspring by her and it happened in plain sight. He should not have been released on parole to re-enter society especially when a former rape victim of his appeared on Larry King Live tonight. To hear her story, he was a threat to all women and now we learn a threat towards children.

Now police and FBI are investigating if he was tied to the deaths of other women and children? How this monster was released from prison in the first place, is something I cannot comprehend.

I have written editorials in the past challenging the effectiveness of Megan's Law and according to Wikipedia came across this opinion: "A December 2008 study by Kristen Zgoba Ph.D., Philip Witt Ph.D., Melissa Dalessandro M.S.W., and Bonita Veysey Ph.D. found that Megan's Law has no effect on community tenure (i.e., time to first re-arrest), showed no demonstrable effect in reducing sexual re-offenses, has no effect on the type of sexual re-offense or first time sexual offense (still largely child molestation/incest), and has no effect on reducing the number of victims involved in sexual offenses." I fully concur as I have addressed this one issue for close to two decades.

In the same state, California where Jaycee was kidnapped and held prisoner for eighteen years, you will be alarmed to read this 2003 article published on which reported: "The data show that the state does not know the whereabouts of at least 33,296 sex offenders, or 44 percent of the 76,350 who registered at least once. Many of these ex-cons haven't been heard from since." I once reported of this high number on my former blog which is no longer online.

You will be shocked to read: "No one knows how many of these missing sex offenders have struck again. But nationally, 52 percent of rapists are arrested for new crimes within three years of leaving prison, according to the U.S. Justice Department." The question begs: Why aren't sentences longer if not life for these heinous crimes instead of releasing them back into the community? We are simply not prepared as a society to deal with these predator/monsters. The reason is that those who commit these heinous crimes will often do it again. Rape especially the rape of a child has a high recidivist rate. I cannot fathom how they are released back into society.

When they are released and I have addressed this as well: What training do we as a society have in order to deal with these predators? No one saw the signs that Jaycee was being held captive. As I have said before and for years, it is the judicial system's abdication of their responsibility to protect society, namely our children.
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I am thankful that Jaycee was found alive along with her two children and they will need years of therapy and at present deprogramming to recover from the years of abuse at the hands of the Garrido's. Let us not forget, he along with his wife Nancy held these children prisoners yet no one picked up on it. Both the judicial system and society failed these children.

As I have written of in earlier pieces, there are children who have been murdered at the hands of registered sex offenders. So, what good is Megan's Law any way when children have been raped and killed at the hands of these monsters?

One case that had the hairs standing up in the back of my neck was the case of Jessica Marie Lunsford; a nine year-old girl killed at the hands of a registered sex offender, John Evander Couey. I cannot even fathom her last moments on Earth as this monster raped her and then killed her. Talk about the ultimate terror.

In reading where, "Police found the body of Jessica Lunsford buried in a shallow grave under the back porch of a mobile home less than 150 yards from her home on March 18, 2005, a day after a convicted sex offender told authorities that he had killed the nine-year-old." when it happened, I was sickened beyond belief and angry at our judicial system for allowing such a monster out of prison, only to kill this precious child. This could have very well been Jaycee. There are others like Lunsford killed at the hands of registered and convicted sex offenders, yet it boggles the mind that they walk amongst us to target children.

In society, people think that having sex offenders registered is the answer and if anything this latest case where no one picked up on the fact that children were being held against their will proved no onewas paying attention.
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I would like to ask my readers, whom amongst you actually go searching on the Internet for pedophiles living in your area? Whom among you actually read post cards mailed to you by your school districts alerting you who is a registered sex offender in your community? If you have not, this case should not horrify you since you too have not been paying attention.

How many more victims like Jaycee are being held against their will in our communities till we finally get it that Megan's law and early release of sexual predators is NOT the answer? If a predator is convicted of rape, especially the rape of a child, they should be locked up for life. No, ifs ands or buts. Let the prison system take care of them since the community where Jaycee was being held against her will failed her.

In closing, it is my hope that Jaycee heals as well as her children. I wish them a peaceful life since they fully deserve it. I would like to thank the two officers who did pay attention and finally rescued them from their hell on Earth.

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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)

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