Thursday, May 25, 2006

Who's minding the children?

Whoooaaa! Wait just a doggone minute here. What’s up with this judge? Is she nuts?

Check out the following story as reported on

Judge: Man is too short for prison

SIDNEY, Neb. (AP) — A judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead.

His crimes deserved a long sentence, District Judge Kristine Cecava said, but she worried that Richard W. Thompson, 50, would be especially imperiled by prison dangers.

"You are a sex offender, and you did it to a child," she said.

But, she said, "That doesn't make you a hunter. You do not fit in that category."

Thompson will be electronically monitored the first four months of his probation, and he was told to never be alone with someone under age 18 or date or live with a woman whose children were under 18. Cecava also ordered Thompson to get rid of his pornography.

He faces 30 days of jail each year of his probation unless he follows its conditions closely.

"I want control of you until I know you have integrated change into your life," the judge told Thompson. "I truly hope that my bet on you being OK out in society is not misplaced."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.”

Why is this judge so concerned for the convicted sex offender’s safety? Don’t prisons have special housing units that separate child molesters -and others who need extra protection- from the general population? Don’t most experts agree that a pedophile is likely to continue to offend when released from prison? But she thinks he can “integrate(d) change into (his) life?” She’s betting on her faith in him not being misplaced. That’ll be small comfort to any children, and their families, he may “offend” in the future. While she’s worried that he may be “especially imperiled by prison dangers,” who is worrying about the children being imperiled by having this guy out on the streets? And she thinks he deserves a long sentence, but only four months of his probation will require electronic monitoring? There’s something wrong here. Maybe a little “prison justice” is what this guy needs to set himself straight. I don’t think making a weekly phone call to a probation officer is going to help him control himself.

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