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For some things, there just ain't no curing...

This morning's Boston Globe featured a story about a 68-year-old Level 3 sex offender (by Massachusetts' standards, the type most likely to reoffend) who moved to a nursing home. Police put up flyers around the neighborhood warning people, but not within the nursing home itself. The staff knew of his history, but apparently didn't notify his fellow residents. Thus deprived of his usual youthful victims, John Enos allegedly indulged his desires with his 90-year-old roommate -- against the gentleman's will.

Massachusetts currently has four Level 3 sex offenders living in nursing homes, and a fifth working in one.

(Incredibly insensitive aside: I was very impressed that the reporter avoided the word "bedridden" through most of his story, and only used it in the context of a quote.)

There has -- HAS -- to be a way to keep these monsters away from society. Where's Atticus Finch when we really need him?

J.


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Comments (29)

Why on earth do they have a... (Below threshold)

Why on earth do they have a sex offender working in a nursing home? I suppose it's better than having him work in a nursery school, but what the hell is Massachusett's thinking letting him do either? Then again, look who represents them in the Senate.

There's one definite cure f... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

There's one definite cure for that, sentence repeat offenders to one hour on a gurney. The lethal injection option does not allow for the slightest chance of recidivism. Call that cruel if you like, it's not as cruel as putting these things back on the street is to their victims, past or future.

When it comes to most sex o... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

When it comes to most sex offenses I generally have a "one strike and your out" attitude. I have no problem with throwing away the key and leaving them locked up.

I have always said that if ... (Below threshold)

I have always said that if the law would not allow for hardened sex offenders, especially those who pray on children to be executed then they should be lobotomized. Think about it. Just scrape that part of their brain out and leave them functioning so they can hold down a menial job that serves society.

People were lobotomized in this country for much less in the 50's. hell they were lobotomized for being depressed and being retarded. Imagine lobotomozing as a positive thing.

Chemical sterilization doesn't work on everyone and most stop taking it when they get the hormone side effects. We all know pedophiles are model prisoners because there is no temptationin prison for them. They are incapable of being rehabilitated. They are just wired wrong in the head. So if you get a dull spoon or carterizing tool and scrape that chunk out, it just might be a good thing.

I like the statement of the... (Below threshold)
julie:

I like the statement of the roommate's daughter: She called the alleged rape ''a freaky accident

Mass. has had other more serious problems with how they handle sex offenders recently.

There ARE ways to keep thes... (Below threshold)
-S-:

There ARE ways to keep these people away from society in general, to isolate them, and some on this thread make mention of those ways, just that there are always certain groups yelling about "rights" of one sort or another to deflect the available options to separate these demented people from the rest...those groups never rally about "rights" where victims are concerned, unfortunately.

There's just no way to keep sexual predators away from available victims, as long as they can gain contact with other human beings. Thus, locking them up or otherwise incapacitating their ability to make contact with others is the only surefire way to solve the problem of repeat sexual offense by predators. However, it'll never happen, and it's really a human tragedy that it won't.

There are more sexual predators circulating in all areas of our society, too, than most people realize. I was shocked to find a number of them in my very neighborhood after the recently available database here in CA. It's horrible to realize.

Pedophiles are never rehabi... (Below threshold)

Pedophiles are never rehabilitated. They just grow to be old pedophiles. Most rapists of all sorts as well. As far as I'm concerned, they forfeit their rights when they commit such an act.

Funny how some will defend them yet have no problem locking someone up for 20 years for smoking pot. These are also the same people who are pro-choice yet condemn the death penalty.

I will never, ever understand it.

In Calif. we have the Sexua... (Below threshold)
julie:

In Calif. we have the Sexual Violent Predators law. Two convictions and when you get out of prison they do a civil commitment into a psych hospital. A few have managed to be released. (One guy submitted to physical castration.)

I know people like to think there is some sort of prison justice for child sex offenders. But the reality is that there are so many of them in prison, it would be a blood bath if it were true.

Mary Jo Kopechne may have s... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Mary Jo Kopechne may have something to say about this issue....I'll post her response if she returns my call.

Although the subject may be... (Below threshold)
Geo:

Although the subject may be a bit off topic, this headline pretty much conveys my position.
http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=83771

There IS a way. Mandatory ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

There IS a way. Mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for ALL level 3 sex offenders or the equivalent, dictated on the federal level (a law like that has to be federal, since sex offenders are quite adept at interstate travel).

Chemical castration doesn't work. Lobotomization would never get public approval, much less make it past the lawyers. Incarceration is not only a good idea, but it has public support; no politician ever lost ground by declaring his support for longer prison sentences for pedophiles.

I liken the prevalence of notification laws and flyer campaigns and NIMBY alarms as an expression of the free market. Supply and demand. The populous is rising and declaring they want Stuff A to be put in Place B. Place B being "Oz". It is an expression of the communal desire for life sentences for hardened, irredeemable, unrehabilitatable criminals that ruin lives.

Were there pedophiles 200 years ago? Not many, if at all. Why are there so many now? Is it the internets? Violent movies? Video games? Not enough God in the classroom? How about a simpler explanation- IT SPREADS. It's like AIDS. You know this John Enos probably had horrible things done to him as a child. That fact is usually what keeps monsters like this on the streets- he can be portayed as a victim by cunning council.

In fact, to be completely fair, he WAS a victim. And now his brain is wrecked. There's lots of ways for adults to wreck children's brains- booze it up while pregnant, be verbally abusive, teach them Wicca. But while a child of a heroin addict is probably not all that likely to become a heroin addict herself, and the child of an alchoholic is somewhat likely to become an alchoholic herself, a victim of criminal sexual conduct is QUITE likely to repeat that behaviour on a new generation of victimS (plural), so the rate at which the cancer grows is unstoppable-- unless we start treating the disease by isolating the infected.

BTW, I think a lot of gay people were abused as children as well, which is why there's so many more gay people now than there were 200 years ago. But don't believe me, listen to LOVELINE for about a week straight.

Lobotomizing someone is not... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Lobotomizing someone is not the answer. For one thing it is not constitutional since it violates the cruel and unusual punishment provision.

I think the best thing to do is just lock them up and throw away the key. Not necessarily on their 1st offense, but if someone is a "level 3" risk there is no reason to EVER let them back out into society again.

I really don't understand where all the hand wringing and "what are we going to do?" type questions come from. Just lock them up, don't let them out except in a body bag, and the problem is solved. You don't have to resort to killing them, and you avoid gruesome and inhmane tortures like lobotomy. I would rather be dead than have someone do that to me. Any doctor who would do that to someone for these kinds of reasons deserves to be locked up himself.

"teach them Wicca."<p... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"teach them Wicca."

Right........ I don't know all that much about Wicca, but comparing it to fetal alcohol syndrome or sexual abuse is dishonest at best. Just because something is not christian does not mean it is evil.

Pedophilia, like most other paraphilias, is something that has always been with us. Whether it is more or less common nowadays than it was 50 years ago is a question best left to a sociologist, but I do know it was prevalent enough in ancient Rome and Greece for child prostitution to be quite common.

As for homosexuality, it too has a long history. There are some people who just have their wires crossed. Some like women's feet, some like S&M, some like children, some like members of their own sex, and some like things that I don't even want to talk about. In most cases these defects are harmless, even if they are bizarre and defy understanding. Pedophiles and rapists are the exception. Their defect makes them a threat to society. How they became that way doesn't matter. I don't care if someone was a "victim" or not since it does nothing to lessen the effect of their own crimes against their victims. I think your solution to the problem is a good one though, lock them up and throw away the key. It might be expensive for the taxpayers, but I'll gladly pay to keep rapists and child molesters off the street.

Masshole. ... (Below threshold)

Masshole.

Masshole? That's a new one.... (Below threshold)
julie:

Masshole? That's a new one. But, thanks! I promise to use it responsibly. :-)

Just shoot the worthless ba... (Below threshold)
gawdamman:

Just shoot the worthless bastards and get it over with.....better yet, shoot the social- worker idiots who placed the depraved jerk in a nursing home.

Why not just stick them all... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Why not just stick them all together in one prison? Leave them with no one but themselves to violate.

There is no way to make LWO... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

There is no way to make LWOP for level 3's a federal law. Most sex offenses are state level crimes, the Feds do not have jurisdiction and it would be unconsitutional to dictate sentence.

However, if the feds did this at the fed level, it is likely many states would follow suit, but this is something that would have to be done at the state level.

Lee- I used "Wicca" as an e... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Lee- I used "Wicca" as an example of something more benign than sexual abuse (as almost everything is) and of something outside the mainstream that, if introduced too early in a child, can result in some pretty bizzare behaviour later in life. I could introduce you to someone I know to prove my point. I didn't say it was "evil"- just that it can mess up kids. No, not as bad as the other things, which was my point.

Pedophilia rises and falls exactly because it's "socially inherited" behavior, i.e. victim becomes abuser later in life, with numerous victims. Ancient Greece, pre-Taliban Kandahar, whatever- it becomes more of a social norm because it has spread. Kind of like the plague.

Yes, homosexuality has a long history- of being about 1% of the population. It's an excess of drive - quite useful to have in a species, ask any panda - that gets misfired into a non-typical direction. Not harmful in and of itself, and observable in the animal kingdom. But in America we're up around 10% or so. Again, the only long-term observational study I know of is on the radio late night weekdays, and every time Dr. Drew asks a homosexual at what age he was abused, he always gets an answer.

Back to pedophiles- I agree that "how they became that way doesn't matter" in that it should not be a consideration in their sentence, but it's also prudent to KNOW how they "became that way" since it's something we want to lessen. And I believe nobody wakes up one day and just thinks, "Yes, little boys, that's what I want now". It's prior abuse - illegal behaviour that we're not stamping out sufficiently.

A burgler MIGHT continue to burgle. An embezzler MIGHT continue to embezzle. But when the recitivism rate for a crime category is THIS high, there's no cure up to and including physical mutilation, and the consequences to the victim include a lifetime of misery, sexual confusion, and a suicide rate as high as it is... yeah, LWOP it is.

State level, eh, "Just Me"? Darn. Okay, somebody call Texas. Once enough states are on board, the remainder don't exactly want to be known as "havens".

"State level, eh, "Just Me"... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"State level, eh, "Just Me"? Darn. Okay, somebody call Texas. Once enough states are on board, the remainder don't exactly want to be known as "havens"."

I came very close to saying just this in my post.

That sex offenders certainly will be drawn to states with laxer laws, but I don't see even the most touchy feely states wanting to be known as the state where sex offenders have it easy.

I've known kids who were ar... (Below threshold)
julie:

I've known kids who were arrested for sex abuse. It would turn out that they had literally been screwed by almost every member in their family and were acting out what they had been taught. Does that mean they are now a sex offender? Maybe. Maybe, not. Nevertheless, they will be treated like a sex offender. Is it fair? I don't know. But, it's pretty sad when some kids never had a chance to have a decent life.

There's a simple cure: A cr... (Below threshold)

There's a simple cure: A cranial injection of 14.9 grams of copper jacketed lead at 259 meters per second.

Matt:Just so you k... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Matt:

Just so you know, not EVERYONE who is abused as a child grows up to become an abuser themselves. I should know since I was abused as a child myself (as were a lot of people.) Needless to say, I'm not an abuser of any kind (and yes, I'm straight too.)

When too much emphasis gets put on the whole "cycle of abuse" business all it does is further victimize the person who was abused. They end up being treated with mistrust by society and made to feel as if something must be broken inside them when it is far more likely that they're just as well adjusted as anyone.

I heard a story a few years back from a friend of mine about a friend of hers. This is 3rd hand information of course so feel free to take it with a grain of salt. The story that I was told is that he was dating a woman with two small for several years when they decided they wanted to get married. He had been abused as a child, something that he had not shared with his wife to be. When he did tell her about it a few days prior to their weddding she completely flipped out and called the whole thing off. Her reasoning? Since he was abused he was going to become an abuser himself and her kids weren't safe. She actually thought that there was some kind of Mr. Hyde lurking inside the man she supposedly loved, just waiting for the opportunity to emerge. Yeah, and I've got a monkey in my butt just waiting for the chance to escape. My take on this is that he was better off without the dumb bitch, but I doubt he felt that way.

So don't be so emphatic about the abused someday becoming the abusers of the future. Things don't necessarily turn out that way.

Lee: Make no mistake about... (Below threshold)
julie:

Lee: Make no mistake about it, I agree 100% with you. In the situations I've described, my point was that I just don't feel right about writing the kids off.

Matt:Two other thi... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Matt:

Two other things just occured to me, actually three things.

1) Dr. Drew has people who screen his calls. They could very well only be putting gay people through who were the victims of abuse.
2) If homosexuality is due to abuse by a member of one's own sex, how do does one account for lesbians. I'm not aware of any epidemic of women abusing little girls. Most lesbians I've heard about/from are either born that way, or are so fed up with men that they've turned to women.
3) The rate of homosexuality is nowhere near 10%, that is a fanciful number invented by the gay/lesbian PR campaign. The actual rate is maybe 3%, at most it is 5% if you add in bisexuals.

Julie:

I don't think you should write off kids either. I know about the situations you've descibed. Kids abused by their whole family, literally raised to be abusive. Someone in that situation may respond to treatment because they may not fully understand that the abuse is wrong. The simple understanding that what they are doing is causing other's pain should be enough to end abusive behaviors for many of them.

Feels like deja vu all over... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Feels like deja vu all over again. Maybe the jails can build a nursing home attachment to their facilities which would exactly be the right thing.

And I love Atticus Finch, wish there were more men like that in our world. My favorite movie

"2) If homosexuality is due... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"2) If homosexuality is due to abuse by a member of one's own sex, how do does one account for lesbians. I'm not aware of any epidemic of women abusing little girls."

It isn't so much that sexual abuse by somebody of your the same sex makes one a homosexual, but that sexual abuse screws up your perception of sex and sexuality in general. Often, with girls who are sexually abused, they reject men, become totally cold to sex, or they may become overly promiscuous. Also, I don't know anyone who argues that every homosexual is homosexual because they were sexually abused, but that sexual abuse may cause some kids to turn to homosexuality. My husband works with a woman who was sexually abused by her stepfather, she is a lesbian, and she will tell you the "they're born that way" at least as it applies to her is bs. She sought other women, because a man hurt her.

Oh, and when it comes to actual sexual abusers, the majority of them were sexually abused, but you can't reverse the correlation-to say that all the abused become abusers. You can safely infer that a sexual abuser was most likely sexually abused, but far more abused kids grow up to not be abusers than do.

About the issue of abusers ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

About the issue of abusers having been abused (and thus, they are fated to become abusers themselves):

it's just a cause and effect issue, a possibility, not that anyone who has been abused is fated or predetermined, predestined because of that, to become an abuser, just that a history of prior abuse makes for a greater possibility that someone will later become an abuser themselves.

If you want to catch ducks, you go where the ducks are. You can arrive where they are known to be, but it doesn't automatically mean that the ducks will be there, just that it's likely that they will be, since they already have been.

People can overcome prior abuse and lead normal lives afterward but therapy is really a great help to those who have suffered abuse. I'd encourage anyone with such a history to seek it out...

The problem I have is with adults who grow to be abusers (of various sorts), who were abused in their earlier lives (I've known a few of those people, unfortunately), who the greater society just never suspects, and who never seek treatment but instead just act out what they've already learned to do (abuse others)...

I agree with nearly everyone here as to the fact that those who abuse others, particularly sexual and physical abuse of children, need a firmer course of treatment once discovered. Seems to me that permanent confinement is the only solution with most of them, and I truly regret that in California, two victims have to be harmed before someone is placed in confinement because it's two victims too many.

The really disturbing part ... (Below threshold)
bonaducci:

The really disturbing part of this story, the that isn't being told is that Enos was placed in the nursing home (allegedly through a great deal of effort!) by the MA. Dept. of Correction's Reentry unit! The state is sneaking criminals into our neighborhoods! Even better, the only ones that are tracked are the level 3 sex offenders! How many more are out there and where are they?




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