November 11, 2009
Posted: 06:43 PM ET
By Judge Jeanine Pirro, LKL Blog Contributor
The recent shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, the bodies unearthed at Anthony Sowell's home in Cleveland, Ohio, and the kidnapping and rape of Jaycee Lee Dugard by Phillip Garrido in California, beg the question: Could these crimes have been prevented?
While on the surface these crimes may not have much in common, they all have paper trails that tell me they never should have happened.
For me, the Phillip Garrido and Anthony Sowell cases make compelling arguments for civil confinement – that is, the hospitalization of violent sex offenders in secure facilities to get them "help" and prevent them from preying on additional innocent victims. As registered sex offenders, both Garrido and Sowell were required to report their addresses. Garrido in particular was subject to regular unannounced visits by parole officers. No search warrant required.
An investigation into whether the system failed in the Garrido case came back with a resounding yes. The Inspector General of California found that there were numerous opportunities to find the child victim and that there were at least 11 parole violations that could have put this violent sexual predator back behind bars. That was a no-brainer.
Garrido lived openly with young children, parole officers had an obligation to check his living arrangements and neighbors called the inept police and told them he was a sex offender living with children. I said months ago that the parole officer and the cop who got the call (and then claimed he didn't know Garrido was a sex offender) should be fired.
Anthony Sowell, yet another criminal "registered sex offender”, was free to roam and prey on his next victims. Although 10 bodies and one skull have so far been found in his house and on his property, he is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty.
My question: Why was this violent sex offender who was arrested and tried for choking and raping his pregnant victim free to access others? Was he not violent enough to civilly confine in a secure mental health facility to prevent him from reoffending? What genius decided he was at little risk to reoffend? Why did the cops and those who "monitor" sex offenders not investigate complaints from neighbors who called police to say a naked woman fell out of his second floor window? What about the complaints of neighbors who complained of the stench? What amateur cop doesn't know the difference between the smell of a sausage factory and rotting human flesh emanating from one specific location? Could it be that the Cleveland police paid little attention to low income, high-risk victims from high crime areas? Why did the police laugh off a daughter’s complaint that her mom was missing?
And then there is the alleged Fort Hood killer Major Nidal Malik Hasan. This guy is a shrink who is employed by our government to counsel military personnel in crisis situations?
This is a man who allegedly wrote on a website that suicide bombers should be revered. A man who was trying to get out of deployment and who was transferred from Walter Reed Army Base with poor performance grades!
The details are as of yet sketchy, but six months ago, according to media reports, the FBI had an eye on Hasan because of Internet postings attributed to him. One blog entry equates suicide bombers with a soldier throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades. I don't much care that he might have been "stressed" and could care less that he gave his frozen broccoli to his neighbor.
In a "civilized" society we need to protect the victims and weed out those who have shown they disregard the sanctity of children and innocent lives. It is also time for us to demand accountability from those in government whether they be police officers, parole officers or the military personnel.
No one is ENTITLED to his or her job. Once they prove they are incompetent or incapable of doing their job and someone suffers grave consequences, like Jaycee Lee Dugard, or the 10 or so women who were allegedly strangled and murdered at Anthony Sowell's home, or the 13 who've lost their lives at Fort Hood, those who were in a position to detect or monitor these criminals need to be fired. No desk job, no suspension-FIRED!!
It is time to stop excusing criminals who choose to victimize innocents. They are not insane. And if they are, then get them away from the rest of us. And I don't want to hear about Hasan's stress. I don't want to hear about his religious beliefs, either. It is time to stop being politically correct and start being morally right.
Jeanine Pirro is host of "Judge Pirro" and former District Attorney and County Court Judge of Westchester County, New York. Find out when"Judge Pirro" airs in your local market: www.judgejp.com.
Filed under: Crime
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