Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sex Offenders & Capital Punishment

The fourth guiding criminal justice principle of the Lampstand Foundation is: Capital punishment is an appropriate response to the criminal evil of murder, rape, and pedophilia.

The reason for it being included as a guiding principle is the knowledge—noted in this story from the Kansas City Star—of the almost certain recidivistic behavior of certain types of sex-offenders when they are released from prison.

An excerpt.

“The twice-convicted sex offender has been charged in four more sexual assaults and is being investigated in five others — all of them strikingly similar to those that sent him to prison in the first place.

“It’s distressing for victims to see someone like that get out, ruin people’s lives, get out and ruin more people’s lives,” said Palle Rilinger, the executive director of the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault.

“Predicting future criminal behavior is an inexact science, but statistics tend to show that of all sex offenders…—[those] who have been convicted multiple times of attacking strangers — are among the most likely to commit new sex crimes when they get out.

“Past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior,” said Jill Levenson, an associate professor and researcher at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

“When someone has been caught and punished not once, but twice, for the same behavior, that indicates he will not be deterred in the future by the same rules and sanctions, she said.

“Such a person is very likely to continue to commit crimes, Levenson said.”