Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Jack & Jill Went Up The Hill, But Only Jill Came Down.

I have a feeling that Jack Carroll, now serving time as a sex offender although many of us believe he is innocent, would give anything to be Jill Carroll right now (no relation), the Christian Science Monitor reporter who was just released by her Muslim captors after 82 days in captivity. Jill's captors were open and unabashed terrorists. The people who put Jack in prison, particularly D.A. Patricia DeAngelis, did so under the guise of justice. If you were an innocent person going off to prison, I imagine what you would feel would be terror. So what does that make Patricia DeAngelis?

Now Jack has more terror to face in the unconstitutional, executive order recently signed by Governor Pataki. (The order was just upheld by one court, but legal challenges to it are not over). The order allows New York State to continue to confine sex offenders, even after their prison time has expired.

Nobody wants to show support for sex offenders, and neither do I. But if the government can confine sex offenders even after their prison terms have expired, what will stop them from confining people who have committed other crimes after their terms have expired. The rationale for civil confinement for sex offenders is recidivism. But many crimes have high recidivism rates. Are all criminals with high recidivism rates going to be confined as well?

As I said before, the constitutional solution to the problem of sex offenders is longer prison terms. It's not to make an end run around the constitution and essentially give people another prison sentence without another trial.

Governor Pataki claims he signed this executive order to protect the citizens of New York State. But the governor took an oath to defend the constitution. By defending the constitution, he does defend the citizens of New York State.

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