Michaela Shunick, a Lousiana college student, was missing since May 19th, 2012. She visited a friend's house and disappeared on her way home. A police investigation revealed that Ms. Shunick has been murdered as her body was discovered in Evangeline Parish. She has since been buried.
According to reports, the suspect is Brandon Lavergne, a 33 year old registered sex offender. Lavergne was charged with the kidnapping and ultimate murder of Ms. Shunick. Lavergne also murdered Lisa Ann Pate in 1999. State prosecutors want to seek the death penalty. Also, the prosecuting attorney Keith Stutes wants to establish that Lavergne has a pattern of sexual battery.
Lavergne was arrested in July; however, he insists that he is not guilty. The police arrested him because he failed to register as a sexual offender from a case from 2000. Rape and other sexual offenses are some of the most egregious crimes. Oftentimes, sex offenders receive a light sentence in comparison to the nature of their crimes. Many times, after their release, they can be returned to their communities.
However, many people are protesting the fact that there are registered sex offenders living near them. This is quite understandable. Do you believe that sex offenders should receive longer and harsher sentences and if they are released, should they live separately from the rest of the community?
The problem with trying to determine the viability of rehabilitation is how the psychological community identifies and treats the offenders. Therapeutic communities where drug treatment has been very successful have been slowly encroached on by law makers to shorten the amount of treatment time to lower expenses. Unfortunately the psychiatrists and psychologists have injected themselves more into the process to achieve this and in the process have raised the recidivism rates. Addicts know in a heartbeat when addict is getting over and ultimately will use again. That is why it is was so successful. The lawmwkers can't stand the invariable of another addict being in the mix of recovery so they push it this direction of "qualified professionals" being in there and failing to a higher degree.
I think the same thing could possibly be what is wrong with the treatment of these habitual sex offenders when it comes to their addiction and treatment. You have a professional in charge of something he cannot understand or relate to and trying to make a determination for the viability of treatment for a repeating child molester. He or she makes the call for a release of the offender based on clinical and not practical experience. Ultimately the molester gets tired of getting caught and serving time or going through the treatments so he starts killing all the witnesses. Put another recovering child molester in the room with the guy and he will search out all the demons and then maybe some rehabilitation may evolve.I don't know if any headway has been made in this direction but I would love to hear if anybody knows of some.Then again some if not many are beyond rehabilitation in which case incarceration is the only real viable choice. How can they ever be trusted?
It doesn't help when there are self made vigilante groups who have decided that they will dole out their own form of punishment. They get the name of an alleged sex offender and them beat them. And whilst people might think this is great, it's not. It means that known sex offenders dodge the register for fear of being "exposed", go underground and cannot be monitored. This puts even more children at risk.
Also, while everyone screams "this is a pedophile" they have overlooked the fact some offenders are prosecuted for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl who may be under the age of sixteen and the offender may be seventeen. Or the in the UK the offender may be deemed a schedule one offender ( which is not always a sexual offender) and may have obtained this label because of an offence they committed when they were a child themselves.
The sentences are usually proportionate and after release the offender is heavily monitored and worked with. It''s the scaremongering about lenient sentences which causes so many more problems and puts so many more children at risk.
I think the most egregious of the crimes here was the murder.
I feel sex offenders should get a sentence we can afford that makes the community safer. this is not always a harsher sentence.
As I understand it (please correct me if I am wrong), the legal definition of "sex offender" covers a very broad range of offenses. I dislike the fact that all sex offenders may be, to some extent, painted with the same brush.
I have read some time ago that it may be counterproductive to isolate sex offenders from the rest of the community, because if they are pushed out into less densely populated areas there is less general awareness of their day-to-day activities and therefore a more inviting situation for recidivism.
Islam gives death penalty to the rapists. This punishment is so harsh that a rapist would think a hundred times before he dares to commit rape, thus stopping manual potential rapists from committing rape.
While it is true that the penalties for committing a crime such as rape with a harsh penalty in Islamic Societies it is also a cultural taboo which re-enforces the stigma and punishment. In the US it has been proven to some degree the death penalty does not seem to have a significant effect for stopping murder. The rapists or child molesters don't seem to have any different change other than getting more violent in the process by starting or right from the beginning killing their victims to cover up. If religion could curb these tendencies through corporal means then you have to ask the question who qualifies to judge and carry out the punishments?
Not every society in the world suffers from a large number of "sexual" offenses. Maybe the USA, Australia, Uk, and any other country, so called civilised, where this is happening, should look at their society and ask "What is wrong with us?"
And maybe other nations are so rife with sex crime and so hostile to victims that it never even gets reported. At least we are doing better at supporting victims who come forward and giving them some hope for a just outcome.
I am not standing up for any person who commits a sexual assault on any one else, not at all.
However, if you do not ask the question why so many people are resorting to such crimes, why they have arrived at that unhealthy mental and social state, you are merely attacking the result, not the cause.
There are reasons, causes, and they are not in the category of simplistic "evil." The reasons are more likely the fact so many individuals, when growing, are unable to communicate with anyone about the subject. They will get a reply which is full of naughtiness, guilt, embarrassment, avoidance, innuendo, crude joke, ridicule, just plain ignorance, etc.etc. I bet this will often be based in some puritanical attitude.
Sex does not get mentioned in the mass media today unless it's associated with something bad. Then it's sensationalised and magnified, just to sell more newspapers or TV time on-air.
This is what I mean when I say society has to get to grips with the problem. A lot of in-searching is the order of the day. "Supporting" over 200,000 victims each year cannot be construed as any sort of success. A statement like "We are doing better...." does not ring true to me at all...
I have seen first-hand what a lynch-mob looks like and Hollie Thomas you have spoken some good points.
Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. With over 207,754 victims of sexual assault every year, it is clear there are changes that need to be made when prosecuting sex offenders and their crimes. . Out of 100 rapes only 46 get reported and of those reported only 12 lead to an arrest with only 5 ending in a felony conviction. . According to a statistical average of the last five years 97% of rapists will walk free and never spend a single day in jail (RAINN). If punishments for sex crimes were stricter and the requirements of the online sex offender registry were tightened this would help ensure that many people could avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault.
On average 46% of sex offenders are re-arrested within three years of their release from prison. 5.3% of offenders will commit another sex crime after being freed. A convicted sex offender on average only spends around 3.5 years in prison on an 8-year sentence (RAINN). These statistics show the danger that convicted sex offenders pose after they are released and not properly tracked. The case of Jaycee Lee Dugard is a perfect example of how the system failed to protect future victims of sexual assault. Phillip Garrido was a registered sex offender on parole the entire time he held Dugard captive in a compound in his backyard for 18 years.
There are 747,408 registered sex offenders nationwide in the U.S. While only 265,000 are under supervision of corrections agencies. Many states have taken action to make laws against sex crimes stricter and punish repeat sex offenders to the fullest extent of the law. Stricter laws, changing and increasing rules of registering as a sex offender, and new ways of punishing repeat offenders all contribute to better ways to protect people and children from becoming future victims of sex crimes.
I see no reason to believe there are more sex crimes now than in the past or that are in other places. In fact I expect there are less. Violence is down in the US at all time lows, and rape is a crime of violence.
Modern America knows that rape can occur against spouses, against men, and is never acceptable. that it is not caused by how the victim dresses or their number of prior consensual partners. It is fueled by the acceptability of abuse, not the acceptability or permissiveness of attitudes towards of consensual sex.
Sexual shame is still there but I think it is at all all time low and moving, albeit erratically, in the right direction.
That's my take on it anyway.
by kimberlyslyrics 10 years ago
Is it enough punishment to help safeguard our children? Not to mention our adults?As often as rape occurs, sex offenders still do less time in prison than drug traffickers.Given we know sex offenders attack primarily for the violence, and not the sexual gratification, would castration be...
by theirishobserver. 10 years ago
I have just conducted and published an exclusive interview with a convicted sex offender, this is about educating the public about the realities of what is goin on.....begging the question....is there room in society for those who committ sexual crime?
by steve-bc-ca 6 years ago
I met my share of rapist and child sex offenders in jail. Even though many of them committed these crimes before I was born and they now seem very remorseful, it is almost impossible to look at them any other way. I have a hard time believing that someone who can commit violent sex crimes can truly...
by Maria Sol 8 years ago
Should convicted sex offenders have to post their criminal status on Facebook?A new law in Louisiana slated to go into effect in August will require all convicted sex offenders and child predators with a social networking account to post their criminal status on their profiles. How do you...
by theirishobserver. 11 years ago
In 37 Days Larry Murphy will be released from Prison, this article is not written in order to single out Larry Murphy, but rather to highlight the failings in the Criminal Justice System, failings put in place by weak and self serving politicians such as John O'Donoghue TD. Larry Murphy will strike...
by Rebecca Graf 11 years ago
Before I get into what I really want to say, let me clarify this. I have no sympathy for those that molest little children. I have three myself and I want to protect them from the sick minds out there. That being said...I personally know a man who was 18 and slept with a 16 year...
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