Several people have written to ask me to comment about the Terry Schiavo situation, which is so dominating the news at the moment, but undoubtedly because I am the father of a 6 1/2 year old girl, my attention has been more focused on the the death of 9-year old Jessica Lunsford in Homosassa, Florida (ironically, as I saw on the map, not very far from Disney World).
John Evander Couey, the man who has confessed to this murder, is a previously convicted sex offender, among numerous other crimes. While I oppose the death penalty (with the exception of political mass murderers like Saddam whose very existence pose a threat because they have so many supporters) and am skeptical of “three strikes and you’re out” legislation, I think sex offenders of this nature (those who force themselves upon juveniles) must be placed in a more stringent category. This kind of mental illness is not easily cured and poses tremendous risk to innocent children. It may be time to entertain penalties for this crime that may seem Draconian, including lifetime incarceration or technological monitoring systems. I, of course, recognize the danger of the misapplication of justice here, but that is why we have our adversarial system.