Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Child Rapists

Convicted Child Rapist

Courtesy of CBS News - Richard Troy Gillmore was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1987 for raping 13-year-old Tiffany Edens. Gillmore, an admitted serial rapist who terrorized Portland, Oregon-area woman in the 1970s and '80s, stalked his victims while jogging and became known as "The Jogger Rapist," reports Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman.

Last year, the parole board recommended Gillmore be set free, despite a psychological evaluation that showed he has a 75 percent chance of raping again.

So, Edens joined the local district attorney's office in a lawsuit seeking to keep Gillmore behind bars. Edens says she wanted the parole board members "to get a sense what it was like to be a 13-year-old girl on a Friday night doing her chores so that she could go to a movie with a friend and to have a sleepover, and then to be brutally raped and ambushed in her home. And that's what I wanted everyone in that room to get a sense of what that's like for somebody that goes through that."

"I think he's a serial rapist waiting to get out and commit rapes again," declared Multnomah County Deputy D.A. Russ Ratto. Their opposition comes despite a condition of parole that Gillmore wear a GPS tracking device.

Tiffany Edens today

Well, if you are like me, these stories just really make you mad. I am always doubly mad when the press is complicit, and enables irresponsible conduct by public officials, by not identifying who they are. It's just "the parole board." I just bet old Richard Troy Gillmore got a real kick out seeing his rape victim have to come into court again. And I bet those folks on the parole board will be really really sorry if he decides to go see her again once he's out. Really sorry.

For more on the history of this case click here and here.

So who are these people? Well, they are right here:

Steven R. Powers

Steven R. Powers served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Appellate Division of the Oregon Department of Justice before coming to the Board. In that role, he briefed and argued a variety of civil, administrative, and criminal cases before Oregon and federal appellate courts, and was a member of the team of attorneys who defended Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act before the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Powers received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western State College of Colorado and his Juris Doctor degree from Willamette University College of Law. During law school, Mr. Powers was a Public Honors Fellow/Extern at the Oregon Supreme Court and following graduation he served as a Petitions Clerk for the Oregon Supreme Court. Term(s): 02/05/2007 - 06/30/2009

Darcey Baker

Prior to being appointed to the Board, Ms. Baker served as a parole and probation officer and unit supervisor with Clackamas County Community Corrections for 25 years. Ms. Baker is a recognized leader in sex offender notification and was instrumental in the enactment of SB 444 into law respective to predatory and sexually violent dangerous offenders. Additionally, Ms. Baker is an advocate of educating the public on sex offenders in our communities and a social service professional through her involvement with the Oregon Sex Offender Supervision Network. Ms. Baker is a 1979 graduate of Southern Oregon State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology. Term(s): 06/25/2004 - 12/10/2007 12/11/2007 - 12/10/2011

Candace Wheeler

Candace Wheeler possesses a Masters of Social Work from Portland State University and a Bachelors of Arts from Western Oregon University, as well as a certificate in paralegal studies. From 1999 to 2006, she was employed by the Oregon Department of Justice as a paralegal. She supported a team of attorneys representing the board and the Department of Corrections in civil and criminal appeals. Previous to her work with the Department of Justice, Ms. Wheeler worked for the Alaska Citizen’s Foster Care Review Board overseeing program development and day-to-day program service delivery, and spent many years as a social worker in the field of adoption and foster care placement. Term(s): 02/01/2006 - 01/31/2010

MEANWHILE, Back in Washington, DC, The US Supreme Court Says,

"We conclude there is a national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape." - Kennedy v. Louisiana, to see the full opinion click here

Well, I for one did not even get a chance to vote on that national consensus. I'm not a big fan of the death penalty, but I could probably pull the trigger on these guys.


Bill McC said...

I am in favor of abolishing the death penalty, but I am prone to the same emotional reactions as any parent. All things considered, I'm glad the Supreme Court came out in favor of limitation, rather than expansion, of the death penalty. On an emotional level, though, assuming there's going to be a death penalty, I'd be okay if they established a standard to the effect that it is available only for adults who inflict grievous harm on kids.

Now that I've thrown that out there, I'll just sit back and wait for President Obama to nominate me to fill the next vacancy on the Supreme Court.

WV said...

When I'm calmed down I agree with you, because we really don't have a reliable way to make sure death penalties are fairly handled. I'm originally from Massachusetts, where we executed 20 people for practicing witchcraft. So, when I hear the argument that there's no proof that any innocent American has ever been executed, I really wonder how anyone can say that. But morally I consider it an implementation problem rather than a pro-life issue.

Bill McC said...

I'm more or less with you, except that I'd argue that you have to throw in the towel on the death penalty if you believe the possibility of executing innocent people makes the system morally untenable, since there is no way to completely eliminate that possibility. I think that the most significant practical benefit (for many in our country, though not for me) of the death penalty is the catharsis provided by bloodletting. People get pissed off and like to lash back by killing criminals, which is quite understandable. However, I believe that indulging such emotions cheapens us as a country, and we would lift ourselves up morally by just saying once and for all that we're out of the business of revenge killing (and while we're bettering ourselves, we could give up torture, though that's another issue).

Our justice system has a whole boatload of "implementation problems", even more so in the imprisonment arena than with regard to the death penalty. If we figured out how to lock people up and throw away the key, we'd protect society as effectively as we do with the death penalty (in my ever so humble opinion). Stories about paroled, or potentially paroled, criminals like the one in your post don't don't have to lead to the conclusion that we ought to kill these people; they could just as well lead to the conclusion that we ought to make more frequent use of "life without parole" sentencing.

We put ourselves through so much as a country (massive resources spent, endless argument on moral grounds, racial tension, international controversy, etc.) for the death penalty, and for what, just so Texas and Florida can open up a few dozen beds a year in their prison systems? The cost/benefit analysis just doesn't support the death penalty.