CommunityPam's House Blend

Shasta Groene found, brother Dylan still missing

Shasta Groene, rescued at a Couer d’Alene Denny’s. Dylan Groene, still missing. Joseph Edward Duncan III, proof that monsters really do exist.

( COEUR D’ALENE — A day after missing 8-year-old Shasta Groene turned up with a registered sex offender at a Denny’s restaurant in her hometown, investigators struggled with a troubling question: What happened to her 9-year-old brother? “Dylan is our Number One priority at this point,” Kootenai County Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said at a Sunday news conference.

This story is so sad. I’m glad the girl has been recovered, but this monster bludgeoned her older brother, mother, and another man to death, and he may have killed her other brother, Dylan, as well. [UPDATE: Allegedly. And no link between him and the bludgeoning is proven. And he’s innocent until proven guilty. –“R”R] And who knows what she has suffered through for these six weeks.

Now everyone wants to know why her captor, Joseph Edward Duncan III of Fargo, ND, was out on bail when he had such a lengthy rap sheet:

Duncan, 42, had been released a month before the children disappeared. He was facing charges of molesting a 6-year-old boy at a middle-school playground in Minnesota and had spent more than a decade in prison for raping a 14-year-old boy.

I don’t mean to be flippant, but every time this issue of the incurable sexual predator comes up, I’m reminded of a George Carlin routine where he suggests we wall off a rectangular state and let all the incurable undesirables live there as their own society. He’s being absurd for the sake of comedy, but I sometimes wonder if it’s so funny because it’s so close to being reasonable.

If it really is incurable, shouldn’t we be thinking about it like a disease and quarantine it? I’m against the death penalty for all the usual reasons (I won’t rehash them here), so we can argue whether that lifetime confinement should be prison or their own gated community. Why is there no mandated, government-underwritten lifetime treatment for these incurable people? How much tax money is too much to spend to keep sexual predators from our children?

If the crime is so heinous, why are the sentences for it so short, and why are these people getting released on parole or bail? As a civil libertarian, I don’t like the idea of releasing these incurable sexual predators into society, then trying in vain to monitor their every move, meanwhile the parents in their neighborhood have to protest, fear for their kids, and sometimes take vigilante action.

Of course, if we’re going to get serious about sex crimes, we’ll have to also discuss sexual offenses in a realistic way. Certainly the 19-year-old boy who has sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend is not in the same league as the sociopathic monster who rapes and kills small children. The 19-year-old doesn’t need prison, the gated community, or to be watched for the rest of his life. I do believe in trying to rehabilitate people.

But some people are monsters and go out of their way to prove it. What do we do about them?

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