Miami Columnist: Lock Up ‘Monsters,’ Lose The Key


The latest headlines about a sex offender who managed to strike again prompts Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. to ask, “What should we do with our monsters?” He says Americans “lack consensus” on the issue. He writes, “Ordinarily, I am not much for mandatory minimum sentencing and other ‘tough on crime” measures politicians pass when they want to look as if they are doing something. Such laws have a tendency to remove human judgment (and common sense) from the equation and to produce as many miscarriages of justice as justice itself.”

“I make an exception for sexual predators who prey on children. The crime is viscerally repulsive, yes; the idea of some pervert violating the body and vandalizing the innocence of a child stirs fundamental disgust. Indeed, child rapists are said to be the one kind of criminal even criminals loathe. But the bigger reason I made an exception is simply this: at least some of them apparently can’t help themselves, driven by compulsions they can’t control and science cannot yet cure. () What should we do with these monsters? Simple. Lock them up. Lose the key.”

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