Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Citizen Justice

Residents of Hardin Township in Northwest Ohio opened one hell of a can of whup ass on a neighborhood pedophile.

HARDING TOWNSHIP -- 48-year-old Antonio Gonzalez is charged with raping a five-year-old child. According to the Lucas County Sheriff's Office, Gonzalez sexually assaulted the young girl at a house in Harding Township early Sunday morning.

Gonzalez reportedly jumped out of a window and was then beaten by neighbors and family members. Deputies found Gonzalez on the side of the road with a fractured skull. As of Sunday night, he was listed in serious condition at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Fractured skull, eh. I would say he got off lucky. This case is disturbing on several levels. On the one hand I am concerned that mob justice could and would get out of hand if we as a society were to allow such things happen. On the other hand, I want to shake the hands of those neighbors and family for getting the job done. If a pedophile (ah-hem Jackson) faced a serious smack-down when ever they choose to get their sick freak on, I have this sneaking feeling they would think twice. Personally, I fear that had I been there, Mr. Gonzalez wouldn't have made it as far as the side of the street.

It is sad that our society has devolved to the point where pedophiles can walk the streets feely and stalk our children unmolested. However, taking the law into our own hands is not the road to redemption. Rather, it leads down the slipery slope to anarchy. Rather, we need to strengthen the laws that protect law abiding citizens rather than pedophiles. Sooner rather than later would be nice, before a mob kills the next one.

Contrast that with this story.

Quincy Middlebrooks gets lots of invitations. He just does not answer them.
For years, Middlebrooks and a minority of Lucas County's convicted sex offenders have repeatedly ignored requests from authorities to register their places of residence with the county sheriff's office as required by Ohio's sex offender registration and notification law.

Note, this is one of the laws on the ACLU hit list.

But now it's no more Mrs. Nice Gal for Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates. Her invitations these days to local sex offenders such as Middlebrooks will be accompanied by an extra incentive to appear at an appointed court date: handcuffs.

Middlebrooks' case, in part, has prompted a change in policy at the court.

From now on, a warrant - rather than the summons or letters from the court's administrator - will be issued after a grand jury indicts a sex offender who fails to register, Mrs. Bates said.

Moreover, prosecutors will now ask a judge to order scofflaw sex offenders to register as soon as they walk out of a court hearing, Mrs. Bates said.

Though a judge could order Middlebrooks or any other offender to be released at any time, the warrants may shorten an already lengthy process by getting the offender in front of a judge quicker, said Lori Olender, an assistant county prosecutor who handles cases involving sex crimes against children.

Now that is a step in the right direction. I am not a big fan of County Prosecutor Julia Bates, but this action is what our legal system needs to be going to get these sick bastards off the streets.