Close dangerous loophole in law

June 20, 2008 12:00 am

To the editor:

The June 17 edition of the Herald included a warning about the imminent release from supervision of a predatory sex offender. Baker County Probation and Parole's hands are tied by state law and has no option but to release this individual from supervision. Thus Parole and Probation's warning to the community is appropriate.

What is not appropriate, but in fact totally unacceptable, are statutes which allow a non-repentant abuser of children who has failed to complete conditions of his parole to be released from supervision. This individual, according to press accounts, lacks a desire to rehabilitate, has failed to complete treatment, and has been arrested since his release from prison.

In 1981 I served as police chief in Coronado, Calif. We had in our community an individual with a similar criminal history and poor track record of rehabilitation. His initial incarceration in state prison was for sexually abusing 6-month-old twins. He too was released from supervision in spite of not having completed conditions of his release.

Not long after that release my department arrested and successfully prosecuted him for the kidnapping and sexual abuse of a 3-year-old. In that same year similar sexual assaults against defenseless children perpetrated by ex-cons with a sexual abuse of children history occurred in Florida and Utah.

Those states, and others, took notice and soon after enacted laws allowing for the extension of supervised parole in situations like this. It is time Oregon did the same.

Please join with me in urging our state representatives to address this dangerous loophole in the law and soon.

Jerry Boyd

Baker City