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"Vermont's system is broken"

07/31/2008

 By Angelo Napolitano

Are you angry yet? Are you really angry yet? How many other children will be raped and/or murdered before it sinks in that Vermont's system is broken. It is not "unique" or "state of the art." It is broken!

Thanks to our elected officials and the Department of Corrections it is going to remain broken.

There is something very wrong when a person commits the most vile and heinous sex acts on children and, in most cases, gets away with their crimes in the state of Vermont. We have short, lenient sentences -- that is if a sentence is handed down in the first place.

The Department of Corrections says it monitors the sex offenders, but who is monitoring the Department of Corrections? I guess we will all find out when a sex offender preys on another child.

What are the deterrents for pedophiles in Vermont's broken system? There are none. We have grossly inadequate laws and we have judges who will not even uphold the laws that we do have.

We hear "we can rehabilitate" the pedophile. Let us send him/her to a rehab center. This sounds to me like "job security" for some people at the Department of Corrections. However, it is a documented fact that pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated or "cured." There is always the next victim. Are we willing to gamble with the safety and the innocence of our children? How many victims are out there who have not come forward because they know that nothing will be done for them? It is a pity, but it is true.

This is an election year. Some of our legislators and senators are running for re-election. If they won't heed the will of the people and pass Jessica's Law, don't re-elect them.

If you do re-elect them, nothing will change in Vermont and our precious and innocent children will be at much greater risk to be victimized and have their childhood cut short and lose their innocence far too soon. It is up to us, the citizens of Vermont, to bring about change.

Angelo Napolitano lives in Middlesex.
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