The harrowing surveillance footage of young Shasta with her arms crossed and head down being pushed into a convenient store by the epitome of evil reminded of me of another tape showing a similar type of subhuman dragging another young girl who would later be found murdered in a Florida town.
Shasta fortunately didn't meet the same fate of the raped and murdered Carlie Brucia although she will live out the rest of her life without her mother and two brothers who were all brutally killed by her kidnapper, Joseph Duncan.
The tape of Shasta walking slowly into a convenient store, hoping to get recognized by anyone, shows an empty expression on the eight-year-old's face. And it's no wonder. According to one of the deputy sheriffs handling the case, Duncan had described the murders to Shasta in great detail, how he had tied up her family and bludgeoned them to death with a hammer.
Duncan told Shasta how he had stalked her family, using night-vision goggles, watching them for days to understand their habits before bursting in on them with a shotgun. Imagine how difficult it must have been for Shasta to process all that knowing her own safety was at stake.
Like almost every case we've seen before, Duncan was able to go on a deadly rampage because the judicial system failed to keep scum like this off the street. Earlier this year Duncan was released on $15,000 bail after being charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy at a Minnesota school playground. With authorities perplexed, Duncan failed to check in with a probation agent in May, just weeks before he killed Shasta's two brothers, her mother and mother's boyfriend. Then he kidnapped Shasta in an ordeal that may have ended in additional tragedy had she not been discovered by an attentive Denny's waitress.
That's right, after molesting a 6-year-old boy Duncan was put on $15,000 bail that was easily paid (with help from a Florida man who lives just a few cities north from me). Such a low figure is shocking, even when you don't consider the crime he committed 20 years ago: the rape of a 14-year-old boy in Washington state.
Notice a pattern here?
Like or hate the guy, Bill O'Reilly is one of the only pundits in the country leading the fight to lock away child sex offenders, putting the issue on the front burner and aggressively covering it. Recently on his FOX NEWS program The O'Reilly Factor Bill named every state and their governors that have weak laws on sexual predators, both red and blue; Republican and Democrat.
There's no reason why Jessica's Law isn't getting passed in every state in the union. It's appropriate, fair and reasonable. You touch a child, you go to prison for a minimum of 25 years. If you're lucky enough to get out you'll be monitored by satellite tracking for the rest of your worthless life. Do it again and you're gone for life. Anything less would be too generous.
This week the CEO of WorldCom, Bernard Ebbers, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his part in the $11 billion accounting scam that ruined the portfolios of many employees. Inasmuch as one would like to see this creep get locked away, I'd much rather he be walking the streets than a thug with a penchant for child molesting.
Right now only 13 states have mandatory prison sentences of ten years or more for convicted child sexual offenders. Now I've never been a fan of mandatory minimums for crimes such as drug offenses that vary and require the judge's discretion. No such protection is necessary for rape. Murder. Child molestation. These are black and white crimes and no guilty party should ever be in a situation where he's able to walk on bail.
In these times we must fear for the safety of our children because the guy next door may have a dark history. Even worse, the government may already know about it but could give a damn.
Want to debate this issue and make your own aggressive voice heard? Head over to my blog, Aggressive-Voice Daily, and join in on the discussion.