By Jonah Reuben
Heartland News Writer
When criminals are brought before judges for sentencing, judges should weigh factors including the severity of the crime, public safety, losses to the victims and their family, and a defendant’s efforts to change. We have all heard news stories of repeat offend-ers who often go on to commit even more violent crimes.
Judges Refuse To Protect Children
Cases like these happen all too often. And as disturbing as cases like these are, it has become even more common for judges to hand down probation to those convicted of child sexual abuse. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
estimates that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in
4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18! And according to a 2003 National Institute of Justice report, 3 out of 4
adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well! (Step-parents, siblings, caretakers or relatives) Sadly, only a fraction of those who are arrested and convicted of child sexual abuse are sentenced to jail. Most are only sentenced to probation!
The Silent Pandemic
According to the CDC, as of October 5, 2016 there have been 3,818 cases of people infected with the Zika virus in the United States. The CDC and WHO have both listed Zika as either an epidemic or a pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the infectious
diseases branch of the National Institutes of Health, told CBS News recently, “You have multiple countries in South America and in the Caribbean, so by anybody’s defi-nition that would be considered a pandemic.”
And yet, at least 300,000 children are sexually abused in the United States every year! So by Dr. Fauci’s own standard, childhood sexual abuse should be listed as a pan-demic! And yet, it is often not even talked about!
Many depend on the Sex Offender Registry law (SOR) to keep sex offenders away from schools, playgrounds or places where children play. This is a common misper-ception. In most states the SOR law does not have the legal jurisdiction to prevent an offender from attending events, limiting employment, restricting an offender from enter-ing any facilities, or refraining him from living with or socializing with children or other vulnerable persons. The SOR law can only mandate that the offender register his or her required information at the sheriff’s office within the required time. (Usually 72 hours)
I wrote to Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and 18 Nebraska senators voicing my concerns about the SOR law in Nebraska. The only responses I received was a letter from Governor Ricketts telling me that he had to wait until the issue was brought up in legislature, and a conversation with senator John McCollister, who told me that there was nothing he could do. The other 17 senators failed to respond at all.
A judge must run for retention in office in the first general election that occurs more than three years after his or her appointment, and every six years thereafter. If there are more votes to retain a judge than to remove him or her, then the judge remains on the bench for an additional six years!
We can send a strong message in November by voting “NO” to retain judges.
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