Prosecutors just don’t get it. Sure the public understands that trials are expensive, time consuming…the difficulties of presenting evidence to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and thus the reasoning for plea bargaining in order to avoid the risks of an acquittal for a wrongdoer verses the risk of the evidence falling short in getting a guilty verdict….setting the accused free to roam the streets.
Yet the news article by Keith Gushard in the May 24 edition of The Meadville Tribune “Area man accused of rape pleads guilty to lesser charges” illustrates the shortfalls in our system of justice and the failures to assure that rapists do not again in the future inflict emotional and potentially deadly harm. Here as reported the felony counts of rape, involuntary deviate intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and sexual assault are to be dropped as nonexistent. In exchange the accused will serve 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison for pleading guilty to misdemeanors for indecent assault charges. The downside is that this man will again be out in the public to potentially repeat the crime of rape.
My point is further illustrated in the New Castle News' Feb. 19 story “Man pleads guilty to Ohio teen’s murder” where the prosecutor agreed with the killer’s version of why he kidnapped, raped and murdered a 13-year-old in May 2017 due to the murderer’s use of an unprecedented amount of crystal methamphetamine! What was hidden in the story and not given any attention whatsoever was the fact that the rapist murderer was previously a “convicted rapist and registered sex offender”!
Prosecutors and our legal system must get real and recognize the obvious when rape is involved. Steps must be taken to impose penalties to assure that rapists do not strike again. Castration may be a thought for consideration in plea bargaining.
HARRY A. FLANNERY