Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Holes in the floorboards

If you don't have access to western Pennsylvania news, you probably haven't heard about the murder of twelve-year-old Gabrielle Bechen by a total scumbag.

Maybe that's too harsh a word for the suspect they've arrested. Maybe the problem isn't him, but the system that let him loose from the chains that should have kept him out of society in general and poor Gabrielle in particular.

If you haven't the time to read the article, here's the Cliffs notes. He's been in trouble with the law for things ranging from DUI and bad checks to telephone harrassment. In almost every case, he was let off of probation while still owing something, whether it be fines, restitution or services required to expunge his record. And to make matters worse, the system knew he wasn't going to make good, and still let him loose:

"He's not really capable of holding a job," said Craig Wise, Greene County's chief probation officer. "We try to hold people in the system for as long as we can in hopes of getting the money they owe. He's one of those who would never be able to pay."


If something like this were to ever happen to my child, I can guarantee that the system wouldn't fail her: He wouldn't make it into the system, if you know what I mean.

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