The recent sentencing of John Evander Couey in Miami for the murder, kidnap and sexual assault of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford indicates the need for a sterner handling of sexual offenders to prevent future occurrences.
Couey was found guilty Wednesday of Lunsford’s murder. In a confession not used within the trial, Couey admitted to burying Lunsford alive with her favorite stuffed dolphin.
This heinous crime could have been prevented if the treatment of these sexual predators were more effective. Couey is a registered sexual offender with an earlier conviction of fondling a minor, breaking into a house and kissing a girl in her bedroom. Obviously if he was able to commit the crime against Lunsford after the prior conviction, the system used for these deviants is not efficient.
One of the remedies developed by the Supreme Court is civil commitment. This process of confining sexual offenders for being presumed to be “mentally ill” was derived from the 1997 case Kansas v. Hendricks. But can someone be “treated” for his or her sexual urges?
The act of counseling these perverts should be thrown out the window.
Another remedy such as Jessie’s Law, which proposes a requirement of a minimum 25-year sentence for sexual predators is more realistic.
But 25 years is still not enough, especially with the possibility of parole lingering in the air.
Couey was set free on parole in 1980.
Therefore, sexual offenders should be given life sentences for their crimes.
Upon release of a 25-year sentence, these individuals may commit another statutory act.
Couey is 48, so clearly sexual predators do not become rehabilitated with age.
These individuals have already proven they are threats to someone’s child, and they should never be given the slightest opportunity to create another Jessica Lunsford story.
Anthony Anamelechi for the Editorial Board.