Thursday, August 22, 2013

FL - Not every sexual offender re-offends

News paper and coffeeOriginal Article


By Jack Fleischman

The series of articles on sex predators was interesting, but way off.

I have represented numerous persons in Jimmy Ryce cases all over the state, rarely lost, and none of my former clients has re-offended. Your article plays on the misconception and fears of the public — much like the creation of the "within 2,500 feet" living restriction that is nothing more than a dog and pony show for the public by politicians, and can create more problems than good by destabilizing living conditions; thereby actually creating a higher chance/risk factor for that small group that may re-offend.

The science I have been shown over the years is that less than 3 percent of the population of sex offenders ever re-offend — so 97 percent will not. The cases in your article fall into that small group. The repeat population of alcoholics that drink and drive may be higher than a sex offender re-offending — should there be a program to commit them considering the damage they inflict?

The reality is that the science behind the evaluations is no better than flipping a coin. Some defendants are great at hiding their obsessive thoughts — others not — and some don't even belong in the commitment center. There may also be some innocent men in the center.

The bottom line — in my opinion — is that unless every person convicted of a sex offense is sentenced to life, there is no program in the world that can safeguard the public 100 percent.

The public would be better served and our tax money better spent, in lieu of the commitment program, by requiring mandatory lifetime parole if a sex offender is released, with funding for special units in each county to track and monitor offenders on a daily and regular basis.
- We disagree with the lifetime parole and daily monitoring.

Jack Fleischman is an attorney who practices in West Palm Beach.

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