A Couple of News Items

There were just a couple of news items that caught my eye today,so I decided just to combine them into one post. First up, there is an Alabama law-maker who wants to castrate child molesters. It is not clear whether he wants to have chemical castration, the offenders are forced to take drugs which deaden sexual desire, or the old-fashioned physical castration. Here is the story from the Atlanta CBS affiliate.

An Alabama legislator has re-introduced a bill to legalize castration of convicted child molesters if their victims were under the age of 12 – and make them pay for the procedure.

The Florence Times Daily reports that Rep. Steve Hurst (R-Munford) is proposing the bill for the 2014 legislative session, which begins in January. Hurst attempted to push this bill during the 2013 session, but it did not make it out of committee.

Under Rep. Hurst’s proposed legislation, convicted sex offenders over the age of 21 would be castrated prior to their release from prison if their victims were under the age of 12 years old. The castration would also be financed by the sex offender, and not by the correctional system, reports WFSB.

A CNN report from 2012 notes that at least nine states: including California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin already have versions of “chemical castration” in their laws. Such a process involves the administering of chemicals to take away sexual interest and make it impossible for the person to perform sexual acts.

The Alabama legislation does not detail the castration process to be used in the proposed bill.

The use of chemical castration remains controversial, with the practice being called “inhuman treatment” by Amnesty International.

“At first sight, forced chemical castration could be taken as a matter-of-course decision; however, it is incompatible with human rights, which are the foundation of any civilized democratic society,” Amnesty International wrote in its March statement.

Maybe it would be inhuman and in compatible with human rights, but then so is the crime these men committed. Actually, chemical castration may be more effective and less cruel than incarceration. Putting a child molester in prison has no effect on his desires and the nature of his crime will almost certainly single him out for harassment or violence from other inmates. I think the key here is whether the procedure will prevent recidivism. As for the old fashioned kind, that procedure is irreversible and it would be a shame if someone were discovered to be innocent after it was done. Besides, there is not much demand for harem guards these days.

Second, there is a grandmother who tried to hire a hit man to kill her daughter-in-law. Here is the story from Fox News.

A 70-year-old Florida grandmother is accused of hiring a hitman to murder her daughter-in-law. Diana Reaves Costarakis reportedly told an undercover agent that if he didn’t kill the woman, she would do it herself.

Florida police say that Costarakis claims her son’s wife is a drunk who was planning on leaving him and taking their child to Colorado. Angela Costarakis denies those allegations and said she had no idea her mother-in-law had it out for her. About three weeks ago, Angela said her mom-in-law gave her a hug and told her, “I’m so glad we’re great friends.”

Costarakis supposedly offered the undercover cop a $5,000 bounty. She was charged with criminal solicitation for conspiring with the officer at a Home Depot. Costarakis paid him $1,500 in cash and allegedly said he could take the jewelry off of the woman’s dead body for the rest of the bounty.

In every case like this that I have ever read about, the hitman always turns out to be an undercover policeman. I suppose there must be cases in which someone actually manages to contact a real hitman, but I never hear of them. Maybe a successful murder is never solved so the work of the hitman goes uncredited. I have a feeling, though, that real murders for hire tend to work for organized crime bosses and drug dealing cartels. I don’t imagine that many of them work free lance. I guess the lesson here is that if you want to kill someone, you had better do it yourself or get someone you already know and trust to do the job.

Jerry Sandusky on the Stand

There may be a chance that accused child rapist Jerry Sandusky will testify at his trial. Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports thinks that might give him his best hope of being acquitted.

he list of potential witnesses submitted by Jerry Sandusky’s defense attorneys runs about five dozen deep. It includes the obvious, such as Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, to the unexpected, such as the wife and son of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who have said they know nothing about being called to the stand.Jerry Sandusky’s defense may be reliant on the defendant’s willingness to take the stand.

However, it’s likely only one witness could possibly save Sandusky from being found guilty of child molestation.

Jerry Sandusky himself.

After four withering days of witness testimony and prosecution allegations last week, Sandusky’s defense began Monday at Centre County Courthouse. The task is daunting, something lead defense attorney Joe Amendola acknowledged in his opening argument, comparing it to climbing Mt. Everest.

That was before powerful, personal stories from alleged victims, often through emotional tears, painted Sandusky as a serial rapist who through perverted methods sought out, groomed and then controlled young boys assigned to his Second Mile charity designed to help poor and troubled youth.

What could he possibly say to exonerate himself. “Sure, I showered with naked boys, but we didn’t have any sex”? Maybe that is what he would testify.

Sandusky acknowledged in those media interviews that he routinely showered with boys in Penn State football locker rooms, often after hours. That includes what he described as “horsing around” behavior: hugging them, soaping them up and touching them while they were naked.

There are also pre-bed routines in his basement when kids would stay over his home and the multiple times he took boys to local hotels.

He said none of that was sexual in nature.

And, of course, they will have to bring psychologists in to explain why he acted the way he did.

On Friday, Amendola also won a motion to allow a psychologist to testify that Sandusky suffers from “histrionic personality disorder,” which stripped him of understanding appropriate boundaries. It is an attempt to explain his behavior in “grooming” alleged victims and his cringe-inducing words in so-called “love letters.”

A prosecution psychologist was expected to examine Sandusky on Sunday to perhaps offer a counter opinion.

One thing I would like is for a psychologist, or any mental health expert to tell me what goes on in a person’s mind when they decide to molest a child. I simply cannot imagine doing something like that, assuming that the stories the prosecutor’s witnesses are telling are true. Granted, I am not attracted to young boys, or girls for that matter, but I would hope that if I were I would seek professional help and refrain from harming any children. I would also like to know how someone could see a man raping a child and not immediately call the police and make sure that man is prosecuted.