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We Have To Let 'Em Out Because We're Broke....Sort Of

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California has started releasing criminals early because, so it is said, the state is out of money to fund the prison system.  Only now it turns out that the same force that has driven the state to near-bankruptcy  --  the free spending legislature  --  is considering a bill that would allocate taxpayer dollars to track animal abusers.

I swear I'm not making this up.  Here are the first few paragraphs of the story, as reported by Fox News:

The California state Legislature is considering a new proposal to establish a registry of names -- similar to widely used sex offender databases -- to track and make public the identities of people convicted of felony animal abuse. 

Animal abusers would be tracked like sex offenders if California lawmakers have their way. 

The state Legislature is considering a new proposal to establish a registry of names -- similar to widely used sex offender databases -- to track and make public the identities of people convicted of felony animal abuse. 

The registry, which under the law would be posted on the Internet, wouldn't just include names. The bill calls for photographs, home addresses, physical descriptions, criminal histories, known aliases and other details to be made public. 

Animal abuse is a sick, heart-wrenching and disgusting crime, as anyone will agree who has a dog at home (I have the world's most pig-headed Basset hound).  But to propose new and significant spending on an animal abuse registry while releasing criminals on grounds of insolvency sounds like something that could only happen in.............California.

2 Comments

Although I wholeheartedly agree that it is completely inappropriate to consider starting a program like this in light of California's current fiscal disaster, I don't think that keeping track of serious animal abusers is as harebrained (pun intended) as you suggest. Animal abuse is often a precursor to violent crimes against human beings, and is also often an early indicator of psychopathy. One need only cite anecdotal examples of animal-abusers-turned-serial-killers such as Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer to see why, in a perfect world, keeping track of these folks would be a very good idea indeed. It just isn't economically feasible.

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