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The Consequences of Soft Sentencing and Parole

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Sadie Gurman has this story for AP in Denver about Jaacob Vanwinkle:

Vanwinkle had been required to register as a sex offender since 2004, when he was convicted in Indiana of child molestation and other sex crimes involving girls as young as 5 and 7.
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Vanwinkle served less than two years of his seven-year sentence and was in and out of prison in Indiana for parole violations and theft. He was released in 2012. Less than two months later, police in Colorado say his pregnant ex-girlfriend told them he beat her. She told officers he tied her wrists with shoe laces, held a pillow over her head and threatened to rape her.

Vanwinkle pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of domestic violence and was sentenced to 18 months in Fremont County jail.

So what's he been up to lately?

Authorities said Tuesday that they were pursuing a man who failed to register as a sex offender before he was arrested and accused of killing a mother and her two young children and sexually assaulting her teenage daughter in southern Colorado.

Sheriff's officials said they were seeking an arrest warrant for Jaacob Vanwinkle, 31, before he was apprehended Sunday night at the Canon City home where the three bodies were found. The victims included a 5-year-old boy, a 9-year-old girl and their 35-year-old mother. The woman's 15-year-old daughter fled to a neighbor's house, saying she had been raped.

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Whatever assumptions/judgments we want to make (or not make) about the mother who let this monster into her kids' lives (this has been an issue on this blog before), this is an appalling crime, made all the more appalling by the criminal history of this creature.

I hope all the prosecutors, judges, parole board members etc. who were part of this guy's encounters with the criminal justice system take a good look in the mirror. Whatever the excuses etc., the criminal justice system failed these children. And they were the point people.

We constantly hear the siren song of the be nice to criminals crowd (and their useful idiots) about how harsh the justice system is etc. etc. Perhaps in many cases it is, but it is curious how the outrage seems to be directed more towards a vicious killer not getting parole or whatever outrage du jour is making the rounds than preventable atrocities like this one.

The two murdered children never had a chance in life--unlike the juvenile killers sentenced to die in prison.

I could go on about the moral obtuseness of those who blithely assume that society should pay the price for being nice to criminals. But there's not much point there. What I do think is that the pro-law and order crowd ought to think about why the country is in a place where outrages like this do not cause ordinary people to forcefully reject the pro-criminal mindset of the elite.

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