<< News Scan | Main | What's Behind the Big Increase in Life Sentences? >>

News Scan

From Rehab to Rape:  A man who pled guilty for beating a woman last September was arrested last week for a brutal rape.  Julia Comnes of the Woodburn Independent reports that Ramiro Garcia-Solano was arrested last week for the kidnap, rape, sodomy, and injury of a woman in Marion County, Oregon.  Garcia-Solano was convicted of domestic violence for beating another woman last fall and was sentenced to a batterer intervention program.  He failed to complete the program with apparent impunity.  Oregon, like California, does not treat domestic violence as a serious crime, and generally sentences offenders to a quick jail visit, probation and a program.      


"Batterer intervention program"?

I love it when the pro-criminal side invents some fancy new name for the failed rehab programs they were so in love with in the Sixties and Seventies. I suppose it's also "data driven." Aren't they all.

First the Left promotes racism by wanting to go soft on drug dealing, which disproportionately harms minority neighborhoods; now they want to promote sexism by going soft on domestic violence, too.

Still, their next PR video about how humane they are will be coming out tomorrow. Be sure to catch it at your nearest crack house. Special introduction by defense bar hero Wendell Callahan -- a man of great kindness to both blacks and women.

This is a great blog and kudos to the admins and writers. I don't enjoy comment spaces on the web for obvious reasons, but feel compelled to make a brief comment about this. I am writing only for myself and not for my agency.

The tone, both of the post, written by "Staff," and of Mr. Otis' comment, deeply troubled me. Prosecuting cases of domestic violence is extremely difficult and something that all prosecutors I know and work with take very seriously. If prosecutors were able to routinely obtain convictions for domestic violence, more significant plea offers would be commonplace as defense attorneys and defendants would be more willing to walk into (arguably) meaningful jail or prison time. Unfortunately, jurors are not always willing to convict--something that varies dramatically by jurisdiction--and victims are commonly uncooperative, both on the stand and pre-trial.

As a result, batterers intervention programs, whether as a component of pre-trial diversion or probation, may be the most significant punishment that can be had in a given case. That, I don't think, is a reflection on the fact that prosecutors or legislators do not take domestic violence seriously. It is, instead, a reflection of the extremely difficult nature of domestic violence prosecutions.

I have to confess I am disappointed by what I have read here. Thanks for your time.

AnonPros: So I get how difficult it is to get a conviction for domestic violence, but when a DA is able to get one, should it be treated as a serious crime, or some kind of behavior disorder? As noted in the NewsScan, Oregon and California law does not consider domestic violence a serious crime, and both states punish a conviction like it was petty theft. That's the legislature and the Governor's fault. Just about everybody in CA law enforcement including the DAs opposed the law that weakened the consequences for domestic violence. Six years of efforts to amend it have received no serious legislative support. I think that guys who beat up women should get more than a program. I've read too many cases where the best a beaten wife or girlfriend can get is a restraining order, followed by the guy coming back to kill or maim her. Nobody is blaming the DAs. They should be given the tools to protect the victims.

The Left specializes in inventing new names for old programs, the better to disguise that what they actually want is a return to the feckless, and dangerous, indulgences that brought us a generation of increased crime, from the mid-Sixties to the dawn of the Nineties.

"Batterer intervention program" is such a name. It's not punishment; it's pretend punishment.

You say you're disappointed with the tone of the entry and my comment. Were you disappointed with the facts reported in the entry? That the defendant regarded his first "sentence" (to participate in the batterer intervention program) as exactly the joke it turned out to be?

I was a prosecutor (an AUSA) for most of my career. Not once did I seek, nor would I have accepted, a so-called punishment based in euphemism and psychobabble. Criminals know when the system is unserious. This criminal knew it too, and a new victim paid the price for its Happy Face foolishness.

I'm not inclined to dismiss a program based on its name or on a sweeping generalization. "Domestic violence" includes a broad spectrum of offenses. Many victims choose to stay in the relationship and try again. Sometimes this is a self-destructive choice with tragic results, but that is not to say there are not cases at the lower end of the spectrum where counseling can work.

I'm all for counseling, but as a supplement to, not a replacement for, actual punishment.

Sentencing involves risk, one way or the other. Too harsh or too forgiving. One of the main questions, then, is to whom the burden of risk should be assigned. To me, this seems easy: It should be assigned to the person who caused the problem to begin with, rather than the next victim if the desire for leniency doesn't work out.

In the case presented here, it could be that the batterer reconciled with his first victim, and she with him. But one must wonder whether, regardless of the possibly good results between those two, the "intervention program" was so lacking in deterrent value that it contributed to a feeling of license, which in turn contributed to the rape of the second victim.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives