Over a week ago, 17- year old Chelsea King disappeared after going for a run in Rancho Bernardo Community park. Sadly, King’s body has been found. Now, all eyes are on John Albert Gardner III. According to the AP article, California Park Searched in 2nd Missing Teen Case, Gardner has pleaded not guilty. Prior to King, this sex offender has been charged with assault and convicted of molestation.
Now, there is outrage over Gardner being let out of jail too early. In the article, Chelsea King Case: Outrage Over Sex Offender Monitoring Reaches White House investigators are wondering if Gardner was linked to other crimes. Residents are upset that someone with a history of violence was allowed out of the “slammer.” In addition, Gardner’s past is being assessed, especially his psychiatrist evaluations. At one point, psychiatrist Matthew Carroll said Gardner was a “continued danger to underage girls in the community.” Dr. Carroll’s statement reveals Gardner’s inability to change himself. This in itself reveals that Gardner was a known danger.
This is not the first time a convicted sex offender has been released and then assaulted or murdered again. Nor is it the first time that a sex offender has been given a “light” sentence. In fact, it seems to have happened entirely too much.
According to the article, Molester’s sentence leads to cries of injustice, David Harold Earls admitted to “raping and sodomizing” a young girl. However, he is only “serving one year in the county jail.” According to another article, Sex Offender Sentence Criticized, in 2006, Edward Cashman gave Mark Hulett a mere “60 days in jail”. Sixty days even though he raped “a little girl countless times.” The judge rationalized his decision by saying he didn’t believe in punishment anymore. Some of these judges are under fire and critique. After all, no parent wants to fathom his or her child being a victim of a pedophile or rapist. Even further, it is maddening when the offender is not properly punished. After all, a slap on the hand is not going to dissuade a sex offender.
This recent tragedy has prompted people to take action. For instance, Adam Walsh, from America’s Most Wanted, has reached out to President Obama for help. According to the article, Chelsea King Case: Outrage Over Sex Offender Monitoring Reaches White House, the two discussed the Adam Walsh Act that pledges “to create a national registry of sex offenders and keep closer track of the most violent of them.” Unfortunately, Walsh knows the devastating effects of losing a child to a violent crime. His six-year old son was taken and killed in 1981.
In the ABC.com article, Chelsea King’s Father: ‘Justice System Failed’ to Protect Daughter, Brent King says that the criminal justice system “let every child in this country down terribly,” including his daughter. Indeed, as a parent, it is troubling to know that this could happen to any of our kids. Perhaps, this sad event will bring about change in the system. As for now, my heart goes out to the King family. May you find comfort in prayer and may justice be served.
Elliot Spagat California Park Searched in 2nd Missing Teen Case , Associated Press
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