Better late than never

It was an interesting juxtaposition in the print edition of today’s Philadelphia Inquirer: while this story began on page B-1, it ended on B-8, beside the obituaries.

Rendell: Eliminate parole for repeat violent offenders

After a year marked by horrific crimes committed by repeat violent offenders, Gov. Rendell called yesterday for legislation to keep them locked up longer.”The parole system simply doesn’t work for these violent individuals who use deadly weapons,” Rendell told reporters yesterday at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

“It works for nonviolent offenders,” he said. “In 2007, 95 percent of the state’s nonviolent 31,000 parolees were not rearrested.

“But not for this dangerous group of individuals . . . who learn to game the system.”

There’s much more available at the link, but while we can’t say that Governor Rendell was closing the barn door after the horse had escaped, at least some of the horses had gotten out — and killed people.

That’s what caused the governor to review the parole system in the first place: three dead police officers, two of whom were gunned down by men who should have still been in prison, were it not for early release. The truly sad part is that it took a study to tell our elected leader, the governor of Pennsylvania, what to do. Given that Mr Rendell served two terms as mayor of Philadelphia (January 6, 1992 – January 3, 2000), he ought to have been well-acquainted with the city’s abysmal murder rate and the fact that most of the murderers — and most of their victims, as well — were previously convicted felons.

One Comment

  1. At least y’all presumably don’t have the issues we have down here with our parole system… we lose parolees. The probation office has been so horribly mismanaged under Crash Easley (a former prosecutor, go fig) that there simply isn’t enough staff to keep track of parolees. So naturally, parolees get away with violating parole a lot more, which leads to more crime committed by said parolees…

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