October 23, 2017
A timely commentary providing another (final?) thought for our legislative drafting exercise
At the risk of continuing a dialogue about aggravated rape when we need to be moving on, I urge everyone to read this new commentary this powerful personal article authored by Amber Rose Carlson under the headline "Is There a ‘Rational’ Punishment for My Rapist?".
I suspect that, had someone read this article to the legislative body during our debates, the motion to increase the maximum possible sentence might have gotten a few more votes. But maybe not, and I welcome student comments on this or related topics flowing from our legislative exercise.
UPDATE: I just saw this new Columbus Dispatch article headlined "Man sentenced to 35 years in prison for molesting children," which includes these details that might further impact/inform how we reflect on our legislative debate:
A 50-year-old man who raped children being cared for by a woman he lived with on the Hilltop was sentenced Monday to 35 years in prison. Kenneth E. Kilgore, of the West Side, pleaded guilty in August to three counts of rape, two counts of importuning and two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
He admitted to engaging in sex acts with three children, as well as soliciting two children by offering them money or beer if they engaged in sex acts with him and showing pornography to two other children. Kilgore rented a room on South Richardson Avenue from a grandmother who watched her grandchildren and other children, sometimes overnight. The crimes took place between August 2012 and July 2016 and involved children ranging in age from 6 to 12.
Two mothers tearfully addressed the court, asking Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Michael J. Holbrook for the maximum sentence, which would have been 42 years. “They’re no longer allowed to be normal kids,” she said. “He took their innocence away. I’m asking for the max, because they have to live with this for the rest of their lives.”...
Assistant Prosecutor Kara Keating said Kilgore has shown no remorse and blamed his actions on alcoholism, telling police he didn’t remember some of the incidents because he was so drunk at the time. “This is not a one-time offense,” she told the judge. “This was multiple times on multiple dates and in multiple ways ... The victims have suffered serious psychological harm. They will likely never fully recover from what the defendant did to them.”
Defense attorney Mark Hunt said his client deserved some credit for pleading guilty and sparing the children from testifying during a trial.
"whether or not my particular rapist transforms is irrelevant to whether or not I will ever have the chance to be the sort of person I might have been." This seems to contrast the utilitarian perspective of rehabilitation. Basically, if a rapist rehabilitates to the point where they will never rape again thats all well and good, but the person he raped never will rehabilitate to the person they were before being raped. The retributivist standpoint should be given more weight in this situation because a rapist has permanently and drastically altered another person's life.
When she goes on to say her rapist deserves a permanent punishment because he inflicted permanent harm is a convincing argument. I think it may be easy to forget the rape of a person is not a one time thing and then its over, it haunts them for the remainder of their lives. Had I read the article prior to the vote I can say I probably would have voted for the LWOP.
Posted by: Diane Long | Oct 27, 2017 12:39:25 PM