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CB Rant: Garrido, Yet Another System Failure

OfficerResource.com’s member, Countybear, has written a very informative article about the recent discovery of Jaycee Duggard who was kidnapped as a child and held captive. Check out our forums for an expanded discussion on this topic. -Xiphos

CB Rant: Garrido was yet another system failure.

Over the past week or so, we’ve all been stunned by the re-appearance of Jaycee Dugard. Kidnapped as a child, Jaycee turned up seemingly out of nowhere as an adult mother of two children, relating a harrowing tale of years of captivity at the hands of a known sex offender, Phillip Garrido.

Of course, the first “WTF’s” by the media were thrown at the police, especially when it was discovered that an officer had actually gone to the residence where Jaycee was being kept on a tip that Garrido was holding captive(s), and of course, the responding cop didn’t sniff the air, paw the ground, and force his way into the compound like a one-man SWAT team to find and rescue Jaycee. To these who question why the cop was so timid, let me just say, “1983″. If you miss my meaning, please turn in your ACLU membership card and I’ll attempt to explain a bit.

A “1983″ action (42 USC 1983) is the delightful piece of federal legislation enacted in 1871, wherein a person can be found personally liable under a completely manufactured class of tort if it is determined that he or she violated a person’s civil rights when acting “under color of law”. Also referred to as the Ku Klux Klan act, it was hastily fashioned in response to a call from then President Ulysses S. Grant for Congress to provide a law to combat racially-based violence in the South during the reconstruction. It was reenacted under the Civil Rights Act, but broadened vastly in the U.S. Supreme Court case known as Monroe v. Pape (1961). Basically, this law, once applied to “persons”, is now nearly exclusively applied to law enforcement officers in its modern applications, and wholly pierces immunities (there are no specifically qualified immunities provided), and since 1980 (Maine v. Thiboutot, USSC), even entitlement to welfare benefits is considered a ‘civil right’. Since the right for persons to be secure in their homes is unquestionably one of the most basic rights enumerated under the Constitution, it is a given that professional cops (not the ones you watch on prime time television), are respectful of that right, even perhaps to a fault.

All this is said in order to relate that kicking in a door and encroaching upon private property based upon an anonymous or otherwise uncorroborated tip could very well wind your everyday conscientious cop (and his superiors; see the definition of respondeat superior) in a lifetime poorhouse. If that were not enough, 18 USC 242 also says that his poor ass can be locked up for a civil rights violation when “acting under color of law” as well. Enough of the basic academy lecture, suffice it to say that although the department is dining on rare crow and is, I believe, sincerely apologetic for missing the opportunity to free Jaycee sooner, I can only imagine just how this individual cop must feel. We all feel that way when faced with circumstances where something we know is amiss, but remain shackled by the fear of being wrong, (and paying so dearly for it if we are).

Let’s look though at what I believe is the most serious miscarriage of justice in this entire surreal chain of events. When I heard the term “known sex offender” used to describe Garrido, I just had to ask myself, “how known?” The answer was revealed today: Garrido was convicted of the brutal kidnapping, rape, and hours-long torture of Katie Hall in 1977, but — you guessed it — he was paroled after serving 11 years on a 50-to-life hitch. Its easy to blame the cops for missing clues, but lets face it, whomever let this predator out on parole so that he could kidnap yet another victim; (this time a beautiful child named Jaycee, and just three years after his 1988 release), should be subject to the greatest scrutiny.

I’ve jumped up and down on this soapbox enough to turn Gain into Tide, I realize, but for some reason we still just don’t get it. Justice isn’t “catch and release”, it is “catch and keep”, or I’m sorry to have to say in cases of particularly despicable and depraved conduct, “catch and kill”. (Amnesty International readers, we now return to your next scheduled anti-capital punishment demonstration).

Now, after we sit stunned to find out about Jaycee’s 18-year ordeal, we are finally just dumbfounded enough to hear the cries of other victims, even from perhaps the bone fragments found by cadaver dogs in his back yard. Victims like Katie Hall, and Garrido’s first wife Christine Murphy. Murphy called Garrido “a monster”, claiming that when she attempted to flee him, he dug a safety pin into her face before throwing her into a car, and only once he was incarcerated for the rape of Katie Hall was she able to finally get away from him.

Am I the only human being on Earth who thinks that Fifty-to-life should have meant more than eleven and a walk? I’ve said it before, and here again, we see how our system consistently fails us when our victims are considered insipidly by judicial beaurocrats. The cop who found Garrido in a makeshift porn palace holding Katie Hall after hours of torture and rape probably felt quite relieved when he heard “fifty-to-life” uttered from the lips of a well-intended judge, but I wonder if he was enough of a veteran to ponder and realize that such was just a ridiculous pipe dream, regardless of original intent. When Garrido walked, he walked with the blessing of an irrepairably broken legal system. With that same dubious blessing, Jaycee Dugard was to suffer 18 years of hell on Earth.

Quoting a CNN story:
Court documents show Garrido requested that his 50-year sentence be reduced to 25, making him eligible for parole in eight years, “where he could be released to the state of Nevada as an educated person and being a rehabilitated person.”

According to a 1978 court transcript, attorney Willard Van Hazel Jr. told a judge, “Without the influence of any of this drug involvement, I think Mr. Garrido would pause before carrying out sexual fantasies.”

Sometimes, you just have to let it out… pfft. (Remember kids, its not the person, but the drug that is the purveyor of criminal acts. Society itself is the true ill! So, if we legalize… whoops!, that’s a rant for another day…). To the liberal mind, even the criminal himself is but a hapless victim. Why was his sentence reduced from 50-to-life down to 25? Simple, he asked for it to be. (At least he asked nicely). Now through the magic wand of yet another beaurocrat, he’s facing 25 years… well, no… if he’s down to 25 now, that means he can get on the parole roles quicker. Its like a farce, isn’t it? Bait and switch at its finest. “We said 25, but what we really mean now is that he can walk in… 11.” (Somewhere there’s a math professor whose totally given up on ‘criminal justice’ as a career choice).

“… but he’ll be supervised, right? I mean… he’ll be registered as a sex offender, subject to the closest and most intense supervision that the government has to offer and tracked by spy satellites like Bin Laden?” Um, no, Virginia. We now save that kind of monitoring for veterans and conservative tea party attendees.

What a cruel joke this entire ignorant debacle was, and all unfortunately at the expense of an eleven year old girl. You want this kind of ridiculous brand of irresponsibility to manage your access to healthcare too?

“He served about 20 percent of his sentence, and it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out if he served only one-third of his sentence, Jaycee Dugard doesn’t end up in the predicament that she’s in,” said Andy Kahan, a crime victims’ advocate in Houston, Texas.

Recent news articles tell us that California is in a financial bind, so thousands of convicts just have to be released because the State can’t afford to feed them… remember? Was that also the case in 1988? I have to ask, what else is new?

After all, didn’t California’s (horribly over-burdened) parole officers make frequent home visits, meet in office with Garrido regularly over the course of 20 years, drug test him, and even fit him with a tracking device? Must it be evidenced in more than blood and tragedy before we finally realize that ankle bracelets, parole supervision, and feelgood catch-and-release doctrine are but exersizes in futility, devoid of decency, diligence, or consideration for the victims (past and potential)?

So what do the feds have to say about this?

“Shhh! Be vewy, vewy quiet… and blame the cop who missed an opportunity in 2006. ”

Kudos to the Berkeley campus cop, Ally Jacobs, and the UC-Berkeley special events manager, Lisa Campbell for finally blowing the lid off of this fiasco. Sometimes, attention to details and gut feelings lead us into shocking revelations far beyond what we could reasonably imagine. A job well done by both of these ladies!

All this said, how about this for a “1983″ action;

Jaycee Dugard v. The State of California (et al), the State of Nevada (et al), and the Federal Criminal Justice system… for rampant, habitual, and wanton neglect of the safety and security of their respective citizenry, in that Phillip Garrido was effectively captured by competent police work in the commission of a despicable crime, was granted due process of law and was duly sentenced, but then was prematurely returned to society through such aforementioned neglect, free to again viciously destroy innocent lives. Garrido was complimented, aided, abetted, and supported by the worthlessness of government systems acting ‘under color of law’, but devoid of any shred of diligence, common sense, or common decency. Even when he violated that parole, he was allowed to remain free in society.

Someone tell me why is it again I do this job? Nevermind, now I remember…

/rant off

A special thank you goes out to pgg, for catching and pointing out a lack of clarity in the original post, which allowed me to access a little more info and amend it.

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2 Comments »

  1. Jenna Says:

    Well said.

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  2. pgg Says:

    Now if we can get our politicians to realize this and we can get back to a method of punishment for criminals

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