The Politics of Cowardice

It took the brutal sexual assault and murder of a nine year-old girl to force the state of Florida to pass a law to protect children. Just days after Jessica Lunsford was found murdered, buried alive, the state legislature passed a law mandating a penalty of 25 years to life for any person convicted of molesting a child under 12 years of age. And if the molester ever did get out of prison, he or she would have to wear an electronic monitor for life.

The law passed because of citizen outrage; the guy who confessed to killing Jessica, John Couey, was a convicted sex offender who was running around unsupervised.

The media made a big deal out of photographing Governor Jeb Bush signing the law, but why didn’t he and every other American governor sign a law like this years ago? Everybody knows that kids are being molested in great numbers. A new study out of Hofstra University says that 10% of American school kids are molested by their teachers! Unbelievable.

The system that is supposed to protect children has broken down in the United States for two reasons: first, there is no national database for sexual offenders, so they can roam from state to state without people knowing who they are.

And second, the apathy of some judges and prosecutors is stunning. In Jessica Lunsford’s case, John Couey failed to register as a sex offender as required by Florida law and the state did not track him down. In fact, Couey’s sister, his niece and another man, admit they hid the pervert when police were searching for Jessica. According to the niece, Couey’s sister then bought him a bus ticket so he could flee the state.

Investigators also believe that Jessica was being tortured inside the trailer where those people lived with Couey. Yet no charges have been filed by Florida prosecutor Brad King against the three individuals who protected Couey and may have known about Jessica’s abduction and murder.

This is simply obscene, but it is not unusual. King has told the local media there is no law in Florida that would allow him to prosecute these three revolting people. Lawyers I’ve spoken with disagree, but King is standing firm despite growing outrage.

King’s inaction is what kills children. An aggressive prosecutor finds a way to bring those three to justice. A judge who cares puts child molesters away for the longest time possible. But all over the USA this is not happening.

Florida is ground zero for attacks on children, but they are happening everywhere. Don’t believe the propagandists who say the problem has always been there, that it is no worse now. It is worse. That’s because our justice system is chaotic and many judges are consumed by politics, making liberal rulings that allow the most vicious people imaginable to roam the streets.

Jessica Lunsford died for our sins. In the end, her gruesome demise did motivate Florida pols to at least do something. But three people who did nothing to save Jessica are still not being held accountable. And the shame of our society continues.