Last week, a Philippine court convicted a U.S. Marine of rape.
In the State of New York, the maximum sentence for first degree rape is 12 1/2 to 25 years. The minimum? Five years. And that’s if the bastard doesn’t plea out to something like sexual abuse, which carries a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 to 7 years, or sexual misconduct, which is a Class A Misdemeanor and carries a sentence of one year.
Does anyone else find this appalling? Though, really, I shouldn’t be surprised. New York State’s sexual assault statute is archaic at best, misogynistic and insulting at worst.
In the meantime, Lame Duck Governor George Pataki wants civil confinement for sexually violent predators. Sexual predators (both those who commit these horrible acts on adults and children) have the highest recidivism rate of any other crime. The Philippines recognizes this, and sentenced this man to 40 years in prison. In the Great State of New York, we say, “Well, they ‘served their time’ (usually all of seven years, if that), but we don’t trust them to not do it again, so let’s put them in a mental hospital.”
Except, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled this practice unconstitutional. Well, duh. As the Albany Times Union points out, just change the law, crack down on sexual predators.
It seems like common sense. But, as I’ve pointed out here in previous posts, common sense is not common at all. The Philippines gets it. They seem to understand that violent crimes of a sexual nature are the worst kind. In a third world, predominantly Muslim country, a conviction of rape carries a 40 year sentence. In the so-called progressive state of New York, District Attorneys are lucky to get 10 years for these criminals.
This should be a message, to New York (and to the rest of the country), that we are way behind. We have no problems with the archaic Rockefeller Drug Laws, which lock non violent, first time drug offenders with longer sentences than sexually violent predators. New York needs a wake up call, as this is completely unacceptable.
FYI – The New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault has an informative document outlining the mandatory minimum/maximum sentences for sexual assualt.