In July of 1994, a little girl named, Megan Kanka, was raped and strangled. They found her body near her home in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. The story of thing young girl has shocked the nation. The man responsible for this brutal act is named, Jesse Timmendequas. He had been convicted twice prior to this attack. He also served six years in a treatment facility and had been released. Many people said that he was a quiet man, and this left them to think he was harmless. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.
This sex offender lived in the same town, as a matter of act, he lived across the street from the Kanka family. This man was not ready to be released at all. In fact, he shouldn’t have been released. This only left him more of an opportunity to stike again. This information brought the people of Hamilton Township to pass around a petition. The petition stated that a state law be passed informing the citizens of their community that such people live amongst them. This isn’t a rare request. In fact, there have been numerous attempts to bring this law into affect.
This should have been done from the beginning, ut some people actually think these sex offenders have rights. Well, the people of Hamilton Township didn’t agree. They felt that they should have been told that this sex offender lived within their neighborhood. “The real issue isn’t that the people of Hamilton Township were denied information on this sex offender, but why was this man released after only six years of treatment when there were two prior convictions for sexually assaulting young girls? ” Decter, pg. 1} There should be a longer sentence for these offenders.
Because it is such a terrible and scarring experience for hose who survive it, these people shouldn’t be able walk freely and live a normal life. These kids have to live with it for the rest of their lives. It causes them to lose trust in people. We want our youth to be strong and loving, not scared and traumatized. These sex offenders should never forget the crime that they committed. They should not only do the time in jail, but they should also do the time out of jail. They should feel like victims for the rest of their lives, and if the community feels like having these people exposed, then so be it!
Megan’s mother stated, “If the amily had been told that Jesse Timmendequas was their neighbor, the girl would never have been allowed anywhere near the neighbors. ” Ahearn, pg. 1} Those who commit this crime, after knowing about Megan’s Law, should face more of a penalty. They know the consequences that they must face. Those who committed the crime before Megan’s Law was enacted, are also on the exposed list. News organizations should also print or air the names and addresses of those with records of passed and present convictions. We should have no mercy on them just like they have no mercy on our oung.
This isn’t a punishment, but a service to our community. These sex offenders have three different categories that they are sorted into. Most are Tier One or Tier Two, warranting notification of local police or schools. But for the dangerous Tier Three guys, like Jesse Timmendequas, the law says neighbors should also be informed. So why do these offenders still commit the crime? Some say that this additional punishment is unconstitutional, but what people don’t realize is that they are the minority in this case. The majority of people do believe that it is onstitutional.
According to Linda Meilink, a managing editor of Paradise Post in Northern California, she states, “Too often in this country we have been in the business of salvation. We think everything can be fixed I believe people change, I believe in good things happening but I believe in protecting children. ” Sheppard,pg. 3} You see, the Post would put the “top ten” names of the sexual offenders on the front page. Linda doubted the benefits that this would have had until she saw one of her staff member’s name on the list. She was shocked. She soon fired him.
Some may say that this guy deserved a second chance, but what if he was a Tier Two or a Tier Three? A police officer told Linda Meilink that “high risk child molesters strike again 90% of the time. ” pg. 1} We can’t ignore that. This isn’t a case of discrimination. People often wonder about having children in the kind of world where people like Jesse Timmendequas can still live amongst them. According to the Bergen Record, in February of 98 alone there were 563 offenders released and 46 being Tier Three. Ahearn, pg 2} Forty-six seem like a small number, but what about the rest that are Tier Two’s?
They get to roam around the areas that our children run and play in. A place we call home is no longer a safe place because of these discusting criminals. They shouldn’t have a second chance after the first time committing this crime. Personally, I think that they should get the death penalty. To let them out after the first time is enough of a chance. It might sound cruel to some people, but I think that if they were to put themselves in the shoes of those parents who lost or had their children be victims of this crime then they can be able to see the importance of keeping our eighborhood as safe and sound as we could.
Thank God for Megan’s Law. It is fair to everyone. The only issue that bothers me is the fact that those 90 percent, as I mentioned earlier, will most likely strike again. I think we should be notified the first time. This, at least, will enable us to be more careful. It also would make the community look out for other people’s children. The one thing that Mrs. Kanka said that really stuck in my mind was, “I can say that at least with our involvement, we will have made a difference for another family out there.