A discussion of whether or not to inform the public when a sex offender has been released from prison.
33-year-old Jesse Timmendequas lured 7-year-old Megan Kanka in to his house in Hamilton Township, NJ. Shortly after, Megan was strangled to death and raped. Jesse was living in a half way house and was on parole after his second sex offense. Mrs. Kanka feels that she as well as the other neighbors should have been notified about the fact that a repeat sex offender was being released back into the public. I tend to disagree strongly. Two-hundred-thousand people also seem to agree with here in New Jersey. They would want to know so that they could keep their kids inside and not let them play in their own neighborhood. Mrs. Kanka would not have let her daughter play outside if she would have known, and if she should have done this her daughter would still be alive today. Sure it might be nice to know, then you could take the right precautions, but if the system does its job then you should have to worry about Jesse as much as any other person. It is not fair to the child to limit the way he or she can play just because a sex offender is free. I feel that the police department has an obligation to make sure everybody that wants to know about the half way house does. It shouldn’t matter who lives in the house. They just got out of prison, so they must have committed some sort of bad crime. Nowadays it is hard to actually go to prison unless you commit such a bad crime as murder or rape-murder. If the Mrs. Kanka had warned her children about that place this might not have ever happened. Also why give a person who might actually be rehabilitated any more problems than they will already have when they are released. The more problems that they are given the more apt they are to go back to their old ways. One last question, Just off the top of my head. How in the hell did Jesse get Megan into the half way house when it is being “closely supervised” by a guard 24 hours a day, seven days a week? There are some good reasons to tell a community a person like Jesse is being released. The reasons are also simple why they should not. Megan would probably be alive today if Mrs. Kanka had made sure that her daughter was aware of what that place really was. I mean who did the mother think was really going to stay at a half way house? A shoplifter, a jaywalker, I mean get real. They are hard core criminals who have done hard core time.