Monday, July 11, 2005

Cheri makes a cannonball . . .

We haven't heard from the third member of the Sour Sisters for a while. The Sour Sisters, or SS for short, are Katherine Kersten, Michele Bachman, and Cheri Pierson Yecke, about whom Spottie wants to comment today. In an op-ed piece in Monday's (July 11th) StarTribune Yecke makes the remarkable claim that the Minnesota Legislature, and the DFL in particular, are responsible for the recent murder and kidnappings in Idaho. How? Well if the Legislature had just adopted a tougher sex offender bill sooner, Joseph Duncan would not have been free to commit the crimes.

The piece is intellectual quackery. Consider when Yecke writes:
Let's play "What if." What if the 2004 Legislature had done the right thing and passed a comprehensive sex offender bill? Such a bill would have taken effect on July 1, 2004. That date is significant because just two days later, on July 3, 2004, Joseph Duncan allegedly approached two boys at a school playground in Detroit Lakes with a video camera, pulled down the 6-year-old's pants, and touched him inappropriately. By the terms of the law that should have passed, and which would have taken effect only a few days earlier, perhaps the judge would have been more attentive to the arrest of a sex offender. You see, Duncan had served 14 years in prison for raping a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint in 1980, when he was only 16.

But according to an article in the same paper, this information was unknown to the Court and the prosecutor at Duncan's bail hearing for this crime.
Yet, there was no mention in Schroeder's courtroom [the judge who conducted the bail hearing] that Duncan had been classified as a Level 3 sex offender, considered the most likely to reoffend. Becker County Attorney Joe Evans said his office also did not know before making its bail recommendation last spring that Duncan was sent to prison in Washington state in 1982 because he failed sex offender treatment. That suggests Duncan was not dealing with the problems that led to his violent acts.

Evans said he was unaware of the details of Duncan's crime: that he raped and tortured a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint when he was just 16.

Our intrepid correspondent Yecke says that the judge was aware of Duncan's prior crime, but that is really impossible if the prosecutor didn't know about it. Moreover Yecke says nothing, nor quotes anyone who does, about how a different sex offender law would have made a lick of difference in the disposition of Duncan's bail hearing that day. She says maybe the judge would have been "more attentive."

So now Yecke smears the judge as well as the Legislature. Good job Cheri! Here's what the prosecutor said about that:
Just the same, Evans said, knowing that information probably would not have made any difference. (Schroeder referred all questions to the state court administrator's office.)

Duncan, Evans said, was charged with a crime -- sexually touching a child without force -- for which the state's guidelines recommend a non-prison sentence even for someone with Duncan's record.

The county attorney also noted that his office asked for $25,000 bail and that the judge set bail at $15,000. Duncan posted $15,000 cash bail, which means that he had the money to get a much higher bail bond if the judge had set a higher amount to compel him to make his next court appearance.

And to prosecutors, Duncan appeared to have "made a successful adjustment" to life outside prison, Evans said.

And now, this is the Legislature's fault? Dean Johnson, the Senate Majority Leader, comes in for specific criticism by Yecke. Spottie doesn't suppose the fact that the Minnesota Senate turned this vindictive crone out of office last year had anything to do with that.

Yecke is just a sour grapes cheap shot artist who has nothing constructive and intellectually honest to add to civic debate.

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