Good Morning America had a story the other day about a man who broke into a house occupied by several female college students. The hook on the story was that while he roamed the house, binding the women's hands, another of the U of Washington students was on the phone to 911, and the cops were sent to round the guy up and send him off to the bing for a long, long time. No one was assaulted or injured during the invasion, a fact that is bound to be brought up by whichever member of the legal profession gets to defend the man in court. His name is Robert Douglas Hitt.
You can't blame the 5-0 for being a little tired of hauling this criminal into court. After all, the guy just got out of the hoosegow in January after serving 10 years for first degree rape.
My question is, why was he out?
Remember the kid down the street when you were growing up, the one whose mom said "All right, Larry: no more TV for one month for you!" right after he got caught jumping off the garage using a sheet of plywood to aid in his descent. And then, next morning before homeroom, he'd be talking about how funny it was the night before on "Green Acres" when Eb and Lisa fooled Oliver into showing up for his surprise birthday party.
Obviously, his mother's punishment sure meant a lot.
Now, Hitt moved to the Big House in 2002 and was released, as we say, this past January. I guess they figured that he was all rehabilitated and everything, so why keep him locked up when he clearly deserved to return to his place in society. Why, only last Thursday, he finished a sex-offender treatment program!
This makes me heterodox with - at odds with - my usual liberal outlook on things, but I can't understand the thought processes of the people who run the jails and prisons. This Hitt raped a woman in 2001! He should not be out on the streets in 2012, or 2032. To me, you commit an unforgivable sin, you stay where the other unforgivables are: behind bars.
Not enough room in prison? Close down the libraries and the gymnasia. Let them sleep in shifts, like on a World War II Navy ship, and while they're not sleeping, they can be making license tags or weaving blankets or picking up trash from the highway.
Call me old-fashioned, but someone should have told this guy a long time ago that we as a society do not approve of rape and breaking-and-entering and binding women at knifepoint. He had his punishment and a second chance that I never would have let him have. Should there be a third chance?