So, at least for now, the Baseline Killer is assumed to be on the loose.
PHOENIX, Sept. 11 -- An ex-convict and construction worker was charged with 17 felony counts Monday in two sexual assaults linked to an investigation of a string of serial killings. Maricopa County Attorney Andrew P. Thomas said that authorities are not calling Goudeau the "Baseline Killer" and that he has not been named as a suspect in 22 other robberies, rapes and shootings that left eight people dead since August 2005.
At a news conference, Thomas said Arizona's parole board was "naive and misguided" when it granted early release to Goudeau in 2004. Goudeau had eight more years to go on a prison sentence for unrelated assault charges.
If this man turns out to be the Baseline Killer, I believe it would be a mistake to assume that harsher punishments and longer sentences are the solution to preventing escalation of criminal activity. There will always be some criminals who pose too great of risk to let out early or to let out at all, but there are others who with the right programs can de-escalate.
The key is to have the right programs with thorough screening systems in place. I say systems rather than system because I believe redundancy is needed. Some people can be model prisoners and yet be a danger from the moment they are free because their triggers didn't exist within the prison system.
We don't want the first warning of escalation to be a dead body.
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