These 2 stories about the efforts to block the upcoming scheduled release of Daryl Alt done by Rachel Wick of KTTC highlights a situation that many who are opposed to all civil commitments of sex offenders need to read. Yes, the criminal justice system should do most of the work to protect public safety, but we can't afford to work without a net.
I'm against reckless civil commitments where just being a sex offender means you may never get out of prison.
Before Alfonzo Rodriguez Jr. was released from a Minnesota prison in 2003 and before he kidnapped and murdered Dru Sjodin later that year, his case worker for the last 6 years of his sentence believed he should be civilly committed but that recommendation was ignored and Rodriguez was released. Now with one more victim to his name, he will spend the rest of his life off the streets.
It would have been better for the entire system to have recognized and acted on the clear danger signs and to save a woman's life.
We have another chance in Minnesota to do better with Daryl Alt. At 17, he killed his father and step-mother, and when he was released he committed several sex crimes, was imprisoned again, and in 1990, he raped a 15 year old girl, strangled her and left her for dead in a cornfield.
His last victim -- outside of prison, I don't know what he's done inside -- believes that he will find another victim. From what I've seen of the case, I agree and I believe the next time he will likely do more than leave his victim to die.
When you combine rape or other sex crimes with attempted murder or stranger abduction, those mixes should result in substantially longer sentences than the sum of 2 separate crimes. Add to that the fact that this man has proven himself capable of murder and the criminal justice system needs to be able to respond in a way which protects the public for the long term from a known danger.
Watch the accompanying video on this story and see how ridiculous it is for this rapist and would-be murderer to say that the actions being taken against him are "unfair."
What's unfair is that unless he is civilly committed that he will be released before the end of 2007.