April 05, 2007

This gives a WHOLE NEW MEANING to the "troll under the bridge"

Let's put it this way, if I was the mama Billy Goat Gruff, I wouldn't go near this bridge myself, let alone the little BGG....

Paroled sex offenders living under Miami highway bridge
MIAMI -- Several paroled sex offenders are living under a noisy highway bridge and fending off rats each night, because they cannot find housing in compliance with strict county ordinances for violators, state officials and one of the men said Thursday.

At least three men are making their home under the Julia Tuttle Causeway, which connects Miami with neighboring Miami Beach, said Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the Florida Corrections Department. One of the men under the bridge said he was among five.

The state decided they could live under the bridge because the men were unable to find housing they could afford and that did not violate Miami-Dade county rules, which say sex offenders must live at least 2,500 feet from places children gather.

They must stay there between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. because a parole officer checks on them nearly every night, Plessinger said.

"This is not an ideal situation for anybody, but at this point we don't have any other options," Plessinger said. "We're still looking, the offenders are still actively searching for residences."


"This is an injustice," said the man who wouldn't give his name. "I completed my sentence."

The man refused to discuss the crime that landed him under the bridge, but state records show a host of offenses for the men who live there: sexual battery, molestation, abuse, grand theft. Many of the crimes are against children.

"Public safety is our main focus and we feel like public safety is being achieved in these individuals," Plessinger said. "But this is a problem that is going to have to be addressed. If we drive these offenders so far underground or we can't supervise them because they become so transient it's not making us safer."

Most homeless shelters won't take the men, Plessinger said, because they're sex offenders. One that would is within the prohibited range of a school or daycare center. She said one of the men, for example, found dozens of residences he was happy to live in, but parole officers vetoed all of them because they violated county rules.

Plessinger said she believed the state first authorized sex offenders to live under a bridge last June. Before the causeway, some of the men lived under a bridge in downtown Miami. They were forced to leave, Plessinger said, when it was determined they were within range of a daycare center.

The man under the causeway on Thursday said he had been there for about six weeks. He said he fears for his life.

Here's the creepy part:

Ironically, putting the men here hasn't kept them out of reach of children. On Thursday afternoon, down the concrete slope from the men's makeshift home, a family with young children played in the bay next to their boat, oblivious to the sex offenders who call a place under a bridge their home. (emphasis mine, --Ed.)
Personally,I could give a crap that they can't find a place to live.  Shoulda thought of that BEFORE you raped or molested, asshole.  Living with rats is HIGHLY appropriate for this kind of vermin.

At least the state isn't putting them up at taxpayers' expense.  Out of prison, off the taxpayers' dole and still living in shit.  Nice Job.

h/t LindaSoG
Posted by caltechgirl at April 5, 2007 09:17 PM | TrackBack

LOL @ the troll under the bridge!

Screw 'em. I honestly hope they get hit by a bus. I can't believe these animals actually think they have a right to live, much less live comfortably. Waaah for them; why should anyone be forced to have that scum living in their cities or neighborhoods? Maybe they should all be shipped off to a deserted island they can't escape, and they can all be depraved animals with each other until they kill each other off.

Posted by: Beth at April 5, 2007 10:36 PM

I couldn't said it better myself!

Posted by: Amanda at April 6, 2007 07:44 AM

Good...keep them where we can find them, and don't let them be living a better life than their victims. They don't deserve the rights of others.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at April 7, 2007 01:55 PM

I disagree.

Not that I like sex offenders, or think they shouldn't be punished.

But they weren't sentenced to this.

Want the death penalty for sex offenders? Fine - lobby for it. Petition for a ballot measure. Maybe the Supreme Court will decide it's not "cruel and unusual" punishment and let it stand - though I doubt they'd let this stand if it was a "punishment".

(Heck, if it's for aggravated rape, I'll sign the petition and vote for it myself.)

But the state passing laws to prohibit a general class of people living, in effect, anywhere? And having this be a pseudo-punishment for crime, but not under the control of the courts?

Serious justice, due-process, and rule-of-law issue with doing it like that.

I'm all in favor of harsh punishments for real sex offenders (see caveat below), but I want them done properly, up front, under proper judicial supervision, NOT as a "screw them, they're bad, who cares?" thing.

Because once that starts, it tends to spread to places one doesn't want it. I'm hesitant to bring up the abused words of Rev. Niemuller, but they seem apt. Even scum deserve the protection of the law - if only because if they don't have it, it erodes for everyone else. (I don't think the slippery slope is very steep, but I do think it's there.)

In short: As part of sentencing, sure, as an option if the judge thinks it needful. For an entire class of offenders, automatically and without appeal? No.

(And none of this brings up the other issue with "sex offense" laws, which is that in some states, you can become a "sex offender" by peeing behind a bar - it's "indecent exposure".

Shall every one of those people be denied the ability to live anywhere, or be killed? I'm sure Beth doesn't think so, but that's the problem with "sex offender" - it doesn't mean, legally, the same as "rapist" or "child molester", which is what people interpret it as.)

Full disclosure: I'm speaking only about rule of law and legal issues; I have no personal connection to anything involved in any way.

Posted by: Sigivald at April 9, 2007 04:12 PM