Tuesday, July 26, 2005

How do You Amend a Law That's Already Crystal Clear When the State Supreme Court Disregards It?

That is the question I had in researching the WV Code for the sex offender bill I discussed in my post originally written yesterday and reposted today, "WV Sex Offender Laws So-So, Improvements Needed." As you may recall, the state Supreme Court ruled 3-2 in March 2004 that Tony Arbaugh, who was placed on probation as part of a plea agreement for molesting several young children in Pendleton County, violated just about ever condition of the agreement, from not meeting with his probation officer to doing drugs to contacting his victims.

Arbaugh should have been sent to prison. WV Code 62-12-10 is crystal clear; read it for yourself. When probation is violated, the judge may send the defendant directly to prison. However, that did not stop justices Warren McGraw (who we defeated last year), Larry Starcher (who we will have to put up with through 2008), and Joe Albright (who we're stuck with through 2012) from deciding that this creep should be let go again--and not just let go, but placed in a program in which he would have been hired as a janitor in a school!!! There was no constitutional issue cited or any other such baloney; these justices decided plain and simple to ignore the law.