During his term as governor of my usually frustrating state, his main focus seemed to be the passage of a statewide lottery. Ultimately, that referrendum failed because not only was there strong opposition to the idea of any lottery, but there was also opposition among many of those who favored a lottery in general to his proposal. I was one of the people in the latter category, and it all boiled down to one word: Accountability. That law didn't have any, and even if it had, it would have merely put a bandage on a more serious problem: Stabilizing tax revenue and reducing the burden on the poor and middle-class workers in Alabama. Since I've already discussed his successor's also-failed plan to correct that in an earlier post, I won't rant again.
Within the past couple of days, Alabama has passed a new sex-offender law that requires all sex offenders convicted of Class A felonies to wear an ankle bracelet upon release from prison for 10 years to life. Initially, an amendment to the bill was passed to require surgical castration on those convicted of crimes against children under 12. However, upon the advice of Attorney General Troy King, that language was removed out of concerns that it would ultimately be struck down by the United States Supreme Court and endanger the other provisions of the bill. Lawmakers have pledged to revisit the issue later. The place where the comedy ensues is that the aforementioned former Governor Don Siegelman (D-AL) is claiming that the new law, which makes Alabama's laws among the toughest in the nation, isn't strong enough. His stance was that the law should have required a life sentence and castration after the first offense, and capital punishment after the second offense. My questions to former Governor Don are thus: You had four years in office to consider this issue. By that time, there had already been a number of high-profile child murders committed by sex offenders. Why didn't you show the leadership to address the issue then? Also, have you ever even heard of the Constitution of the United States of America, specifically its Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment? And he calls himself a Democrat. lol
Also, the question of castration ignores a couple of simple facts about such crimes. As I've read many experts say, by and large, such crimes are not about sex; they're about power. Also, it's biologically impossible to castrate a woman, and as we've all seen in the news, there is an increasing number of females who commit such crimes against children. The only conclusion I can make is that this is a pathetic attempt by former Governor Siegelman to become relevant in statewide politics again. What he forgets is that he was elected on a platform of "Anyone But Fob (James)," not out of an overriding desire to see him in particular in the Governor's mansion.