|Guest: Dr. Michael Welner, NYU School of Medicine
"New York Governor George Pataki has ordered twelve violent sex offenders held by the state after their prison terms were completed, citing the state's involuntary commitment law. Pataki says the men were evaluated by state officials and found to be too dangerous to walk the streets. The ACLU, predictably, wants the men released and yesterday Judge Jacqueline Silbermann ordered the sex offenders to be set free pending more evaluations by court-appointed doctors. This situation is troubling because many of the twelve are brutal individuals who received little jail time for their crimes. One of the men raped a 3-year old boy, inflicting internal injuries on the child, and served three-and-a-half years. Most of these convicts are dangerous and didn't receive fair sentences. If any of the twelve felons Judge Silbermann has ordered released hurts any child, I will hold that judge responsible and report the case to you immediately."
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Psychiatrist Michael Welner, who evaluates sex offenders for New York State, described a typical psychiatric examination as extremely thorough. "You look at the person's history, the offense, and the person's sexuality. What's at stake is the public safety, and we have the responsibility to do a diligent job." Dr. Welner stressed the importance of early treatment of potential sex predators. "The most important thing to recognize is that there are voyeurs, exhibitionists, and 'pre-rapists.' Those are the ones who need treatment because if they don't get treatment, they will rape. And once a person gets to two or three offenses the chances of another offense skyrockets." The Factor reiterated that New York is far too lenient on sex offenders. "What troubles me is that the state of New York gives child rapists two years. If I were you I'd have to recuse myself because I'd never let them out. I think this judge is taking an awful chance."