Tomorrow (7/26/13) Timothy Szad will be released from prison in VT. He has spent the last 11 years there after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 13 year old boy.
Photo: VT Dept of Corrections
Szad had planned to move home with his parents in Springfield but they have received so many threats that now he probably won't return there.
Springfield VT doesn't have much crime, and as you might imagine, doesn't have many sex offenders either. There's 27 total. There's double that amount in Little Mountain SC. The Springfield offenders are 26 guys and 1 woman who were mostly convicted of statutory rape charges of having sex with teens. Their crime was bad and that's why they're marked as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Szad crime was horrific!
Szad was 40 years old, 6'5" 255lbs in 2000 when he saw a 13 year old boy who was fishing on a river bank. He carried the boy to a tree, handcuffed him, and raped him twice. He could have received life in prison but prosecutors decided to offer him a plea deal to save the boy from having to testify.
Now that he has completed his sentence he will be free to go and under no special supervision other than the required registering as a sex offender. Some authorities don't believe Szad should ever be released from prison. They have taken the unique precaution of posting flyers around Springfield and surrounding towns to be on the lookout for Szad. 53 year old Timothy J Szad will most likely target male strangers between the ages of 12 and 13, in particular those with blond hair and blue eyes." The authorities along with some citizens are also pressuring the state legislature to pass something called a "civil commitment" law.
20 states have that law and yes SC is one of the 20. The other 19 states, as well as the overall ramifications of that law are here. But in essence what it says is correction dept officials can transfer you from the prison, once you're done serving your sentence, to a mental hospital. They can hold you there indefinitly. NY is one of the 20 with that law and their Governor was in court defending it again on Tuesday. The law went in to effect back in 2007 with then Governor Eliot Spitzer promising it would serve as a national model. Current NY Governor Pataki is being sued by 127 sex offenders who have completed their sentences but have been transferred to mental hospitals with a possibility of never being set free.
Just to be clear any prisoner can have time added on to their sentence for any criminal activity. Prison officials say Szad has done well and has made much progress with a therapist. But police and some citizens say "once a violent pedophile, always a violent pedophile". I don't know if that's true. But I don't want one individual to have that kind of power over people. Our system of check's and balances is not perfect but it beats one of a dictatorship. To have a person or even a group of people decide to extend your prison sentence because they feel you might commit a crime opens us up to minority report developments. Where police could crunch the numbers and decide you are the type of person who would commit a crime and arrest you before you have ever done it. The way our justice system works is you are considered innocent till proven guilty. Once guilty you serve a punishment/rehabilitation sentence for a time selected in advance. Once that is over you have paid your debt to society. Now can ex cons be profiled? Absolutely! The sex offenders list is a perfect example of that. But to just extend the sentence indefinitely is wrong. No one likes monsters who sodomize little boys. But until the courts change the punishment to death or castration or life in prison, they, like all criminals, should be expected to do their time and then be released back into society.