Here's An Idea: Let's Not Let Violent Offenders Out Of Prison

Here's An Idea: Let's Not Let Violent Offenders Out Of Prison

Innocent lives are more important than violent criminals' second chances
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Recently, a beautiful, young OSU student was taken from this earth in a disgusting, violent way. Reagan Tokes was about to graduate from The Ohio State University with a degree in psychology, and a horrible man took her life, her light, and her future away from her and the world.

In July, University of Toledo student Sierah Joughin was kidnapped on a bike ride and killed. With her entire life ahead of her, her life was also stolen too soon. Another young woman's life was stripped from her by another horrible man.

These men are horrible. That is one very obvious thing that they have in common. They are selfish, violent, disgusting men who stripped women of their lives and stripped their families, their friends, and their communities of their lives as they know it.

But they have something else in common as well, something that makes these stories scarier and more heartbreaking. James Worley, who murdered Seirah Joughin, had been arrested in 1990 for kidnapping a woman on a bike. He did less than 4 years. Brian Golsby, who murdered Reagan Tokes, had been let out of prison in November 2016 for attempted rape and kidnapping.

The question is, how on earth was this allowed to happen? A man who was in jail for kidnapping a woman on a bike kidnapped a woman on a bike. A man who was in jail for attempting to rape and kidnap a woman kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered a woman. How did this happen?

In what world were these men allowed to be out of prison? How did our legal system fail us, fail the Tokes and Joughin families so bad? Frankly, I don't give a shit if they had good behavior while they were in prison. Frankly, I don't give a shit of they were the nicest damn inmate that has ever existed in the history of our American prison system. They were both in jail for violent crimes. And just because the woman escaped from Worley or because Golsby's rape and kidnapping were "attempted" does not mean that they are less dangerous. The intent is what counts, the intent is what matters.

Maybe thousands of men and women are let out of prison after their sentenced time for violent crimes and never offend again. Kidnappers, rapists and even possibly some murderers are walking around us, having done their time and will never offend again. They are rehabilitated and ready to be contributing members of society. But here's the thing: I don't care.

I don't care if leaving violent offenders in prison for their entire life strips them of their right to "try again". If you raped or kidnapped or killed someone, you don't get to try again. I don't care that there are violent offenders out in the world who are living better lives. Because if there was a rule prohibiting violent offenders from being back on the streets, Reagan Tokes and Seirah Joughin would still be alive. I'm always going to root for two beautiful, innocent women more than a rehabilitated sexual offender. I'd rather them get to live than an ex-kidnapper get the chance to try again.

Worley committed his crime in 1990, 26 years before he took the life of Seirah Joughin, before she was even born. And Golsby was let out of prison just about 4 months before he took the life of Reagan Tokes. 26 years. 4 months. There is no principle to determine whether or not or when an ex-offender will offend again. A violent crime is not a mistake, it is not something you deserve a second chance after. Because when you're in prison for trying to kidnap, rape, murder somebody, you matter less.

All of them, all ex-violent offenders can sit in prison for the rest of their lives if it means not letting the Worley's and the Golsby's offend again. All ex-violent offenders can sit in prison for the rest of their lives if it means no one going through what the Joughin's and the Tokes' are going through. Because the lives of innocent victims matter more than your ability to have a second chance.

To the Tokes and Joughin families, I have been and will be so sorry for your loss, for the pain these men have brought to you and your families, and I pray for comfort and healing to come sooner rather than later. These women were lights to their families, friends, and communities, and someone like those two disgusting men should not have been able to make those lights stop shining.


You can donate to the Tokes family's GoFundMe here and donate to "Keeping Our Girls Safe", Seirah's boyfriend Josh's non-profit organization "to increase women's safety awareness, educate women on personal self defense, and possibly fund scholarships in the future in Sierah's and Josh's name," here.

Cover Image Credit: DailyMail

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No, Your Political Views Aren't Always Wrong, They Just Aren't Always Right

"No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen." - Proverb
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Violence. It is inevitable. Whether it is verbal or it is physical, it is happening around the world every day and it is a very sensitive subject. Something absolutely devastating happens and all of the sudden politicians are being questioned and those who aren't politicians, but think that they are, are now ranting on Facebook swearing up and down the walls that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

After the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, I was at a loss for words. For an incident this serious to happen in what felt like my backyard was absolutely terrifying. To live in a world where this happened was absolutely terrifying. As families and friends of victims and survivors grieved on social media and on TV, people took no breath in expressing their feelings about the incident. From angry messages about the LGTBQ community and to the complete opposite side where those mourned for the LGBTQ community, arguments were all over Facebook. Opinions were all over Facebook, as they always are.

With the recent Las Vegas shooting the same thing was seen on social media as some felt strongly about the mental health of Americans and others cared deeply about those who were killed and what was going to happen next. Social media is home to many different political views as well as social views and the biggest issue, in my opinion, is that no one allows the opportunity for someone else to speak their mind.

Most importantly in my life right now, as well as the lives of many who surround me, is the Parkland shooting. This was absolutely horrifying, to say the least. It showed how unfair life was and how screwed up people can be.

Unfortunately, I have found on social media as well as on TV that people have lost sight of what truly matters right now as they are too worried arguing about their political views and making the statement that only their thoughts are correct.

Being a very open-minded person, I have read through hundreds of comments and watched my fair share of videos. I have heard Republicans and Democrats speak on the matter on gun control, gun safety, and guns in school.

Yes, I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe it is a right to carry a gun with the appropriate training and paperwork. Yes, I also believe that it has become way too easy to obtain such a powerful weapon.

Lastly, I believe that it is not the ease of buying guns or the Second Amendment itself that is leading to these terrifying events. It's the people of the United States and the way that they are raised today.

As Governor Matt Bevin said when he was younger, kids brought guns to school on a day to day basis and even more around the holidays to show off their new presents. People simply did not think about killing people. People were not terrified for their lives when they went to school or to a country concert.

Yes, you're allowed to have your own political opinions.

Yes, you can plaster your views and arguments all over Facebook and other social media platforms.

But stop and take a second to think about others views as well. Think about simpler times when your life didn't revolve around a video game or your cell phone or the latest violent movie that just came out.

When things were "simpler," there were not constant shootings at schools and out in public places.

Guns are not the problem. Do not be ignorant.

Realize that you can have your views but they may not always be right.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Radelich

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Let's Take The Politics Out Of School Shootings

So, please do not use school shootings as a reason to get in a Facebook fight.
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The American dream is to send our beloved children off to school where they can flourish and learn. On the other hand, an important aspect of the American dream is the second amendment.

How shall we move forward so these two aspects of the American dream can coexist?

The answer to that question will not be discovered in my lifetime (or maybe ever). There is no way to save an entire country from horrific events like ones we have seen too many times. So, let’s stop focusing on which is the “correct” way to handle the situation and look at the broader perspective.

This week, social media is flooded with a variety of political opinions after the Florida school shooting that I would rather not explore. I am sure everyone is familiar with the different opinions that unveil after a mass shooting.

Unfortunately, we are too familiar with them.

I am a senior in high school who is hardly involved with politics. Putting political beliefs aside, I focus on the victims’ faces and names. I focus on their families. I focus on a school that will never feel the same.

The kids who passed were not thinking about politics during this tragedy. Rather, they were wondering if they would make it out of a place they considered safe, alive.

This issue is much bigger than a political debate. It is about hate in our world, a lack of love and a disconnect between ourselves and others. It’s not about guns. It’s not about mental illness. It’s about much more.

Rather than pointing the finger, we can all equally share the blame.

When social media turns an issue into a political debate, it’s easy to forget that children aren’t thinking about politics when they see their teacher, coach or friend pass away in front of their eyes.

So please, do us all a favor and don’t use children's dead bodies as a reason to get into a heated Facebook fight. That only spreads the hate. It is counterproductive. Rather than plotting against each other, we need to band together.

Cover Image Credit: Pixbay

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