Wednesday 13 December 2017

Protection from sex offenders

THE early release of rapist Larry Murphy has led to calls for reform of the remission system and has highlighted massive inadequacies in the way the State deals with violent sex offenders.

It has also sparked widespread public alarm. Hysteria on the streets over the release of one man is a depressing spectacle, but, in this case, it is not irrational. The crime for which Murphy served just 10 years and six months was particularly horrific and he remains "a person of interest" to gardai investigating the unexplained disappearances of young women.

We have no way of knowing how great a threat Murphy represents because he was not subjected to risk assessment before his release. Because he was sentenced before the passing of the Sex Offenders Act in 2001, there is no post-release supervision order. Instead, the gardai do their best to monitor the movements of a young, fit man who is well aware he is being watched.

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