Thursday, September 09, 2010


Gee Paco, you’re cold! Have you no consideration for us demented old farts? If saving money isn’t a good reason for throwing the elderly out of prison, what is? I’m reporting you to the ACLU, NAACP, Amnesty International, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll make a special appeal to President Obama.
By Jeff Doyle
PACOVILLA Corrections blog
September 8, 2010
Souderton man, 81, gets prison for strangling wife
By John P. Martin
Philadelphia Inquirer
__An 81-year-old Souderton man who strangled his elderly wife in January over long-standing suspicions that she cheated on him was sentenced Tuesday to 71/2 to 15 years in state prison.
__Rudi Koos pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in May…he sat in a wheelchair, weeping quietly, as Montgomery County Court Judge William Carpenter imposed a punishment that might effectively be a life term.
__Assistant District Attorney Bradford A. Richman…noted that doctors had ruled out dementia or any other medical condition to explain why Koos snapped into a deadly rage…
__Koos himself called police on Jan. 6 as his 75-year-old wife, Waltraud, lay in the kitchen of the Souderton apartment where they had lived for decades…Koos told police he…choked his wife until she stopped breathing…(Full text at Philadelphia Inquirer)
The case of Rudi Koot caught Paco’s eye in that elderly killers are very rare. Further, a 7 1/2 to 15 year term for murder, albeit the "3rd degree" variety, seems a rather light sentence for intentional homicide. More importantly, taken in context with the national trend toward releasing chronically ill and elderly criminals to minimize medical liabilities, Koos’ case highlights the idiocy of this trend.
Elsewhere, killers Koos’ age and of comparable health are pending "compassionate release" even as he is received by the DOC–Why not let him skate altogether?
State Roundup: Elderly Inmates Burden Cash-Strapped States…
__The Associated Press reports on "the national surge in elderly inmates whose medical expenses are straining cash-strapped states and have officials looking for solutions, including early release, some possibly to nursing homes. … That burden is becoming greater as the American Civil Liberties Union estimates that elderly prisoners — the fastest growing segment of the prison population, largely because of tough sentencing laws — are three times more expensive to incarcerate than younger inmates. The ACLU estimates that it costs about $72,000 to house an elderly inmate for a year, compared to $24,000 for a younger prisoner…" (Full text at Kaiser Health News)
Age does not mitigate malevolence–it merely softens the offender’s appearance. Yes, at some point even Rudi Koos will be physically unable to harm another. In that regard, public safety is not in jeopardy when such meek offenders are released early. However, it is an offense upon the public when just punishment is obviated in the name of saving money.
So it is, the state slouches toward medical parole and other Savings over Safety measures (e.g. Non Revocable Parole) to the detriment of the public good. And, indeed, much of the public is good with it. After all, we can’t afford to pay the medical freight for all of those sweet looking old men so why not let ‘em go?

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