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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Protecting Prisoners in Lackawanna County

It's rather ironic that the Lackawanna County prison system wasn't able to protect a prisoner awaiting sentencing from getting his head bashed in by another inmate, but the powers that be are determined to protect that same prisoner from a Catholic priest.

Details HERE and HERE.

As quoted from the editorial that appeared in today's Scranton Times:

"...After the assault, Father Pickard was denied access to Mr. Pinto by correctional officers at Community Medical Center, where the inmate was listed in critical condition with severe head injuries. "

I'm just wondering what purpose is served by preventing Father Pickard from visiting the prisoner. Generally speaking, having a cleric around you when you are near death is considered to be a kind, humane thing. Apparently not in this instance. Where was this same level of security when Mr Pinto was getting his head stomped on?

As a final note, I'm not going to wade into the whole issue of whether the savage beating was somehow justified, because it's not. Yes, the Mr Pinto was convicted of kiddie-porn charges, and as the father of three daughters I can certainly understand the intense emotions that this kind of thing stirs up. That noted, in our system of justice (as opposed to, say, Shar'ia Law), we don't beat people for their offenses. As I've noted before, if we want to be claim to be the good guys in the world, we actually have to act like the good guys.

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