On Sept. 11, 1995, Jimmy Ryce was abducted after getting off his school bus in the Redlands, south of Miami. Multiple state and federal law enforcement agencies led a three-month search for the child before his backpack was found in Juan Carlos Chavez’s trailer. Chavez, at the time a local ranch hand, led authorities to his dismembered body. Sitting on Florida’s death row he appealed his conviction earlier this year but on March 8th, a judge denied Juan Carlos Chavez a new trial or a new sentencing hearing.
After Jimmy’s death, a law was passed bearing Jimmy’s name. It keeps sexual predators in custody even after their sentences are completed if they are found to be still a danger to the community.
The Florida Legislature passed the Jimmy Ryce Involuntary Civil Commitment for Sexually Violent Predators’ Treatment And Care Act. (Jimmy Ryce Act) on May 1, 1998. The Act directs the Secretary of Children and Family Services to create a multidisciplinary team that will determine whether an inmate is a “sexually violent predator.”
The only statutory guideline for the team’s composition is that it must include “two licensed psychiatrists or psychologists, or one licensed psychiatrist and one licensed psychologist.” One hundred and eighty days prior to releasing an inmate convicted of a sexually violent crime, the agency controlling the inmate must notify both the multidisciplinary team and the relevant state attorney of the inmate’s impending release. The team then determines whether the inmate is a “sexually violent predator.”A “sexually violent predator” is defined as “any person who:
(a) Has been convicted of a sexually violent offense; and
(b) Suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for long-term control, care, and treatment.”
The above is from a FSU law review PDF
Eddie Lee Sadler apparently doesn’t meet the qualifications at least according to Collier County Senior Circuit Judge Charles Carlton.
A Naples man convicted of fondling a child twice and battery for assaulting a woman who accused him of trying to rape her is not a sexual predator and does not need to be committed to a state facility for treatment, a Collier County judge ruled this morning…
…Testimony by the state’s expert witness showed Sadler repeatedly refused sex-offender treatment in prison, denying committing the offenses. He called a child who accused him of molesting her a sexually promiscuous “tramp” and contended the girl — now a woman — set him up. Psychologists agreed he was borderline mentally retarded
Sadler was convicted in 1997 of violating probation and sentenced to 22 years in state prison but apparently served less then half of the sentence. He will wear a GPS monitor as part of a recent conditional release.
Do the penalties fit the crimes or is it a case where the crimes need to fit the penalties. Should the definition of a violent sexual predator be re-examined?
You can visit the Jimmy Ryce Foundation here
As a jury was being selected Monday to determine if he should be held as a sexual predator, a Port St. Lucie man agreed to be committed under the state’s Jimmy Ryce Act. Elwood R. Wise, 60, was convicted in 1988 of breaking into a woman’s Port St. Lucie home and raping her.
‘Indomitable spirit’ and missing children advocate
Claudine Ryce, who helped pass an anti-predator law after her son’s abduction and killing, died unexpectedly at 66.
Update 02-05-09: Jimmy Ryce killer appeals to Fla. high court today
According to his previous appeals, Juan Carlos Chavez, didn’t just murder Jimmy Ryce. While the justices debate whether he understood the differences between Cuban and U.S. rights, it is fairly common knowledge rape and murder of an innocent child does carry severe penalties. He chose to come to this country but Jimmy Ryce didn’t choose to die at his hands.
A Cuban immigrant sentenced to death for sexually assaulting and killing 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce 14 years ago is once again asking for a new trial.
The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments today (Thursday) in the case of Juan Carlos Chavez.
Chavez was convicted of kidnapping Jimmy at gunpoint after getting off a school bus near his home in rural Miami-Dade County.
His lawyer claims Chavez did not understand his right to have an attorney. Andrea Norgard argues an expert witness was erroneously prevented from testifying at a prior appeal hearing about the differences between the U.S. and Cuban legal systems.