Leck's release shows weaknesses in law

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2001

Jack Leck II had his parole hearing on Tuesday. The Parole Board revoked his parole. This is good news. And I want to thank everyone here in Juneau who took the time to sign a letter telling the Parole Board to keep him locked up.

Now there is some bad news. Leck is scheduled to be released on Oct. 13, 2002 - in just 14 months. I know the Empire said it wouldn't be until May 2003. That would be if he didn't have "good time" racked up from his incarceration in Lemon Creek. Unfortunately, he behaves very well in prison. Barring some unforeseen out-of-character prison behavior, Leck will be released in 14 months. And when he is released, there will be no parole, no probation. He will be free and clear with no restrictions placed on his movements or behavior.

When I originally heard of Leck and his pending parole I was stunned and angry. I couldn't figure out how a group of seemingly knowledgeable and educated people (the Parole Board) could or would grant parole to such a sadistic pedophile. Truth is they didn't. Leck did not go before the Parole Board prior to his release on July 4. The board had no voice on the issue until he violated his parole and a hearing was held on Aug. 14. The board then did all that they were allowed to do under the law. They revoked his parole. By law, they could do nothing more despite the proof that this monster has not been reformed or rehabilitated, that he has no intention of curtailing his baser instincts. The law has in effect tied their hands. They could not take away Leck's "good time" previously earned in prison. And they could not add any additional time for violating his parole.

So if this monster didn't serve out his entire sentence and no Board of Parole authorized his release. How on earth did he get out in the first place? "Mandatory Parole," a law written by our Legislature, allowed him to be paroled. No hearing. No board to review or question him or his case. Just a ridiculously broad law that says if a felon behaves while confined within the prison system, he gets out early regardless of his crimes. Despite the fact that he is a sadistic pedophile that only preys on children, and that in prison there are only other adults.

When these mandatory parolees violate their parole just 16 days after being released, they don't lose. Just 14 months of more free room and board, and they are free and clear. They don't have to serve their full sentence, just tow the line in prison.

We need to change this. We need to make the Legislature take another look at this bizarre law that allows for the early release of violent sexual predators. We need to change the laws so that our children are protected not the "rights" of a sadistic pedophile. It is time to make it hard if not impossible for Leck and those like him to ever get out and prey upon our children again. I am asking all of you to call our local lawmakers and tell them you want to see a change made. I know we can make that difference. We got Leck tossed back in. Let's do what we need to, to keep him there.

Theresa Williams

Juneau



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