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February 15, 2017

Repeat rape and murder for sex offender subject to monitoring shows limits of GPS as incapacitation tool

This article in my local paper about a local murder that has received a lot of attention provides a cold reminder that GPS monitoring typically cannot and will not alone serves as fool-proof crime prevention tool.  The article is headlined "Ex-convict charged in slaying of Ohio State student was on GPS monitoring," and here are the details:

A sex offender who is accused of abducting, raping and killing an Ohio State University student was on GPS monitoring. Brian L. Golsby, 29, who was released from state prison on Nov. 13 after serving six years for robbery and attempted rape, had special conditions of supervision under his post-release control for five years.

"I can confirm that he was on GPS monitoring, which is not uncommon due to the fact that he did not have a permanent residence upon his release," said JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Golsby was living in a state-contracted residential housing program that granted him a temporary residence.

Grove City police arrested Golsby after 21-year-old Reagan Tokes' body was found on Feb. 9 near the entrance of Scioto Grove Metro Park. Detectives say Golsby abducted Tokes after she left work Feb. 8 in the Short North.  He forced her to withdraw $60 from an ATM, raped her and fatally shot her twice in the head before dumping her body. Investigators already had Golsby's DNA from prior offenses and matched it to a cigarette butt left in Tokes' car. Tokes was set to graduate from OSU in May with a degree in psychology.

Smith said state law prevents her from going into details of the conditions Golsby had to follow.  All offenders are prohibited from carrying guns, but it's unclear whether travel restrictions were placed on Golsby in addition to what sex offenders have to abide by.  "DRC contracts with community providers for electronic monitoring and GPS services. The level of monitoring depends on the offender and circumstances for which the service is requested," Smith said.

She would not specify which vendors are used or describe the level of monitoring that offenders like Golsby could have. It's unclear whether he triggered an alert while wearing the bracelet, or, if he had discarded the monitor, how parole officers would have been notified. It's also unknown how often parole officers check the movements of offenders assigned to them, or how far back the monitor records travel. "DRC is not providing specifics relative to this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation," Smith said.

Columbus police have been looking at Golsby as a possible suspect in a series of attacks on women in German Village and near Nationwide Children's Hospital.

February 15, 2017 at 09:02 AM | Permalink

Comments

The hits just keep coming. This guy NEVER should have been out on the streets.

Surprised that OSU leadership isn't asking hard hard questions about: (1) the prosecutors, (2) the judge, (3) the mayor and (4) the cops/supervisors.

This is why what is sold as "smart on crime" is often very very dumb on crime. Letting a guy like this out so quickly was dumb, and the failure to supervise was even dumber.

Query Doug: what's your sense on what prosecutors in Union County or Delaware or Pickaway would have done with the crimes that got Golsby 5 years? Was there a Franklin County discount?

Posted by: federalist | Feb 15, 2017 9:15:34 AM

Showing again that use of buzz phrases is not a policy. Saying that we should use GPS monitoring as part of release is merely the start of the conversation. The rest of the conversation are what restrictions go with placement on GPS monitoring (otherwise GPS monitoring is merely a way of finding somebody after the fact); who gets notice when the monitoring system shows a violation of those restrictions, and what authority does law enforcement have to detain a person who violates those restrictions.

Aside from whether defendant should have been out on the streets (a difficult question not knowing the circumstances of his prior case -- it is easy to Monday Morning Quarterback the prosecutor and judge, but any person who has prosecuted a case knows that there are some cases in which you gladly take a minimum sentence to avoid real risk of acquittal at trial), the question is what did GPS monitoring mean in Mr. Golsby's case. Assuming that Mr. Golsby was not on house arrest, he might never have violated the conditions of his monitoring during the offense. (Only part of story that makes it seem like there might be a violation was dumping the body in the entrance of the park as parks are typically restricted areas for individuals on GPS monitoring after a sexual assault.)

Posted by: tmm | Feb 15, 2017 11:38:49 AM

"six years for robbery and attempted rape"

What should people who are guilty of robbery and attempted rape get? Six years seems like the "going rate" (to use a common term) and not some slap on the wrist.

I don't know the details of the "attempted rape," but many here seemed to be okay (some upset at liberal critics) of a student getting very little jail time for what to many looked like rape or at least the early stages of rape if he wasn't stopped. Was it expected that he would kill? Rape is horrible, but rapists don't generally kill.

So, we are left with the robbery. Robbery and use of force should get how much prison time? Is there something about this particular offender that warranted more than six years? If robbery and attempted violence crime will get you more than six years, perhaps it would be good to free up slots by changing our drug laws.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 15, 2017 11:40:27 AM

"unclear whether travel restrictions were placed on Golsby" etc.

Details are a tad vague. If you are going to monitor people, got to do it with some skill.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 15, 2017 11:42:35 AM

tmm, it's so funny to me--people who get all worked up about harsh outcomes never seem to have the outrage when a completely innocent person has her life snuffed out--instead, those who ask hard questions are portrayed as Monday morning QBs. Whatever.

Read the details of this guy's priors--they ain't pretty, and the plea deal (which is not the measure of what the guy actually did, since the plea deal is a discount) doesn't cover the prosecutor's office with glory. This guy raped a woman (pled to attempt), kidnapped her and robbed her.

As for Joe, once again, the typical rhetorical devices to deflect criticism of a lenient justice system. But it's pretty easy to pick Joe's nonsense apart.

(1) Golsby's priors involved two victims. So why were the sentences concurrent? Seems that prosecutors likely had more leverage.

(2) Joe is defending a 5 year sentence for rape/robbery/kidnap. Nice try. Fine, Joe, let those criminals live around people you care about.

(3) The reference to the Stanford rapist is interesting. If Joe seriously thinks that the two cases are remotely similar, then he should just say so--instead, the reference is just so much sophistry.

A young woman is dead, and the first instinct of you twerps is to serve up some lame rhetorical non-defenses of what appears to be overly lenient treatment of a dangerous criminal.

Posted by: federalist | Feb 15, 2017 11:54:47 AM

This murder is 100% the fault of the lawyer profession. They showed malice (knowledge), given the prior criminal record. The estate should be allowed to sue the lawyers, the judges, and the legislature for gross negligence, and to seek exemplary damages to deter. It is time to rein in this totally out of control, highly dangerous, intensely stupid, and careless profession. Let the lawyers carry liability insurance, as they force everyone else to do.

If the self dealt immunities of the lawyer profession are not ended, then violence by direct action groups has full justification in formal logic. If liability is a substitute for endless cycles of violent vendetta, then immunity fully justifies those.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 15, 2017 12:25:05 PM

tmm is a long term vet of the criminal justice system and the agnosticism shown without knowing all the details is appropriate. I don't think tmm lacks concern about the victim. tmm and others are trying to judge the situation to see what the good of society as a whole warrants. And, we don't know all the details here.

Citing "two priors" when many defendants have priors and for various reasons getting relatively short sentences (those without them in cases like this getting less than five years in many cases) or some other single data point of limited value. As to "leniency," five years in a state park plus limits when released is not some walk in the park. As compared to other countries in the Western world, our system is quite strict.

Again, when certain liberals opposed the sentence of the Stanford rapist -- I myself noted the case was more complicated than some made it out to be -- they were criticized. I don't think the critics lack concern for the victim necessarily, but it goes to show how "attempted rape" alone without knowing all the details is incomplete.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 15, 2017 12:31:03 PM

state parks ... state prisons

No dig intended. Again:

"unclear whether travel restrictions were placed on Golsby" etc.

Details are a tad vague. If you are going to monitor people, got to do it with some skill.

Why? Because if you don't use skill, people can get hurt or even killed.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 15, 2017 12:35:22 PM

Joe. Without invading your privacy, can you tell us the fraction of your income that comes from government? I need to explain something to myself.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 15, 2017 12:41:26 PM

Joe, five years, for that offender, was way too lenient. That it wasn't a walk in the park isn't really the point. I wouldn't want to do five years in a state pen either, but then I don't kidnap someone, rape her in front of her 2 year old child, then force her to withdraw money from an ATM. I also don't make a habit of it robbing people either.

And Joe, you really ought to argue without the use of strawmen--I didn't say tmm had no concern about the victim, I said that he had an odd emotional response to my criticism that could be compared to a lack of outrage about questionable lenience.

As for tmm's appeal to authority, yeah, it's hard to prosecute cases, and yeah, sometimes you have to eat a bad deal, but so what? It's not the case that only prosecutors can "really know" and that all other criticisms are therefore invalid.

And Joe, you don't take a position---do you think five years was an appropriate sentence for this offender?

Posted by: federalist | Feb 15, 2017 12:59:05 PM

He was convicted of "attempted rape." Why? I don't know all the details, like tmm said. You cited "two priors," now you talk about "a habit." Is this based on other info?

I'm not going to determine if this was an appropriate sentence for this specific person. I was wary of liberal critics in the case cited and am wary of conservative critics here. Single cases that come in the news are of some limited value but at the end of the day mislead as much as they shed life. Again, without saying anything profound, this works both ways. Yes, it's quite possible, given everything, it was sound. Hard to know.

"So what." I surely agree not only "prosecutors" know best, especially when I often put forth the defense side. But, the "what" is that repeatedly, even when the deal looks bad, it is actually the best taking everything into consideration especially under the current system. Likewise, some bad looking civil deals are the reasonable given everything. I'm sure you yourself can cite examples in your career in that regard.

Finally, "odd emotional response to my criticism that could be compared to a lack of outrage about questionable lenience." I didn't actually say you said etc. But, however you want to phrase it, the basic message is that tmm "emotionally" or whatever is not appropriately outraged about the victim. But, tmm's overall position to me is a concern about the good of society, including victims. As is mine, including my comment showing concern about how the monitoring went on.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 15, 2017 1:24:26 PM

This blog is also about sentencing and policy. This is likely to focus attention on those convicted of crimes. Victims surely factor in there, but less so as compared to some other blog. It's appropriate to cite them and their needs. OTOH, the best approach there is unclear as shown by many who work to protect victims who oppose various punishments. Appeals to victims only takes us so far there.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 15, 2017 1:29:37 PM

tmm,

I would think the firearm in the latest offense is a far greater violation than whatever travel restrictions might have been in place. And also, once proven, far more clear-cut.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Feb 15, 2017 1:53:31 PM

The Third Reich had ▶️MANY◀️ shortcomings ‼️

A ▶️PROPERLY◀️ applied 💀Night & Fog💀 protocol was not among those shortcomings ‼️


Air drop that thug into Eastern Siberia or Northern Mongolia with a set of Boy Scout merit badge manuals , a first aid kit , with instruction on how to behave and be kind ‼️

Wait a few decades , then check to determine whether he has changed his attitude on civility ‼️

Kindly & Respectfully submitted ,
DJB aka Kind Soul®*
Nemo Me 💀 Impune Lacessit

* Ohio , 8/2007👉8/2017

Posted by: Docile aka Kind Soul® | Feb 15, 2017 2:01:56 PM

Funny how Joe uses a lot of words to say essentially nothing. There is a dead young woman who should not be dead. Why don't we start by getting that right?

So, we have a dead young woman--working backwards, we have a plea deal that took two separate episodes of criminal behavior, which included a rape (yes, he was convicted of attempted rape, but once again, we look at the conduct, not how it was reduced to conviction via plea deal when we are evaluating how a prosecutor handled the case), kidnapping and two separate robbery incidents. This came out to five years in the pokey.

After release, we seem to have a spate of robberies, and no one thought to check on this guy. That's harder to evaluate, but certainly there are questions.

As for the "this is a policy blog"--well, yeah, but part and parcel of sentencing policy is incapacitation. And why do we incapacitate--so we don't have dead young women.

It's no wonder average people don't give a fig about what supposedly more erudite people think about sentencing policy. This thread is exhibit A. We have federalist who looks at a criminal, sees what he did before, and says WTF. Then we have tmm whining about Monday Morning Quarterbacking and Joe making weak niggling points and referring to what the guy was convicted of (as opposed to what he actually did).

The average person, who is interested in, I don't know, sending his daughter to Ohio State, would look at this debate and wonder at the surreality of it. We have Joe talking about five years in the pokey not being a walk in the park ("No shit, Sherlock") and tmm whining about Monday Morning Quarterbacking when the guy's dangerousness should have been manifest from his prior (kidnap/rape/robbery). The average person would look at tmm and wonder, gee, is incapacitation even important to him? As for Joe, the average person would think what the Bard was getting at in this: "Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two bits of wheat in two bushels of chaff. You shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them, they are not worth the search." Me, on the other hand, knows that Joe is just engaging in sophistry because deep down he believes that society should take a chance on violent criminals because some of them won't recidivate. Of course, he cannot come out and say that, so we get niggling points and odd attacks on the unassailable position that Ms. Tokes should be alive because Golsby should have been in prison on that fateful night.

Posted by: federalist | Feb 15, 2017 2:37:12 PM

Soronel, but I don't know how GPS would catch that the defendant had a firearm (unless the gun manufacturers are willing to include some type of device on their guns that would somehow be picked up by a nearby GPS bracelet).

Despite the tendency of folks to go off on tangents, my key point is that "GPS monitoring" is a big term that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different folks. A "house arrest"-type GPS monitoring can be very incapacitating, especially if officers get quick notice when the defendant leaves home without permission. On the other hand, if the GPS monitoring only places minimal restrictions (don't go near parks, don't go near schools or daycare centers) and violations of those terms only go to the probation officer who rights a violation report weeks later, the incapacitation aspects are somewhat less.

Posted by: tmm | Feb 15, 2017 3:00:39 PM

The article does not (or can not) furnish enough details for you or anyone to conclude that GPS was insufficient or deficient. For all we know the company or entities responsible for monitoring the SO were negligent. We don't know, because as the article clearly states, no one is revealing nothing. It looks like after their investigation is concluded they will reveal things. At that point, you can conclude, if the facts support, that GPS failed or has limitations. Not before.

Posted by: Stephen Douglas | Feb 15, 2017 5:00:15 PM

I think maybe even Abraham Lincoln would find Stephen Douglas' comments pretty sound.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 15, 2017 6:31:58 PM

All lawyers that caused this catastrophic consequence of lawyer stupidity must resign or be fired. The original judge, and any involved in the release of this super predator should be removed.

These lawyers should also lose their law licenses. They are totally unfit for any legal practice.

A constitutional amendment must remove all self dealt immunities of these careless and incompetent lawyers, including all judges, prosecutors, and legislators.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 16, 2017 5:07:58 AM

Notice how Joe abandons the field. He serves up the idea that the guy was only convicted of "attempted rape" and ties that to the idea that five years in a state pen isn't a walk in the park. All in a lame attempt to undercut the surpassing obvious conclusion that (a) this guy should have been in jail when he murdered Ms. Tokes and (b) there is legitimate criticism of the actions that led to him only spending five years in jail.

Posted by: federalist | Feb 16, 2017 2:00:34 PM

I'm sure the GPS device, if it was working, will help convict him if it confirms that he was in the locations where the victim was found.

Posted by: John Deere | Feb 16, 2017 5:54:34 PM

Why not just advocate locking all convicts up forever? Unless and until you are willing to adopt such an argument, this is all nothing more than Monday morning quarterbacking. If you realize the ridiculous posture such an argument places you in, then you must necessarily accept the fact that such a human construct as sentencing will not ever be perfect.

Posted by: Mark M. | Feb 17, 2017 1:59:52 AM

Mark M. Locking people up forever is a waste. The violent repeat offender should be hunted and killed by the public at the earliest age acceptable, like 14. That would cause severe unemployment among lawyers, but no one cares about the lawyer profession. We do care about the loss of great kids like this beautiful girl that was murdered. Your profession is an abomination. It is protecting, privileging, and empowering the criminal, all for a lousy rent seeking low pay. Your profession is stealing a $trillion a year, and returning nothing of value.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 17, 2017 3:42:15 AM

Joe needs to disclose the fraction of his income that comes from government.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 17, 2017 3:44:35 AM

Perhaps Joe would "disclose" whatever is it is you believe he should when others "disclose" the diagnosis from their mental health treatment provider.

Posted by: Mark M. | Feb 17, 2017 8:17:47 AM

Mark M. Calling dissenters insane. More KGB, less lawyerly.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 17, 2017 9:18:06 AM

Except, Mark, it's not Monday morning quarterbacking. I think that people who kidnap/rape/rob women, particularly when they have a long record already, are dangerous criminals and need to be locked up. What about that guy, as a 23 year old, said that he was going to stop taking physical control of women and doing things to them after 6 years? From what I can tell, absolutely nothing.

This isn't locking up a drug dealer--this is a violent criminal who did more than simply take property from people. He NEVER should have been out. This isn't a close call. I get that sentencing involves human decisionmaking--but any sentient person should have looked at what this guy did at 23 and developed a hatred for him and a desire to see him punished as much as possible. People who sexually assault women in front of children need to go away for a long time.

Posted by: federalist | Feb 17, 2017 9:48:49 AM

All I know about quarterbacking is that after scoring 28 points in a little over a half a game of football, don't stop scoring. This was Sunday night quarterbacking on my part. Also, Monday Night Football makes that label a bit out of date.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 17, 2017 10:17:56 AM

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