Earlier today I received a comment about my posting blaming the Clinton hostage crisis in part on the lack of health care for Leeland Eisenberg. The commenter made a plea not only for health insurance for all, but mental health care for all.
With the latest revelations about Leeland Eisenberg’s past now in the open, it is clear that mental health care was the least that he needed. About another 20 years in prison would have been more appropriate. We now know that he had more than alcohol and family issues. The man is a convicted serial rapist.
Today a New Hampshire judge set bail for Eisenberg at $500,00 and said that “this man must be kept under lock and key.”
You can read the details from the Union Leader.
So where does that leave those of us who were stunned and angry at Eisenberg’s hostage drama, yet felt at least some sympathy for the guy based on family comments that he had tried to get into a detox center just days earlier?
The new facts about this man do not change my conviction that health care is a right and not a privilege and that we as a society have a moral obligation to provide — yes, pay with our taxes — coverage for those who cannot afford it. Given what we know about Eisenberg, perhaps 28 days in detox would have prevented this, but most likely it would not have.
Unless there is some new data that I am not aware of, the “cure rate” for certain kinds of crimes – rape and child abuse are among them — is abysmal. I believe in second chances, even third chances, depending on the person, the crime, and the circumstances. But rape and child abuse fall outside of that area of leniency, at least in Rake’s world.
Just as we have an obligation to help those who need medical care, we have a similar obligation to protect those who need protection. And, in this case, we failed.
So, yeah, let’s keep Leeland locked away for a while until the justice system, the psychologists, and the social workers, know for a fact that this man will never harm another person. That time might never come. If so, we can say that we did the right thing for the right reasons.