Sid Landau, Pedophile Hounded into State Mental Hospital, Wants Out
Public defender Sara Ross, telling the Associated Press Landau's advancing age and health make him eligible for for release into the community:
"Ultimately, when it comes down to it, Mr. Landau served all of his time. He served each and every minute that the government asked of him and paid his dues and he's no longer a danger to society. He hasn't done anything in 20 or 30 years and he really wants to go home."
|Landau in 1997.|
After serving seven years of his initial 15-year sentence, Landau was released. That's when he became the Meghan's Law Poster Boy. The Placentia Police Department released his name and address, and he was then hounded from residence to residence. He sued in federal court, claiming Placentia cops violated his right to privacy. He lost.
The parole violations sparked a trial to send Landau back inside. The first jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of his release. And second knotted 8-4, again in Landau's favor. That prompted a third trial in March 2008 and this from the Orange County Register's gung-ho columnist Gordon Dillow:
It's a cycle that could be repeated for years and years. And yet, as D.A. spokeswoman Susan Schroeder puts it, "What alternative do we have? We can't just let a dangerous child molester get out. We can't take that chance."
So yes, maybe in some situations it wouldn't be fair to keep a guy locked up after he has served his time.But when it comes to sexually violent predators, it wouldn't be fair to their potential victims to do anything else.
On the philosophical flip side came this from the Times Orange County's Dana Parsons:
When a person pays his debt to society, it's supposed to mean something. And as long as juries keep deadlocking--even 11 to 1 to release him--Landau could remain in the hospital forever. Ideally, I'd settle for something like this: If one or two or three juries can't decide unanimously on a person's fate in cases like this, an "expert" panel would then be brought in.
Ain't gonna happen, so we live with what we've got.
The third jury was the charm for OC prosecutors.