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Man Who Killed 3 People And Himself In Wisconsin Shooting Spree Is Another Example Of Failed Restraining Orders

October 23. 2012

 

On Sunday, October 21, 2012, Radcliffe Haughton, 45, opened fire in a Wisconsin spa, wounding 4 people, killing three (his wife included) and himself. Haughton's wife, Zina Haughton, began to fear for her safety when her husband began issuing violent threats and slashed her tires. Zina Haughton was able to obtain a 4-year restraining order against her husband, but it was of no use, as he violated it. This tragedy is more proof that restraining orders without strong legislation and more police enforcement behind them are useless to victims.

Just a week before the shooting, on October 18, 2012 in the Judiciary Report article, Music Promoter That Killed Jamaican Musician Captain Barkey And His Girlfriend In New York Kills Himself In Miami, the site wrote regarding restraining orders, "In many cases, restraining orders fail victims, as stalkers are criminally minded, mentally ill, irrational and have no respect for the law. Police often do little about stalking cases, which needs to change, via new legislation in America, issuing greater legal penalties to offenders."

Congress needs to come up with strong anti-stalking legislation on a federal level (applying to the entire country) rather than individual laws in effect that often vary by state. Some uniformity is needed. Once a person makes a specific threat or begins to stalk another, it should be grounds for incarceration. Victims should not have to wait until stalkers, who are often violent, violate the restraining order to have police step in - and even then, current legislation is not enough to make an impact.

The Judiciary Report is of the belief, the issuance of a properly issued restraining order should automatically equate to jail time. Some stalkers would think twice before engaging in said illegal activity if they knew a restraining order could be filed that meant one strike and you are out, not two or three (to paraphrase baseball lingo).

To the violent stalker it would meant the threat posed to the victim's safety would be neutralized for a time, with the hope that said duration would be long enough for a mental evaluation and medication for the offender. Too many innocent men and women have died terrible deaths or been severely injured as a result of stalkers gone wild, for the government not to do more about this growing problem.

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