One Strike and You’re Out: Is Redemption Possible for Luke Heimlich?

By DAVID BOOTH . . . Luke Heimlich made headlines this week after a missed registration deadline presented the Oregonian with an opportunity to revisit his past misdeed. Until his past was dredged up, Luke, a rising college baseball player, was slated to be a first day pick for the major league amateur draft. Predictably, there was immediate backlash with people crucifying Luke for his supposed duplicity and calling for more punishment. Then on Friday, Luke released a statement in which he excused himself from playing in the super regionals. The extremely harsh public reaction to Luke’s criminal history merely highlights our distorted view of crime and punishment today, but to what end?

As a teenager, Luke plead guilty for inappropriately touching a 6-year-old he knew. He was sentenced to 40 weeks in a juvenile detention facility, but the sentence was dropped after Luke completed both sex offender treatment and two years of probation. In a statement released Friday, Luke remarked he was “grateful” for the counseling he received.

We ought to accept Luke’s responsibility and calm down. This isn’t an “either.. or” situation. The criminal legal system has a responsibility to both parties. We can be deeply troubled by the harm caused to the 6-year-old, and we shouldn’t minimize the impact of the harm. We should also agree Luke met his legal and moral obligations for his past transgression.

As Oregon State President Ed Ray reiterated, “this case involves a criminal matter that was previously addressed by the judicial system in the state of Washington.” Luke admitted to and took responsibility for his actions. What we shouldn’t agree to is Luke’s endless public flogging.

Please read the remainder of David’s post here.

David Booth is Executive Director of the Sex Law and Policy Center.

One thought on “One Strike and You’re Out: Is Redemption Possible for Luke Heimlich?

  • July 18, 2021 at 3:19 pm
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    It is true that Luke nor any other sex offender should continually be flogged publicly or privately… The justice system doesn’t keep tabs on convicted and released thieves, robbers, murderers nor on the predatory lawyers who take their clients money and does not provide a proper defense. Nor is there any punishment to prosecutors who deliberately withhold fact that could free or minimum the charges and sentencing of a defendant. How many people in our legal system from the judges to clerks commit the say offenses as the persons they are so determined to punish? Either they have been caught and a fellow law enforcer let’s off the hook or they have not been caught yet. Does punishment apply them? Who is policing the police and policing the justice system? When someone is sent to prison its not just that person, many people connected to them are also effected, many lives are destroyed, permanently altered. And by God’s grace if someone makes it out of prison must they have society further scrutinize their private lives? It’s crazy how it is a intentional effort to keep an offender down thwarting every opportunity creating recidivism just to keep the money racketeering flowing. Since we are a society of one effects all than every citizen should be flagged since each and every HUMAN is capable of the same actions depending on the circumstances. It’s crazy how natural human being behavior is so severely punished by another human that could possibly do the same thing or has already done it but just hasn’t gotten caught.

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