Skip to comments.Vigil Held for Sex Offender Who Died of Hypothermia
Posted on 03/23/2009 12:59:06 PM PDT by MaryFromMichigan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A candlelight vigil was held Saturday night to mourn the death of Thomas Pauli.
Authorities say he died of hypothermia in January after two downtown shelters wouldn't let him inside. The shelters say they were just abiding by the law.
Pauli's past criminal record kept him out, the 52 year old man was a sex offender.
"The law states they can't reside within 1000 feet of a school," said Rev. Ralph Collins of Mel Trotter Ministries.
Marge Palmerlee of Degage Ministries says it's the wording she'd like to see changed.
"Staying at a mission is not actually residing, it's just staying overnight," said Palmerlee.
Pauli wasn't turned away from Mel Trotter Ministries that night but Reverend Collins knows the law well.
"If they're caught they're arrested," said Rev. Collins.
Several downtown shelters are within 1000 feet of a school and legally they're forced to turn sex offenders away.
"They're trying to have safety for kids and I understand that, but the way it is now it's there has to be a better option," said Palmerlee.
A hundred people gathered Saturday night night to silently remember Thomas Pauli. Silently reminding people that even though it's warmer out now there's bound to be a similar situation next winter.
The group walked five blocks without saying a word. Holding signs and candles to remember a man they say shouldn't have died that cold January night.
"Just a quiet, respectful way of remembering his life and having the spotlight on a situation a lot of people tend to forget about," said Palmerlee.
Saturday nights vigil ended in the 600 block of Division, it's where Pauli's body was found back in January.
Did the heat from the candles revive him?
Oh man, I laughed. I would love to read a little about the dude’s sex crimes.
He’ll warm up plenty when he reaches his final destination.
Then him freezing to death had NOTHING to do with his "being turned away" from shelters, did it?
This story makes no sense. Either he was turned away or he wasn't!
Candlelight vigil usually means this to me: mobs of insane people running amok and playing with matches.
Sometimes, unintended results are a good thing, but we shouldn’t let this success go to our heads.
I can’t whip up sympathy for the man, but I thought it was an interesting story.
I totally agree...Execute them?
yes--the there are two additional options... he stays locked up for life for his crimes, or he receives the death penalty for his crimes... sex offenders are right up there with murderers...
actions have consequences. Liberals would like to change that. Unfortunately, all we get when liberals change that are different headlines.
“Sex offender caught molesting child after being allowed to stay in shelter” comes to mind.
POS will thaw fast where he’s going. Good riddance.
Pauli was convicted in 1991 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child under the age of 13 in Grand Traverse County.
“.....A hundred people gathered together Saturday night to hold a vigil....”
And where were they when he needed a warm place to stay? Oh, I know, it’s not their problem, it is a problem government must address.
That’s right. It is society’s fault that the child rapist froze to death. The implication is that is society’s fault for convicting him of rape and sending him to prison. In fact, society’s mistake was in releasing him.
you are correct.
if he is released... then he is no longer a danger to society, right? he’s paid his due, right?
if that is the case... then why hound him for the rest of his life?
either keep him in prison or forget about him once he leaves.
i wonder where this will lead. tracking ex-cons and dictating where they can work and live. where does it end? speeding tickets? (after all... most accidents start with speeding) it all seems like another mechanism to get the sheep use to more controls and oversight
Maybe these vigilers could put their names on a list of persons willing to take in someone like Pauli.
I like the way you think!
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