Child Predators Often Take Years to Reform - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/15/06 - Lufkin

Child Predators Often Take Years to Reform

by Ramonica R. Jones

A child murder case in Florida is putting more attention on pedophiles and the possiblity of reforming their behavior.

Convicted child murderer and rapist, Joseph Smith, cried Tuesday in court when he asked the judge to spare his life. He kidnapped and killed an 11-year-old girl two years ago.

Local counselors said most criminals are remorseful once they are caught, but real reform takes years.

Renee Bumpus, licensed professional counselor, said, "Socially, they don't have the skills to engage in a challenging relationship where they face the threat of rejection. They are able to manipulate and able to flim-flam children into believing that they're better than what they truly are and it's easier to fool a child."

Smith will learn his fate next month. The jury at his sentencing hearing recommended the death penalty.

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