BOSTON (CBS) – Everyone’s heard the old expression “actions speak louder than words.” The expression dates back at least 400 years, and was once used by Abraham Lincoln. And it has been one of our more enduring cliches because it cuts to the heart of a key truth about human behavior, that talk is cheap and doesn’t always correspond to reality.
We are reminded of that truism recently by the uproar over the decision to release convicted child rapist Wayne Chapman, imprisoned in the mid-1970s for attacks on two boys and convicted of four more rapes later on, not to mention his suspected involvement in a hundred or more cases for which he was never charged.
Until his arraignment Wednesday on new charges of lewd conduct in prison, Chapman was set to be released because two state-appointed psychologists examined him for about an hour and declared him too old and feeble to pose a risk of re-offending. According to the Boston Herald, one of the psychologists had made a similar declaration about a man in prison for attempted rape back in 2013, and three years later he was charged with raping a 79-year-old woman.
Let’s give these two psychologists the benefit of the doubt and say they acted in good faith here, and were somehow persuaded that this serial offender could be released without risk to the public. The new allegations suggest they were terribly wrong.
What words did they hear from this predatory monster that persuaded them otherwise? We don’t know because they refuse to say. Yet another example of actions speaking more loudly than any words could.