Dewhurst Wants Texas to Get Tough on Child Molesters - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

02.14.07

Dewhurst Wants Texas to Get Tough on Child Molesters

States with some form of Jessica's law in blue, states working on passing Jessica's law in green States with some form of Jessica's law in blue, states working on passing Jessica's law in green
Jessica Lunsford Jessica Lunsford

Commit one sex offense in Texas...you're looking at a minimum of 25 years in prison... Become a repeat offender...you may be looking at the death penalty. 

That is...if Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst gets his way.
  

The get-tough measure to punish sex offenders who abuse children was filed today in Austin. 
     

The measure, called Jessica's Law would create:

  • Mandatory 25 year to life sentences for a first-time violent sexual offense against a child under age 14
  • Lifetime GPS monitoring for child sex offenders
  • Death penalty sentence for a second sexually violent offense against a child under age 14
  • Doubling the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children from 10 to 20 years
  • Tougher penalties for those who harbor a sex offender who is in violation of registration requirements
  • Senator Bob Deuell of Greenville sponsored the bill that's raised concerns among prosecutors and victims rights groups.
      

    They worry the tougher measures could make it harder to get convictions in cases that are already difficult to prosecute -- and could lead to even more violence against children.
      

    Governor Rick Perry has given the bill emergency status for the session.
      

    'Jessica's Law' is named for Jessica Lunsford,  a nine-year old Florida child who was murdered in 2005 by a registered sex offender who lived near her home.

    The law, or some form of the law has already been passed in 26 states. (see map)

    Related Stories:

    Child Molestors
    It's a big problem across the country sex offenders becoming re-peat offenders. Under a bill approved this week by the Oklahoma Senate, those re-offenders could face the death penalty. Oklahoma has already passed "Jessica's Law" that requires lifetime monitoring of repeat sex offenders. House...
    Last Modified 03/13/2006 03:53:38 PM

    More on the Web:

    Growing Concern Over Unintended Consequences of Jessica's Law

     

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