Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The ‘Jessica Lunsford Act' becomes law

Jeb signed the Jessica Lunsford Act into law yesterday, making Florida's law dealing with sexual offenders / sexual predators -- which had been described by some as already among the "sternest" in the country -- even stronger.

Among the changes that become effective September 1:

- Establishment a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life behind bars for people convicted of certain sex crimes against children 11 and younger, with lifetime tracking by GPS after they are freed.

- Mandate lifetime GPS tracking of those offenders previously released who violate the terms of their probation.

- Criminalize the act of harboring a sex offender without notifying law enforcement.

- Allow judges and juries to consider someone's sexual predator status as an aggravating factor in death penalty cases.
Interviewed after the signing which he attended, Mark, Jessica Lunsford's father, said the state legislature and the governor had done everything he'd asked them to and did it quickly.

"I couldn't be happier . . . ," he began. And then he stopped. "Yes I could," he continued obviously thinking about the loss of his daughter, "but I know it's not going to happen."

Several states are now working on similar laws, and Federal legislation that will also be called "The Jessica Lunsford Act" has been introduced in Congress.


Blogger Mark said...

I don't see a downside......

9:17 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

One of the very few times I find myself approving of legislation that was rushed through in response to a PR nightmare - because, for once, this was a real, on-going problem, and the legislation actually addresses the problem, instead of being about appearances.

Good for Florida. And good for Florida's children.

10:14 AM  

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