Bill proposed to get tough on sex offenders

April 12, 2010 5:43:55 PM PDT
The parents of a murdered California teenager are fighting to send more child molesters to prison for life. The new bill is named after Chelsea King who was 17 when San Diego police say she was killed by a man who had previously been convicted of child molestation.

We already have Megan's Law and Jessica's Law in place, both created to crack down on sex offenders, but Chelsea's tragedy is forcing a second look at whether the laws are tough enough.

"We're being led by her invincible spirit," says Kelly King, Chelsea's mother.

Chelsea's parents have made it their mission to make sure no other California child is victimized by a molester. They want the worst of the worst locked up forever.

"Life without the possibility of parole for a violent sexual predator is needed. These offenders cannot be rehabilitated. They do not deserve a second chance," says Brent King, Chelsea's father.

In a proposal named after their daughter, Chelsea's Law includes: a one-strike provision, life without parole for forcible sex crimes against children, lifetime parole for the most violent sex offenders who do get out -- including GPS monitoring -- and the establishment of parks as safe zones, where sex offenders may not go without prior permission from authorities.

"The primary responsibility of government is public safety. It's why it exists, to protect the innocent, to protect the vulnerable, to protect our children and we have to do a better job," says Assm. Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego.

Chelsea's accused killer and rapist, John Gardner, raised questions over how the criminal justice system failed. He had served time for molesting a 13-year-old and was discharged from parole. Had this proposed law been in place, Gardner would have been a one-striker after his first crime and been in prison for life, perhaps never crossing paths with Chelsea.

"My personal promise to all the children, all the mothers, and all the fathers, is that I will do all I can to protect other daughters and sons," says Kelly.

The California Attorneys for Criminal Justice opposes this bill. It says there's no proof that longer sentences and parole terms are effective. The group also says the state cannot afford these stricter guidelines under these tough budgetary times.


Load Comments