Here in California, there is alot of attention being directed at the issue of child exploitation; specifically, Jessica's Law which would make the laws in California more strict towards those who choose to abuse children sexually. Check out the Current Law vs. Jessica's Law Fact Sheet on the website above for a good synopsis of what the new law will do to change existing laws already in place.
What surprises me is that some legislators are opposed to tougher laws against child molesters for varying reasons, none of which I think are valid:
1. It would cost too much administratively
Can anyone put a price on keeping children safe from sex offenders, most of whom are repeat offenders with a high likelihood of striking again?
2. It would force sex offenders to move, this is deemed "unfair" by some.
If you weigh the potential "inconvenience" of relocating to a neighborhood farther from schools and parks to the lifetime of damage that is inflicted on children by these crimes, I think it is more than reasonable. In my opinion, these people are lucky to be free at all and should be willing to put up with a little hardship in light of what they have done.
3. Combined with California's current "3 strikes" law, would put more "lifers" away, costing California tax payers more over time.
And? I pay taxes for alot of things I do not agree with, so paying to keep these people behind bars wouldn't bother me in the least.
These are just a few of the "reasons" cited by law makers as to why they think stricter legislation is wrong for California.
California law makers have attempted to pass alot of bills that would have made it harder for sex offenders to re-offend; disappointingly, alot of the measures failed by partisan votes of California's Democrat heavy legislature. The fact that our children's safety is being treated as a partisan issue is inexcusable. Californians for stricter laws are scrambling to get enough signatures to put this measure on November's ballot because attempts to pass it legislatively have failed.
It boggles me that this is even a debate. If an adult, male or female, chooses to abuse a minor sexually, they should pay the price. The popular viewpoint is that sex offenders can never be cured, while there are experts that say recidivism among sex offenders is similar or less than that of other types of crimes.
If you ask me, either way makes no difference because this crime is like no other in that it is sexual in nature and involves a child. One California legislator, Mark Leno, has suggested that the possession of child pornography be treated the same as drug possession, only possessing a certain amount should be considered a felony and should otherwise be treated as a misdemeanor. Again, this flies in the face of logic as a child was not directly harmed in the creation of a drug like meth or crack cocaine. In order to produce child pornography a child is damaged so these are not synonymous.
James Manning over at Peace On That will rib me for using this format, but I am interested to know how you all would approach this issue:
1. If your state doesn't already have strict laws against sex offenses, would you use your vote to support stricter legislation, no matter what the cost?
2. Should we be sympathetic to those involved with these types of crimes because they are "sick" and have difficulty controlling their urges?
3. Do crimes involving sex and/or children deserve to be treated differently legislatively than other felonies, like drug possession or assault?