Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush Signs Lunsford Act

  1. Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush Signs Lunsford Act

    Monday, May 02, 2005

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -With the father of a slain 9-year-old looking on, Gov. Jeb Bush (search) signed legislation Monday that strengthens punishment and monitoring of child sex abusers.

    The Jessica Lunsford Act (search) requires those who prey on children under 12 to be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison and, if they get out, to be tracked for life.

    The bill was quickly drafted after March, and sped through the legislative process, pushed by outraged lawmakers.

    Bush said Florida's sex offender laws are already tough, and "this bill will make our laws even tougher. It think it is right and just."

    Bush hugged Mark Lunsford (search) after signing the bill, telling him he was proud of his leadership in pushing for the measure so soon after his daughter's death.

    Lunsford, wearing a tie with pictures of his daughter, said he has been working so furiously to channel his anger into the legislation he hasn't yet really grieved.

    "I'm still lost, I haven't really dealt with it yet," Lunsford said after Bush signed the bill. He called the tie his "hug" from Jessica. "I'm still minus my kiss, but that's my hug."

    Lunsford has been at the Capitol often in the last month urging legislators to crack down on predators.

    It passed both the Senate and House unanimously and was sent to Bush on April 22, just over a month after the girl's body was found March 19. She had vanished from her home in Homosassa the previous month.

    John E. Couey, a convicted sex offender who was living near Jessica, is charged with her kidnapping her from her bedroom and murdering her. Detectives say he confessed.

    The Legislature passed the bill days after another sex offender was charged in the abduction and murder of 13-year-old Sarah Lunde (search) of Ruskin. David Onstott allegedly told police he choked Sarah and dumped her body in a pond on April 10. Onstott was convicted of a sex crime in 1995.

    The bill would require 25-year minimum prison terms for people convicted of certain sex crimes against children and lifetime tracking by global positioning satellite once they're outside of prison.

    The bill also requires more monitoring of people convicted of molesting older children.

    The new requirement only affects people convicted in the future, but it also has a provision that provides for GPS tracking of sex offenders who violate probation.

    Advocates for the satellite monitoring say that in addition to warning authorities when a sex offender is someplace he shouldn't be-such as near a school-it also will allow for quick pinpointing of suspects if a child is abducted.

    The new law also could open the door to the death penalty for more murderers, saying someone's status as sexual predator can be considered as an aggravating when judges and juries weigh capital punishment.
    http://www.foxnews.com/printer_frien...155208,00.html
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Life sentence or death penalty would be more suitable, but this IS a start.
  4. by   hollyster
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Life sentence or death penalty would be more suitable, but this IS a start.
    I agree with you Marie. I also think castration along with mandatory life in prison is the the least sentence they should given. Their victims suffer for the rest of their lives why shouldn't the perpetrator?
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    I am for a life sentence because a convicted child molester should NEVER be around children again.
    That is what I think.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Thank God . . . . . someone needs to start the ball rolling towards some common sense.

    steph
  7. by   BeachNurse
    What are the laws in the other states? Just curious if anyone knows. I am sure child molestation is happening all over the country.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Here, where we seem to have living among decent society, more pedophiles, rapists and molesters than teeth, I would have to say, our laws are very lame. I am no fan of Bush, but this IS a real move in the right direction. I live in WA State. I would not complain if even more strict laws than this one were passed here. I had a class 3 (VERY high risk to re-offend) living down the street from me a few years ago-----you really NEVER know who is living among you that is capable of such monstrosities. This apartment complex, even though very nice, clean, and expensive, was full of them, I later learned. I was beyond angry. That they should live near any of us sickens me. :angryfire
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on May 3, '05
  9. by   Blackcat99
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Life sentence or death penalty would be more suitable, but this IS a start.
    Yes MarieLPN your'e absolutely right. :hatparty:
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I like the idea of castration myself. I know, I am a barbarian.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I like the idea of castration myself. I know, I am a barbarian.

    Actually, as much fun as that sounds Deb . .. . it doesn't stop the pedophiles from thinking according to a physican friend of mine. They can still hurt kids.

    The truth is they need to be locked up forever.

    Beachnurse - in CA, I've recently learned that when a child molester serves his/her probation and is not on parole anymore, they are free to live near and with children. As with other criminals, they have served their time and are free. To do what they will. Sad.

    That is what we need to change. Child molestating is a special category that is resistent to rehabilitation.

    And this bill is a good start.

    steph
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    They should be locked up. But where? there is such overcrowding as it is......

    I am for shipping them someplace FAR away myself. I hate the burden these individuals place on society in so many ways.....financial, emotional, etc. I would rather none ever see the light of day as long as they live.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    They should be locked up. But where? there is such overcrowding as it is......

    I am for shipping them someplace FAR away myself. I hate the burden these individuals place on society in so many ways.....financial, emotional, etc. I would rather none ever see the light of day as long as they live.
    Me too. :angryfire

    steph
  14. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from stevielynn
    Actually, as much fun as that sounds Deb . .. . it doesn't stop the pedophiles from thinking according to a physican friend of mine. They can still hurt kids.
    This is true.

    Castration has little to do with sexual urges and drive. Eunuchs also wish and have desires to have sex. The problem is in the mind, not in the testicles.

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