Washington State Republicans are calling for a special session of the state legislature this fall to pass tougher sex-offender laws after the abduction and slaying of a 12-year-old Tacoma girl, Zina Linnik, the Seattle Times reports. “We tend to have these terrible tragedies occur and then they go off [the] front page and we don’t take the steps that are necessary to do what we can to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Rep. Skip Priest said yesterday. It’s up to Democrats, who control the House, Senate and Governor’s Office, to decide whether to hold a special session.
Gov. Christine Gregoire left the door open to a possible special session. The governor asked Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge to chair a sex-offender work group to review the Linnik case and see whether there are additional steps the legislature should consider taking. Priest says a special session is needed to come up with better ways to deal with offenders such as Terapon Adhahn, 42, who has been charged in Linnik’s abduction and death. Legislation being considered by Republicans includes requiring some offenders to wear a Global Positioning System locater and imposing a one-year jail sentence for sex offenders who fail to register. Democrats say they’ve passed some of the toughest sex-offender laws in the nation.