California Legislators Advance Tough Sex-Offender Measure


The proposed state law named for slain San Diego-area teenager Chelsea King, cracking down on sex offenders, passed the California Assembly yesterday but will face serious challenges in the Senate Public Safety Committee, which scrutinizes any attempt to lengthen prison sentences for an already-overcrowded system, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Among the questions: how can costs be contained, are the stiffer penalties justifiable, should its focus be broadened, and how will already overworked parole agents be able to prevent freed child-sex predators from loitering in still loosely defined parks?Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, the sponsor, is considering amendments or introducing a new measure that would implement key recommendations advanced by the state Sex Offender Management Board, which proposed to tailor treatment and punishment to better fit the severity of the crimes, as well as using better tests to measure the risk of repeat offenses. Chelsea's Law would require a “one-strike” life sentence without parole in some sex crimes against children. It would double some sentences, extend the time spent on parole for some offenses and prevent predators on parole from entering parks where children are present without prior permission of authorities.

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