Soon after Jessica Lunsford’s father stood on the capitol steps and begged Florida lawmakers to get tough with sex offenders, the state House unanimously passed legislation requiring life in prison for child molesters, the St. Petersburg Times reports. Legislators said they wished they could do more than the tough measures included in the Jessica Lunsford Act, named after the 9-year-old girl who was abducted and killed in February in a case that drew national attention. The House acted two days after another sex offender was charged in the abduction and murder of 13-year-old Sarah Lunde.
Under the bill, anyone convicted of molesting a child under 12 would face a minimum-mandatory 25-year prison sentence. If the offender is released, he or she would be subjected to electronic monitoring for life. The Senate will debate similar legislation today. One representative wanted to explore surgically implanting sex offenders with GPS monitors. Another favored chemical castration for certain offenders. “We need to get moving on this issue as soon as possible,” said House Speaker Allan Bense. “There’s some wackos out there.”