Time to Finish the Job
Senator Nancy Jacobs and Delegate Joe Minnick have filed bills that, if enacted would eliminate diminution credits for child sex offenders. Jacobs bill SB5 and Minnick’s bill HB 34 have distinct differences. Minnick’s bill also calls for raising the mandatory minimum sentence for first degree rape and first degree sexual offense against a child under 13. Between the two bills there is plenty to strengthen our child sex offender laws.
However, these bills will face the same opposition as Jessica’s Law–unscrupulous trial lawyers in the General Assembly who value billable hours and the rights of perverts over strong criminal justice laws. We can only hope that Brian Frosh, chair of Senate Judicial Proceedings committee, won’t make proponents of the bill wait five hours to testify as he did last year to those who came to testify on behalf of Jessica’s Law.
UPDATE: I must also give credit to Delegate John A. Olszewski, Jr. for HB 73, which is similar to SB5, and to Delegate Donna Stiffler for HB60, which strengthens the violations for possessing child pornography. I came across these in a haphazard search of the GA’s website. The full House and Senate synopses of filed bills are not available, less than a day before the start of the legislative session.