TEXAS HOUSE APPROVES DEATH PENALTY FOR HARDCORE REPEAT OFFENDERS
March 5, 2007: approved byÂ the state House of Representatives, Texas is trying to pass a Bill to harshly prosecute child abusers by creating a new category of crime: continual sexual abuse of a young child or children. The crime would carry a minimum of 25 years to life in prison and possibly the death penalty for a second offense. The bill is named Jessica's Law after Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl who was abducted and killed.
The Law would make Texas the sixth State to allow some child sex offenders to be sentenced to death, although some legal experts question whether it is constitutional to use the death penalty in cases where the victim did not die.
Victim advocatesÂ warn that long minimum sentences could make it harder for prosecutors to get victims to cooperate if the perpetrator is a family member as victims may be more reluctant to report abuses.Â (Sources: Associated Press, 06/03/2007)