Earlier this week, Dems in the House passed their version of Jessica’s Law. It’s a law that we derided as not being tough enough, as being gutted by liberals looking to cover their tails in light of the pummeling they received last year for voting down Jessica’s Law. Here’s what we said two weeks ago:
The key features of Jessica’s Law are the tough minimum sentencing requirements and lifetime probation for sexual predators. Foote’s bill offers a tiered system of sentencing, which drops mandatory sentencing down to as little as 10 years. From the bill: at least 10-16 years and up to a maximum of natural life for a class 4 felony; at least 18-32 years and up to a maximum of natural life for a class 3 felony; and at least 24-48 years and up to a maximum of natural life for a class 2 felony.
H.B. 1260 also lacks sex offender registration and reporting requirements, compared to H.B. 1264, which requires that if paroled, offenders must remain on parole for the remainder of their natural life.
We stand by our assertion that this version of Jessica’s Law lacks teeth. That said, Coloradans owe Rep. Szabo a pat on the back for shaming Dems’ into toughening penalties for sexual predators. It should be noted that nobody should have to force anyone’s hands on toughening laws that deal with punishing sexual predators (it should be a no-brainer, Democrats). It is half a loaf, to be sure, but when it comes to the lofty objective of protecting kids from sexual predators, any progress should be celebrated.
And to all of our friends at ColoradoPols and The Denver Post who have so vigorously tried to white wash the issue for years, we say – thank God the Democrats listen to their pollsters and not you. The bill now heads to the Colorado state Senate.