How precious our little children are and looking into their sweet little faces, knowing we would do anything to protect their innocence. But once they learn to walk it is difficult to watch them every second of the day. Thus, they are vulnerable to people who prey on them, and, in the blink of an eye, they are gone, a parents’ worst fear.
There is a deterrent – Jessica’s Law, named after little Jessica Lunsford. She was 9 years old when she was abducted by a convicted sexual predator, and he kept her in the back of his trailer for a week. When he was through with her, he buried her alive. Because of the persistence of her father, Mark, legislation for Jessica’s Law was first passed in Florida. The law mandates a minimum sentence of 25 years, and possibly life, for a first-time child sexual offender. Recidivism is the additional problem for sexual pedophiles, who cannot leave little children alone sexually.
I attended the much-discussed Feb. 23 meeting of the League of Women Voters. At the meeting I submitted my question to Rep. Mike McLachlan, which was, “Would you support and vote for Jessica’s Law?” His statement was, “I am not familiar with that law.” He proudly stated that he is a lawyer and has been a prosecutor. The abduction of Jessica Lunsford and sad ending was covered on TV for at least a week, then the law passed in Florida, I was shocked when McLachlan said he had never heard about the law. How could he not be familiar with this crime and this law?
Jessica’s Law, House Bill 1149, was submitted to the Colorado House, but House Speaker Mark Ferrandino knowingly sent it to the unrelated Veterans Committee, where he knew the law would be killed without discussion. Forty-four states have passed a version of Jessica’s Law, but they didn’t have a political problem as did the speaker of the Colorado House. Shame on McLachlan for not standing up and protecting our children.