Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FL - Lawmakers file sex predator legislation

When will "tough" be "tough" enough?
Original Article


By Sally Kestin and Dana Williams

Florida senators filed four bills Tuesday cracking down on sex predators in what they described as an aggressive, bipartisan effort to make Florida "the most unfriendly place in America for sexually violent criminals."

The legislation increases prison sentences and probation terms for certain sex offenses. It also changes the rules under which sex offenders can be confined after their criminal sentences end, and requires stricter monitoring of offenders and predators in the community.

Lawmakers began working on the legislation after a Sun Sentinel investigation in August revealed that nearly 600 sex offenders committed new sex crimes after being considered under Florida's predator law and set free. The law allows the state to keep predators locked up after their prison sentences end if prosecutors can prove they are likely to attack again.

"When confronted with clear evidence that current laws and administrative systems are not working well enough, the leaders of our Senate committees ... are proposing swift and comprehensive action," said Senate President Don Gaetz.

He called the bills "a centerpiece of our joint House and Senate agenda'' that is expected to pass in the early days of the legislative session that starts in March.

The bills would:
  • Add new felony sex offenses that require a person to register as a sexual predator or sexual offender.
  • Require registered sex offenders to report more information, including internet screen names, professional licenses, volunteer work and immigration status.
  • Punish offenders who fail to report certain registration information or who knowingly provide false information.
  • Increase length of sentences for certain crimes involving adults attacking children.
  • Require the Department of Children & Families to train members of the team that recommend offenders for continued confinement.
  • Add a prosecutor, law enforcement officer and victim advocate to serve as advisors on the team. Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Hollywood Democrat, said the bill "retools the way the state identifies sexually violent predators to give a louder voice to victims and law enforcement."

Too many repeat sex offenders have slipped through, lawmakers found after holding a series of hearings in the fall. One of them, _____, is awaiting trial for abucting, raping and strangling an 8-year-old Jacksonville girl.

"There is clear evidence the laws we have on the books are not working well enough," said Sen. Chris Smith, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat. He added that the legislation would "deliver some reassurances to parents that our communities and neighborhoods would be safer."

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Mark said...

"There is clear evidence the laws we have on the books are not working well enough," said Sen. Chris Smith." Not working??? Here we go once again. There is not one law, state or federal, that stops any crime(s) that will be committed - none. And for me, I can see all the back slapping going in Florida's halls of legislation. It is always "AFTER-THE-FACT" prosecutions that penal laws of any kind work as these draconian enactments will show. Lock em up, and lock em up longer. This article typifies the the fact that the state cannot control ANY behavior when a person sets themselves in motion. There is not one legislator anywhere, that wants to deal with PREVENTION - you know before it may happen.

Mark said...

"So why are all the media outfits showing the
murdered sex offenders mug shot and not the murderers? Are they
attempting to justify murder or something?" The tag "SEX OFFENDER" garners all kinds of emotions - so why not use it? And, you are probably correct. The media is sending a message!!!

Sex Offender Issues said...


NJ45143112 said...

This is particularly disgusting in light of the article I read yesterday saying that the DOJ is concerned about the overcrowding of the prison system...


"Act and React" are the only things that these people know...
"Proactive and Prevention" mean absolutely nothing except where it denies a persons' right to live...

The Nazis thought there were doing the right thing too...