Jessica's Law or Jessica Lunsford Act


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Jessica’s Law or the Jessica Lunsford Act, was proposed as a reaction to the violent rape and death of a young Florida girl believed to be committed by her neighbor, John Cooey, a convicted sexual offender. The bill would close the holes currently found in Megan’s Law. Megan’s Law only requires sexual offenders to list their address in a public database; however, with as many as 10,000 unregistered sexual offenders in the United States, the Jessica Lunsford Act would require more rigorous tracking of all released sexual offenders.

If enacted, the Jessica Lunsford Act would require sexual offenders that are released on parole to be placed on a GPS global tracking system for life. The new law would also substantially improve the classification system for sexually violent offenders by requiring the term after one crime alone. Jessica’s law would increase mandatory sentences, close current loopholes, remove judicial discretion, and add the crime of burglary to the mandatory minimum sentencing.

Jessica’s law would also remove the use of so-called ‘good-time credits’ for violent sexual offenders thereby forcing offenders to serve a full 15-25 years before being considered for parole. The new legislation would also prohibit all sexual offenders from living within 2000 feet of a park or a school instead of the current law, which only prohibits some offenders from living within 1320 feet of a school. It also allows local governments to place more restrictions on living situations by adding museums and water parks to school zones. Finally, the law adds additional prison terms for those accused of using date rape or other controlled substances and increases parole terms and fines for the most heinous crimes.




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