Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Deal with Horrific Crimes Against Children

I hate to return to this unpleasant subject, but it’s important.

Yesterday, the killer of Jessica Lunsford was sentenced to death, and rightly so.

And it was done using existing laws.

So why the push to expand the death penalty to child abusers who don’t kill their victims? Why give child rapists that much more incentive to kill their victims?

That these efforts come under the name of "Jessica's Laws" when they weren't at all necessary to bring full justice to the killer of Jessica herself is surreal, to say the least.

I’ve mentioned before that this idiotic and, I think, often cynical political push is going full speed ahead here in Texas. Coverage of hearings on the relevant bill may be found here and here as well as here. I’m disgusted that Greg Abbott and David Dewhurst along with the Texas Republican Party, all of whom I once supported, are pushing this.

Let’s see. Push a bill that gives more incentive to kill children and actually makes it more difficult for DAs to prosecute child molesters. (For one thing, a 25 year minimum sentence discourages plea bargains in cases where the evidence is not air tight.) I can see only two reasons for such a bill: unreasoning witch hunting and politics, opportunistic politics of the worst sort.

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