(Annapolis, MD June 12, 2006) Delegate Anthony O'Donnell (District 29C) and Senator Nancy Jacobs (District 34) will submit Jessica's Law today for introduction during the upcoming special session. Jessica's Law is named for Jessica Lunsford, a 9 year old Florida girl who was brutally raped and killed by a registered sex offender in 2005. The legislation would create a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole for anyone convicted of a first or second degree sexual offense against a child under the age of 13.
Maryland currently has almost 4400 registered sexual offenders, 3136 of whom are classified as child sexual offenders.
According to Delegate O'Donnell, "this bill was introduced during the 2006 legislative session and it failed because of backroom politics. The numbers of sexual offenders are increasing as the General Assembly fails to protect our children. This needs to stop now. We have a chance to protect Maryland's children during this special session, and it would be irresponsible of us not to take it."
"Senate President Mike Miller says he will back a sexual offender bill. With this bill, we will see how serious he is about that promise," said Senator Jacobs. "Will he back a feel-good bill that has no substance, or support a bill that actually makes a difference?"
This legislation has the support of Stop Child Predators and Jessica's Law for Maryland. Stop Child Predators is a national advocacy organization for victims of sexual abuse and the prevention of future crimes against children. Jessica's Law for Maryland is a grassroots campaign to support tougher child predator legislation.
Stop Child Predators' Website