Criminal Law, New York State
Assault on Children — Of all the situations I have had the displeasure of being made aware of, this is the most disturbing. It became even more disturbing when the defendant would have been found to have had prior arrests and even jail sentences for this crime, yet, were released in a very short time. If you look further into the criminal careers of paedophiles, some will end up murdering their tiny victim. They may not start out that way, but after repeated jail sentences and arrests, they become murderers as well.
After doing research on the subject, I came to find that this crime against children isn’t taken as seriously as drinking and driving is. This finding, using the jail or prison sentences as evidence, disturbed me and my sense of right and wrong to the core. When I picked up a newspaper or read the local news on the internet and see that a fatal DWI (Driving while intoxicated) got the driver LIFE in prison, I would think, a life for a life. Read further down the page, and see that a paedophile who murdered his victim got 20 (twenty years) to life. Why is this innocent child’s life worth so much less, legally, than the life of the innocent passenger or another driver? Life without parole should be mandatory for murders such as these, but for some oddity, the law hasn’t been updated to hold the child’s life with that much regard. To criticise law is not my intention. There have been many changes to the laws for children, for example, one in Florida (New York, should take notice) “Jessica’s Law”.
Jessica’s Law is the informal name given to a 2005 Florida law, as well as laws in several other states, designed to punish sex offenders and reduce their ability to re-offend. A version of Jessica’s Law, known as the Jessica Lunsford Act, was introduced at the federal level in 2005 but was never enacted into law by Congress. The name is also used by the media to designate all legislation and potential legislation in other states modelled after the Florida law. Forty-two states have introduced such legislation since Florida’s law was passed.
The law is named after Jessica Lunsford, a young Florida girl who was raped and murdered in February 2005 by John Couey, a previously convicted sex offender. Public outrage over this case spurred Florida officials to introduce this legislation. Among the key provisions of the law are a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring of adults convicted of lewd or lascivious acts against a victim less than 12 years old. In Florida, sexual battery or rape of a child less than twelve years old is punishable only by life imprisonment with no chance of parole. Her story is below;
Jessica Marie Lunsford (October 6, 1995 – February 27, 2005) was a nine-year-old girl who was abducted from her home in Homosassa, Florida in the early morning of February 24, 2005. Believed held captive over the weekend, she was raped and later murdered by 47-year-old John Couey who was living nearby. The media covered the investigation and trial of her killer extensively. On August 24,
I have limited this to crimes that have taken place in the USA because I am more familiar with these crimes and of the sentences received. Though, I did recently hear on the news here that a father, who beat up the man who molested his son received more jail time than the offender. There is work to be done, and this is one area of the law that desperately needs an overhaul.
Thank you for reading my blog on this matter, and if you have any comments or suggestion, please feel free to offer them to me.