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  1. Generally, I agree with so many things Victoria has to say, but this is a tough one. How can one disagree with Jessica’s Law without appearing to support pedophilia? I disagree with both. Some tragic cases have been cited is support of Jessica’s Law. They are tragic and I would not want to make them seem less painful than they are. Nearly all of the cases cited should have sentences imposed that would be equal or greater than the 25 years this law would create; therefore in those cases, other than the emotional appeal they generate, are rather moot at defending it.

    First, we have reached a point in our society that I believe is rather scary and unhealthy. Although it sounds politically correct to say that healing begins with a conviction and even more so with a long time conviction, the reality is that such a statement tells more of the speaker than the offender. Take the recent case of the man sentenced in the killing of the 14 year old girl. The mother’s words were basically to the effect of, justice is done healing can begin. Well, if a different sentence was imposed or if he had been found not guilty, it would still have been justice. The mother’s healing must begin and continue regardless of the outcome of the court. Any thing else is revenge. Worse yet, what if the offender is never caught? Does this mean that healing cannot happen? When mental and emotional health is dependent upon some action completely outside the control of the person, then a very dangerous situation exists.

    In no way am I intending to say that no consequences should follow the conviction of a crime. Consequences should be targeted to the health of society (and the offender is a member of the society). One of the needs of the health of the society is the healing (without revenge) AND the ability of the offender to be a successful participant in the society.

    I may not have the best wording at trying to get what I am trying to say across, but there are radically different profiles of offenders and sexual offenders rarely change their MO. Stranger-to-Stranger and family members are significantly different types of offenders. Regarding the debate about whether there should be allowances for family members. Well, as citizens, one of our duties is to see to the well being of all members of our society. Since family member type crimes are easily profiled separation from familial type relationships breaks the cycle. And those offenders are KNOWN by family members. There ability to re-offend is nearly non-existent, if a conviction is made. Their lengthy incarceration does neither them nor society to benefit. What are the actual re-offense stats for like-crime recidivism? They are quite low. So low that we should be more concerned with the ones we don’t know about rather than the ones we do.

    Basically, to keep from going too long and speaking so much more being what I understand, there are different profiles and there are different re-offense rates, and since prison length is not proportionate to enabling people to functioning as a successful, contributing part of society, I believe that Jessica’s Law, while in the interest of protecting children, is not yet good law.

  2. People said the same about Measure 11, Kevin Mannix’s mandatory minimum sentences law. But Oregon voters passed it and it led to a 40% reduction in crime.

    I think the same thing would happen with this law.

  3. I heard a story over the weekend at a conference at church about a child molester being held accountable by a church. He could never be alone, had to undergo counseling, and obviously never be around children. This can only happen in a culture in which the guy wants to change. Most of these sickos don’t have the intestinal fortitude to do the work this would take. Before you anti religious folks dismiss this, this case and other cases are success stories. Meantime, back in the World, we need to crack down on these sickos so they can’t prey on our children with impunity. 25 years is a small price to pay for a child whose life has been forever altered in a most profound way by a sicko who gets his jollies from defiling children. Loving the lojack, too. Bring it.

  4. This makes me think of the recent Vermont case where the guy was initially sentenced to a few months for continually raping a little girl over a 4 year period. Even when his final sentence was made into 3 years, that is still LESS time in prison than he spent committing the crime.

    Whether or not Jessica’s Law is perfect isn’t the question. The question is: will a Jessica’s Law in Oregon be a better situation than we currently have? I think so. And if, in time, we find flaws in the laws, we can change them.

    Pass Jessica’s Law NOW!

  5. While I live in Vancouver, I agree that “Jessica’s Law” needs to be passed and put into effect as soon as possible. Oregon has two very distinct things against its passage – Kate Brown and Peter Courtney. These two blocked the measure from even being considered in the last legislature, even though both houses were ready to pass it and the governor(?) said he would sign it. But he also said he would not push the legislature to enact it. Brown and Courtney do not give one solitary damn about the kids in Oregon. If they did, they would have let the law be acted upon. I would hope that the voters of Oregon will remember this when the time comes for their reelection and kick them out on their sorry butts.

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