The article above also has a video of the senate votes.
By Michael Gardner
SACRAMENTO — The state Senate on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve Chelsea’s Law, a measure aimed at strengthening penalties and oversight for sex offenders.
The vote sends the bill to the Assembly for approval of amendments — a perfunctory stop before going to the governor. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed to sign the bill.
The measure is named after 17-year-old Poway teenager Chelsea King, who was raped and murdered earlier this year by a registered sex offender.
Her parents, Kelly and Brent King, joined with Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, to push the measure that targets the most serious sex offenders.
Chelsea’s Law will go into effect immediately after the governor attaches his signature, putting into place extended prison sentences, tougher parole conditions and targeted treatment.
Convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III on April 16 confessed to Chelsea’s slaying. He also admitted to raping and murdering Amber Dubois, 14, of Escondido in 2009. He was sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Assembly Bill 1844 (PDF) will:
- Impose a life sentence without the possibility of parole for those convicted of a violent sexual crime against a child under the age of 14.
- Impose a sentence of 25-years-to-life for other forcible sex crimes, depending on the circumstances.
- Require habitual sex offenders to be tracked with a GPS for life.
- Ban sex offenders on parole from public parks. The ban will be lifted once they are released from parole.
- Implement a “containment model” strategy that involves more costly treatment, intensive monitoring, and polygraph tests to reduce recidivism.