State News

Gov. Easley to sign Jessica's Law

Posted July 28, 2008

— North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley is scheduled to sign into law a measure which sets minimum prison sentences for some child sex offenders.

Easley will approve the legislation, known as Jessica's Law, Monday in Gastonia. The plan is named after former Gaston County resident Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and buried alive by a convicted sex offender in Florida in 2005.

The governor will be joined by Jessica's father, Mark Lunsford, who asked North Carolina lawmakers to approve the legislation last year.

Jessica's Law requires adult offenders who commit certain sex crimes against children under the age of 13 to be sent to prison for at least 25 years. Offenders who are released would be monitored by a Global Positioning System satellite for life. They also would be restricted from entering some areas where children congregate, such as children's museums, playgrounds and child care centers. Sex offenders also would be barred from entering school grounds without written permission from a superintendent.

The plan creates new crimes for people who commit rape or other sexual offenses against a child younger than 13. It also boosts the penalties for several sex-related offenses involving children, including promoting prostitution of a minor and sexual exploitation.

In the wake of Lunsford's death, several states have ratcheted up penalties for child sex offenders.


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  • familyfour Jul 28, 2008

    They shouldn't have wasted our money voting on that - it should be the CHAIR.

    Really, I am glad the law is getting passed, but it should be the CHAIR.

  • Adelinthe Jul 28, 2008

    colliedave - "Verla Insko State Representative NC House District 56 Representing Orange County Chapel Hill/Carrboro Sixth Term - Wonder why she voted "no"?

    It's shocking that any intelligent individual would vote negatively on this bill, isn't it. But then the keyword to my statement was "intelligent." But I'd sure like to hear her quizzed by the media regarding her negative vote.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Jul 28, 2008

    I am absolutely astounded that, in the great enlightened State of North Carolina, it has taken this long to get this valid bill signed.

    And while we've been waiting, how many little children were put at risk.


    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • dplowman Jul 28, 2008

    I understand the law but if somebody is evil enough to do what was done to her what will another law prevent?
    The only thing it will do is what it has done which is make people feel better.

  • duster 340 Jul 28, 2008

    Why did this take so long ???

  • copforlife Jul 28, 2008

    This story needs to be under NEWS section of the website not

  • Bing Used Jul 28, 2008

    dplowman, Jessica's law would be a harser sentence for someone molesting a child under the age of 13, with the hopes of preventing what happened to Jessica from happening to others.

    Did you know that the man that killed her was a registered offender, not living at his last registered address. ANd that he kept the 9 year old little girl in the closet, alive for 3 days and she was alive in the closet when the police went there looking for him? And she was alive when he tied her up and put the plastic bags over her head.

  • bs101fly Jul 28, 2008

    great, NOW can he leave office??

  • irishale Jul 28, 2008

    Ok, WHO are you, and what did you do with our 'governor'???!? :)

  • Doctor Dataclerk Jul 28, 2008

    I don't know what took so long, I guess the lights and cameras weren't ready for the signing before.