State News

Gov. Easley signs 'Jessica's Law'

Posted July 28, 2008

— Sex offenders who commit certain crimes against children will face at least 25 years in prison under a new North Carolina law.

Gov. Mike Easley on Monday signed into law a measure which raises the penalties for adult offenders who commit certain sex crimes against children - including rape. The new law requires judges to sentence child sex offenders to a minimum 25 years in prison. Offenders who are released will be monitored by satellite for life.

The measure, which is known as Jessica's Law, is named after former Gaston County resident Jessica Lunsford. In 2005, the 9-year-old was kidnapped, raped and buried alive by a convicted sex offender in Florida.

Jessica's father, Mark Lunsford, attended the bill signing ceremony which was held in the county seat of Gastonia.

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  • amlebede Jul 29, 2008

    Child rape is often reduced to indecent liberties with a child, an offense often not punishable by any prison time. I do not think harsher punishments for child rape would change anything. The courts are too overfilled to make a difference.

  • chfdcpt Jul 29, 2008

    If history repeats itself, this is another knee jerk reactionary law that will not be enforced. A lot of our so called "minimum sentences" are not followed at all, not since the structured sentencing was passed some time ago.

  • koolady Jul 28, 2008

    It is time to really protect the innocent children from perverts. This is good news!

  • Sweet Butterfly Kisses Jul 28, 2008

    Mike, Job Well Done! *Love you Jesse*

  • AX Jul 28, 2008

    Im sure this will also allow parents to monitor their children LESS when theyre online.

  • AX Jul 28, 2008

    What a waste of money for tax payers. Who pays to monitor someone for life? Im sure someone went to bed with the company who manufactures the device.

  • paddie Jul 28, 2008

    Good job!

  • For the U.S.A. Jul 28, 2008

    It's about time they so something for the children!! Hopefully, no Lawyer will make sure no criminal goes free on this one!

  • JoeFreedom Jul 28, 2008

    Wonderful news.

  • Chimi Jul 28, 2008

    This is the best news I've heard all day.