This is a reprint of a letter from State Representative John Atkins (D-41st) sent to Judson Bennett. Rep. Atkins proposes making Delaware the toughest state on sexual offenders. This is reprinted as it was received.
Proposed Legislation for Sexual Offenders
a.. Recently, there has been a lot in the news about child sex offenders and their victims.
a.. Dr. Earl Bradley at BayBees in Lewes may have molested up to 100 children in a 10 year period.
b.. Dover sex offender charged with molesting a 7 year old.
c.. Sarah Foxwell’s body was found Christmas Day not far from the Delaware border.
b.. These stories are very tragic, and as a State Representative, I want to ensure that all children in Delaware are safe from sex offenders.
c.. Ultimately, I would like Delaware to be the toughest state in the nation on high-risk, repeat sex offenders.
d.. I am currently drafting several pieces of legislation that will affect high-risk, repeat sex offenders and will make Delaware a safer place for all of us.
a.. Proposed Legislation
b.. All high-risk, repeat sex offenders should receive truth in sentencing when serving time for a sexual offense.
a.. If a sexual offender is giving 20 years for molesting a child, that person should serve 20 years of jail time, not 8 or 9.
b.. Any sexual offender who is convicted of a second sexual offense will be served a mandatory life sentence.
c.. We need zero-tolerance sentencing for child molesters and other sex offenders.
c.. For all high-risk, repeat sex offenders, their driver’s license (or state ID) will be stamped with the words “sex offender.”
a.. This tool will allow law enforcement officers to better protect the public from repeat offenders.
b.. For example, a police officer in a routine traffic stop will remember a license stamped with “sex offender” and that memory may come in handy if a child is hurt or kidnapped from the area.
c.. Also, in places with large crowds like the state fair or a busy park, law enforcement officers do not have access to a computer. A stamped driver’s license will alert the officer to the presence of a high-risk, repeat sex offender.
d.. For all high-risk, repeat sex offenders, a special license plate to be designed by the Department of Motor Vehicle that must be registered and displayed on the offender’s vehicle.
a.. For too long child sex predators have been stalking our children, it’s now time we know where they are.
b.. An easy identifiable license plate will not only be a red flag for parents, but we can teach young children to avoid these vehicles and drivers at all cost.
a.. Wisconsin, Ohio, and Alabama have considered legislation requiring sexual offenders to have special license plates on their car denoting their sexual offender status.
a.. All high-risk, repeat sex offenders must register all Internet domain and chat room names with the authorities.
a.. Law enforcement officers can then monitor those domain and chat room names to ensure that the sex offender is not committing another crime through the Internet.
b.. Failure to register domain and chat room names would result in [fine? imprisonment?]
b.. Before leaving prison, all male, high-risk, repeat sex offenders that are older than 21 and have targeted a child younger than 12 would be chemically castrated.
a.. Castration may prevent these sex offenders from harming more children.
b.. For the liberal groups that will claim that this is cruel and unusual punishment; I say so is the rape and victimization of our young children. It is my job to see that children have a safe environment.
c.. Ten states have enacted or are considering enacting similar legislation. Louisiana enacted this legislation in June of 2008 and Europe is also debating this concept.
c.. It will be an additional penalty for a sexual offender to provide a cell phone to his or hers victim without the victim’s parental consent.
a.. Sexual offenders that target pre-teen and teenage girls often hook their victim by giving the girl a cell phone.
b.. There is no reason why a child should have a cell phone given to them by a non-family member that the child’s parents know nothing about.
a.. Sexual offenders, especially those involved in child molestation, often have a high recidivism rate, and are never rehabilitated. Their sex crimes often escalate to include murder.
b.. Sex offenders often target children under 2 years of age because they can’t talk very well, making it less likely for the offender to be caught.
c.. Lawmakers must stand up for kids who are victims of sexual offences because we have the power to protect them.”
Representative John C. Atkins
41st District – Delaware House of Representatives
A couple of thoughts:
Right now you can go on the state’s web site and get a list of offenders in your neighborhood and beyond. Designing a special license plate for a sexual offender might be over the top, although a license plate would make them stand out wherever they are and in whatever state they travel. In addition, there’s a chance that the car he/she drives might not be owned by the offender. The offender may be on the insurance policy only.
I’ve read somewhere that castration doesn’t remove the urge to harm.