skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Lawyers Question Usefulness Of Proposed Chelsea’s Law

Audio

Aired 4/13/10

Chelsea’s Law is being billed as closing the gaps in existing laws for sex offenders. But some say in San Diego’s legal community are questioning whether the proposed law will really make anyone safer.

Chelsea’s Law is being billed as closing the gaps in existing laws for sex offenders. But some say in San Diego’s legal community are questioning whether the proposed law will really make anyone safer.

Kelly King, mother of 17-year-old Chelsea King, who was allegedly raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender, speaks during a news conference to outline the plans for "Chelsea's Law," outside of Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher's office in Mira Mesa, March 23, 2010.
Enlarge this image

Above: Kelly King, mother of 17-year-old Chelsea King, who was allegedly raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender, speaks during a news conference to outline the plans for "Chelsea's Law," outside of Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher's office in Mira Mesa, March 23, 2010.

Chelsea’s Law would require lifetime parole for serious sex offenders. They would also have to wear GPS devices. But most of the state’s paroled sex offenders are already on GPS and their movements are only tracked once or twice a day. Critics say just because you know where someone is doesn’t mean you know what they’re doing.

Chelsea’s Law would also seek a one-strike rule for violent child predators. Defense attorney Gerald Blank says that rule is already on the books. He says Chelsea’s Law is redundant.

“This is another feel-good law that makes people feel safe when they aren’t really safe," Blank said.

Defense attorney Chris Plourd says the state would be better off making sure existing laws are enforced. Documents show authorities missed opportunities to put Chelsea King’s accused killer John Gardner away for years after he molested a 13-year-old girl in 2000.

Comments

Avatar for user 'rwm'

rwm | April 13, 2010 at 7:58 a.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago


Yes it is sad they they were victimized but what happened to using common sense?
Laws will not make you safe.
There are laws against hitting pedestrians. But if the pedestrian ignores common sense s/he is going to get hit.

Chelsea was a teen who should have shown some common sense.
She should have been aware of her environment especially the hour. Chelsea should never have been jogging alone at that hour nor in that isolated place,

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'RainyPosey'

RainyPosey | April 13, 2010 at 5:09 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree that we all need to use common sense daily. As human beings, we tend to get complacent and forgo using what has been taught and emphasized. Chelsea King and others like her were told to run in pairs or groups. The area in which she ran is a beautiful place and frequented by many...hikers, joggers, walkers and their animal companions. Chelsea ran after school in broad daylight. Nearby, baseball and softball games were being played. Chelsea is the voice reminding us that society is never safe and we cannot become complacent. That being said, a wonderful, innocent life has been lost. Where to put the blame? How about on the person that took her life? We need to vigilantly enforce the predatory laws in place now! Let us look for answers and to stop blaming.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'kpks'

kpks | April 14, 2010 at 3:25 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

It disappoints me when tragedies happen and people's first response focuses on what the victim could have done differently, blaming Chelsea's lack of 'common sense' for instance.

Framing this these acts as a misstep of the victim, and thus something you or I could control and avoid, may make us feel more secure but is in fact a tragedy in itself. We live in a world where great and terrible things happen daily, but encouraging everyone to live in fear of the worst case scenario is a dangerous slide into paranoia.

If she had been with a female friend, and they both were attacked, would you then say that it is only 'common sense' for a woman to run with a male companion? Only in broad daylight? Only with a gps? Personal safety is important, and we should all be aware of what is possible to protect ourselves. But this didn't happen because she ran alone, this happened because there was a sexual predator looking to hurt someone.

What we should be focusing on is strategies for a safer community by enforcing our laws so that women or men could walk by themselves in our community without fearing rape or danger. This is clearly a bigger undertaking than simply telling women to not go running by themselves. This law may or may not be helpful, and there is a valid debate to be had about it. But those looking to hurt others will find a way unless we focus of our prevention strategy on source of the problem- the perpetrator- not on activating our 'common sense.'

( | suggest removal )