Tuesday, March 9, 2010
SAN DIEGO A state lawmaker is taking a closer look at California’s sex offender laws after the murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King. San Diego County Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher is also going after the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Fletcher says he’s working with Chelsea King’s parents to rework the state’s sex offender laws. He says he’s forming a coalition that will look at what’s working, what’s not and what can be changed. Fletcher says every option is on the table. He says he doesn’t believe sexually violently offenders can be rehabilitated and says longer prison terms may be appropriate.
“Well if you rape and molest and kill a child you’re going to give up a lot of your rights. And so I think that’s the balance we’re going to have to strike,” Fletcher says. “Our primary objective is to protect the innocent in our society, to protect our children.”
Fletcher has also asked the state Inspector General to investigate the Department of Corrections. The department has a policy of destroying parole records after an inmate’s parole is finished. The records of King’s alleged killer, John Albert Gardner, have been destroyed.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has now ordered the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to retain all files on sex offender parolees going forward.