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Lawmaker Proposes Bills To Better Protect Kids

On the anniversary of an Escondido teen's murder, a state lawmaker today unveiled three bills aimed at making the public aware when a convicted sex offender moves into a neighborhood and closing loopholes that might allow them to slip through the cracks.

Community members place flowers on a memorial for Amber Dubois at Escondido High School on March 8, 2010.
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Above: Community members place flowers on a memorial for Amber Dubois at Escondido High School on March 8, 2010.

The bones of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who vanished more than a year ago while walking to school, were discovered in a rugged, remote area the Pala Indian Reservation on March 7, 2010.

Above: The bones of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who vanished more than a year ago while walking to school, were discovered in a rugged, remote area the Pala Indian Reservation on March 7, 2010.

Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Beaumont, introduced the measures in memory of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who was killed by convicted child molester John Albert Gardner III exactly two years ago.

Cook was flanked by Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, and Amber's father, Maurice Dubois, who founded the More Kids foundation not long after his daughter's death. The foundation provided support in drafting the assemblyman's proposals.

"Protecting our children is the most important issue that I have been able to work on in my time in Sacramento," Cook said. "As a parent, I believe these bills will be pivotal in ensuring the safety and protection of our children."

One measure would require law enforcement to provide written notification to members of a community, daycare operators and schools when a convicted sex offender is living within 1,000 feet of them. The notifications would be sent out no more than five days after the ex-con establishes residence.

A second bill proposes a closer examination of people convicted of sex crimes outside the state of California to determine whether they need to register as sex offenders after moving into the Golden State.

According to Cook, because laws vary by state, not all people with out- of-state sex convictions are required to register because of the degree of the offense. Under the lawmaker's bill, the California Department of Justice would be required to investigate each case in depth.

Under Penal Code section 290, anyone convicted of a sexual offense in California must register their address with law enforcement and notify authorities when they move.

Cook's third proposal would require sex offenders to carry a driver's license or identification card bearing a special mark at all times. The mark, which would be detectable only by law enforcement, would mainly apply to violent offenders and those convicted of sex crimes against children.

Last year, Cook and Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, sponsored several measures approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor to bolster law enforcement resources during missing persons investigations. The bills were among a raft of measures advanced in memory of Amber and 17-year-old Chelsea King of Poway, who was also killed by Gardner.

He confessed to the girls' killings and was sentenced last May to three consecutive life terms without parole.

Comments

Avatar for user 'realreform'

realreform | February 15, 2011 at 8:03 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Don't people realize that most sexual offenders never hurt anyone at all? Most of them were 18 or 19 and had a consensual relationship with a 16 year old or so decades ago, or chatted on the internet with someone posing as a minor, or downloaded a pic of a teen on kazaa or limewire, or urinated in public, or streaked in college, or received a "sext" from their teen girlfriend, or prostituted or picked one up, or had oral or anal sex which is a felonly in any southern state or some other crime where there was no victim at all whatsoever.

Not even the 20,000 plus former murderers released every year and former islamic terrorist attempted bombers have residency restrictions or have to reregister on any form of online internet registry.

Violent sexual offenders like Phillip Garrido and John Gardner love that the registy has a million petty nonviolent sexual offenders so they can hide out amongst them to stay under the radar and slip through the cracks to strike again. These laws should only be focused on real molesters and forcible rapists and kidnappers and murderers who have a real victim, but they are not. Only violent sexual offenders should be monitored or on this registry. The vast majority of "sexual offenders" have never hurt anyone. The state needs to stop harassing them and let them raise their family in dignity like everyone else is allowed to. Most of them just made a mistake as a young man and would like to lead a good life but the state won't let them.

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Avatar for user 'TheApeHunter'

TheApeHunter | February 15, 2011 at 10:43 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

One would think that we would have more intelligent politicians. Its truly not that difficult to figure out -

The Federal Government collects our taxes. The Federal Government determines the manner in which the American people can best be served through the expenditure of their tax dollars. The Federal Government installed a nationwide, networked, computerized system, with which, law enforcement agencies can cooperate by utilizing a centralized databank for the purpose of retrieving stolen automobiles from anywhere in the country. The Federal Government attributes high priority status to American's stolen automobiles

American's children go missing. Americans must place their hopes in the abilities of local law enforcement agencies, that they may successfully locate their children before they're taken beyond county lines. Otherwise, law enforcement agencies encounter a block wall when attempting to initiate cooperation from agencies beyond county lines. They simply lack an emplaced, networked system that is designed for the purpose of retrieving abducted/missing children. The Federal Government doesn't attribute an equal degree of priority to American's children, as they do to American's automobiles

Perhaps, Americans feel they can personally produce replacement children, much more proficiently & with greater ease, than they can automobiles?

The Federal Government desires that auto thieves be caught... but not child abductors???

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