Thursday, May 2, 2013
The effort to spread Chelsea's Law — named after slain Poway High School senior Chelsea King — to all 50 states gained momentum today with the financial backing of ex-Facebook general counsel Chris Kelly.
Chelsea's Law mandates life prison terms for those convicted of violent sex crimes against children and increases law enforcement oversight of paroled sex offenders.
Chelsea was 17 when John Albert Gardner III, who was convicted in 2000 of sexually molesting a 13-old neighbor, raped and killed her in 2010.
He also was convicted of murdering 14-year-old Amber Dubois of Escondido in February 2009.
Brent and Kelly King, Chelsea's parents, announced their intention to spread the law to other states two months ago.
"Brent and Kelly's unimaginable pain in losing their daughter Chelsea led them to demand better public policy for the state of California,'' Chris Kelly said. "I am proud to join with them and the Chelsea's Shield organization in taking Chelsea's Law and common sense public policy around attacks on children to all 50 states.''
Kelly authored and financed Proposition 35, which increases fines and prison sentences for human trafficking and requires convicted traffickers to register as sex offenders, as well as to disclose their identities and activities online.
California voters passed the initiative last November with 81 percent support.
He pledged financial support for lobbying and outreach for Chelsea's Law.
The Texas House of Representatives is expected to take up its version of the legislation next week. Similar bills have introduced in Illinois and Ohio.