I have watched with interest the campaign in which Bill O’Reilly is engaged to get “Jessica’s Law” passed, in some form, in all 50 states. Jessica’s Law, named after little Jessica Lunsford, who was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered in Florida by John Couey, a previously convicted sex offender, is designed to give mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years to people who sexually assault children. Sexual assault and murder of children is one of the most vile and disgusting crimes committed in the United States and I fully support the law, as does O’Reilly.
Recently, the focus has been on the state of Colorado. The bill has been introduced but the House Speaker, Mark Ferrandino, has refused to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote. For whatever reason, Mr. Ferrandino has decided Colorado doesn’t need stiffer penalties for these types of crimes, even though they have a long record of being very lenient, i.e., giving someone a two year sentence for raping a child. Even without knowing all the circumstances, that’s a pretty pathetic sentence for someone convicted of child rape.
O’Reilly was attacked recently by an editor of the Denver Post for describing Ferrandino as an openly gay man who supports gay marriage and supported legalizing marijuana. O’Reilly says he was merely describing Ferrandino the way other articles describe him and was alluding to the fact that Ferrandino’s priorities seem to be a bit skewed given the fact that Jessica’s law is about protecting children. In an op-ed by Curtis Hubbard, the editorial director of the Post, O’Reilly was judged to be a bigot and accused of using code words to call Ferrandino a perverted pedophile. The accusation was ridiculous but that’s not the point of my post.
I mention this article because when O’Reilly asked Hubbard his opinion about Jessica’s law, Mr. Hubbard replied that Colorado has a very unique sentence of “lifetime probation”. He said that was in addition to the prison sentence. I thought about that for a few minutes. Lifetime probation – after doing a couple of years for sexually assaulting a child (or even an adult, who knows?) You can bet that a pedophile will be afraid to assault another child because he’s on probation for life. Right? It’s got to make sexual assault victims feel really safe to know that they guy who raped them is on the street but on probation. Yup.
Child rapists in Colorado seem to be getting an average of three to seven years. And Mark Ferrandino says the laws in Colorado are sufficient and that child sexual predators are treated appropriately. Sorry, but I must disagree.
I would like to see Colorado pass some sort of legislation that gives much stiffer sentences to people who prey on children. It’s a topic that should have easily been more important than legalizing marijuana or same-sex marriage. If Colorado wants to deal with those issues (the marijuana issue already being settled) that’s OK. They’re entitled to do that in their state. But when things like that take precedence over protecting the children of Colorado there’s a problem. Democrats are always screaming “It’s for the children…!” But not in this case, it seems.