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California

Chelsea’s Law: A Light to Shine On

Today — February 25, 2014 — I want to take a moment to remember the legacy of a girl named Chelsea King.

Chelsea was an activist, a runner, a student, a friend, a daughter, and a spunky, charismatic, jovial bubble of joy. This Tuesday marks the fourth anniversary of Chelsea’s disappearance from Poway, Calif., and eventual murder. While she no can longer light up rooms with her smile or belt out a tune on her French horn, her legacy carries on today in the form of Chelsea’s Law.

Chelsea’s Law protects California’s children today with increased penalties, parole provisions and oversight for violent sexual offenders of children. This law is specifically targeted at criminals that our society cannot risk letting loose again: Certain offenses carry a one-strike punishment, meaning that especially vicious crimes would automatically merit life imprisonment without parole.

The rationale for such harsh sentences is clear: The Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that child molesters and statutory rapists released from prison have a 5.1% recidivism rate — 5.1% of these criminals were rearrested for a new sex crime within three years of their release. While that number does not seem very high, over the course of many years, not adopting a one-strike law would risk the safety of many children. Chelsea’s Law is now in place in California, and variants of it are being pushed forward in other states to prevent these avoidable tragedies. Full Article

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  1. G4Change

    Another law named after a victim. Yeah, that will surely prevent crime! [sarcasm]

  2. mike

    This article left me feeling like the author has a personal vendetta against sex offenders or at least one one in particular. It sounds like she’s willing to open the prison gates and let out people convicted of every crime with the exception of a sex offense.
    I followed the citation from this article about the clinical Psychiatrist who claimed “rehabilitation is not equally possible for serious violent offenders, like rapists.” Her statement was out of context (Surprise) and had nothing to do with Ca. prop. 36. It was from a BBC promotion for a TV show that aired in the spring of 2004. That’s a serious stretch for a little credibility. The BBC promotion interchanged the word Paedophile (sic) with Sex Offender so frequently I was beginning to think they were the same thing. NOT!

  3. Tim

    Again. Another law that promises to end sexual violence and like all the others will only pull the rug out from those past offenders who saw the light and wish to lead a lawful, productive life. The author has no empathy for the 95%, so she says, who don’t reoffend, their spouses, children, friends and employers. Of course, her opinion is all too common. The result will be more people in prison for sex crimes who will never see the light of day, and guess what, more millions to keep the prison system humming, more lives in poverty to drive wages down and more delusions,that it is all making for a safer world.

  4. Brubaker

    There was one person who committed that crime ckelky ..whatever..stop blaming people who had nothing to do with your misfortune …..what that ckelky stuff needs to let people know how easy it is to be labeled ‘sexoffender’…are you telling the people evidence can be removed and replaced instructing jury to false evidence ..you telling them that ..??..you telling the people the deception false evidence that comes from a trial setting follows up with the false evidence information they give the public…that ckelky stuff needs to apologize to alot of people they wrongly blame..nobody else here involved ..stop blaming and be on your way.

  5. mch

    Anyone remember the early Saturday Night Live skits with Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtain doing a point/counterpoint? Remember how Dan Akroyd started his response to Jane Curtain? He would say “Jane, you ignorant slut…” Well reading many of these articles posted here, including this particular one, that becomes my response to the authors. Crude and crass, I know.

  6. Q

    My response to Amiee Trujillo’s article;

    Ah yes; just another ill conceived and poorly researched article written from a biased point of view. I, for once would like to see a comprehensive piece written instead of this type of one sided rehash. The part I find the most amusing in a ludicrous sort way is the statement “Chelsea’s law protects California’s children”. It is clear Aimee Trujillo has only heard a fraction of the entire story. I’m curious what Aimee Trujillo’s response to this empirical and scholarly document is. http://www.opd.ohio.gov/AWA_Information/AW_levenson_family_impact_study.pdf

    I’m curious Aimee Trujillo; after reading the above empirical/scholarly study, and considering as of 2013 there 80,484 registrants in California; http://www.parentsformeganslaw.org/public/meganReportCard.html

    just how many children would you estimate are being placed in harms way and are leading a marginal (at best) existence because Chelsea was kidnapped and murdered? And do you think it’s fair to these innocent children?

    This is just an example; Let’s say every one on the registry in California has two children, which equals 160,968 children experiencing the effects of Chelsea’s law, compounded by the myriad of other laws aimed at the “sex offender” only, and the social stigma is only a small part of what these children go through on a daily basis.. That’s quite a few children, now isn’t it? I must also conclude that Aimee Trujillo has never heard first hand what the effects are on these children. Here Aimee, watch this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0Z-mMpVWb4

    Now Aimee; do you know how many people get murdered because of laws like this one?
    http://murders-new.blogspot.com/

    http://on-murders.blogspot.com/

    I’m not even going to go into the financial cost/harm to California because of this and other laws; But if Aimee Trujillo decides to do some real research and write a responsible unbiased article that is not a mockery of truth perhaps my self and others would be willing to share some more truth’s that seemingly never get reported.

  7. JM

    Chelsea King lived in our neighborhood. Not only that, but Chelsea was also a peer counselor in the program in which I worked. I remember the day that I found a flier attached to my windshield about her disappearance, and remember thinking that perhaps a Mountain Lion had attacked her due to the very remote location in which she was jogging.

    It was all so horrifying. I also turned to our son, who was with me at the time, and said, “This isn’t going to be good for you”. You see, our son was on the registry, and sure enough the following day he was hog tied and searched. Our neighbors acted like vigilantes against us, and said that they would have us removed from the home we had owned for 25 years. I remember I couldn’t sleep thinking that someone might harm us.

    While grieving for Chelsea and her family, I too was grieving for all of those on the registry and their families who would now suffer for these murders. Murders, not minor sexual offenses.

    In my opinion, this author uses Chelsea as a ploy to write about the ill effects of the Three Strike Law, (which I agree, needs to go) but seems to be okay with lumping every registered citizen with those that have committed a murder. She appears to want to take the spotlight away from other crimes, and shine it solely on sex offenses. I hate these people. Why can’t we just concentrate on violent crimes period. Not low level drug crimes, not low level sex offenses, not low level petty theft etc. Why do they use us to make those crimes less then.

    John Albert Gardner *** name corrected by Moderator *** was just 19 when he was sent to prison. Already a very disturbed young man who, in my opinion, may have not deserved what punishment he received,(after reading the reports) And then after six years in prison with no treatment and harassment he just got sicker. After his release becoming homeless and hopeless, he then became a sick monster who chose revenge. So, how does this make society safer?

    If he had received treatment would it produced different results? Would Chelsea and Amber be alive today?

    • Q

      Hi JM;

      You are right. This author (Aimee Trujillo) seems to be exploiting Chelsea King, as so many have, just to keep the lie/myth alive. John Albert Gardner *** name corrected by Moderator *** was caught and convicted, so my question is this; “how many people do the Aimee Trujillo type wish to punish for what John Albert Gardner *** name corrected by Moderator *** did? And at what cost? These kind of people are a major contributor to the deterioration of the rights and freedoms of every American we have been witnessing and experiencing. They play a major role in killing the freedoms which once made this country the greatest on earth that so many died to protect.

    • Joe

      “Why can’t we just concentrate on violent crimes period.” – No kidding…

      Just today, the LA Times reports in a minor article that a man in Asuza was convicted of murdering a 2-year old with up to 21 blows to the head. Two comments in over 6 hours, one making reference to child molestors (???).

      But when, say, a teacher has a relationship with a willing 16/17 year old the mob cannot get out their pitchforks fast enough.

      Truly bizarre, the values in this country.

      @JM – Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I wonder if you will add it to the original article.

      • Q

        Hi Joe;

        Values? I thought it was more like mass manipulation/brainwashing through the ever sensational lame stream media.

        And Joe; More people need to be aware of this revelation of the seemingly evolving symbiotic relationship between James Clapper and the mass media, it’s important to every American and especially us registrants. This could have a direct and negative impact on our struggle for truth, freedom and equality.

        Excerpt:

        Clapper is often the guy who has to call newspaper editors to tell them not to print stories that they usually publish anyway.

        This process of pre-publication notice to the government of NSA stories has been wildly misreported in some places. I’ve long expressed contempt for this process where it results in the suppression of information that should be public; where it essentially elevates U.S. officials into publication partners by engaging in protracted “negotiations” with them over what can and cannot be published; and especially where it means news organizations knowingly allow government officials to lie by withholding the actual facts.

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37749.htm

    • Tim

      I remember after these murders I had strangers parked on the street above my house. My wife said “you better lay low.” Why should my family and I live in fear because of another man’s horrendous acts?

    • Tim

      The point of focus is the problem. If the murderer had received treatment and never committed the crime, no one would ever take notice. He’d be in the majority of non offenders. All media coverage and most research is focused on the very few who reoffend, because that is the group that has the greatest shock value and will draw the most research dollars. Then the qualities of the few are deemed the characteristics of the many. I think the whole systems needs a turn on its head. Learn from the majority and apply what’s learned to make better policy.

  8. Someone who cares

    I can’t understand that so many people are focusing on the “sex crime” part of this whole story. It was a murder first and foremost and murderers need to be brought to justice. Not the murderers who have done their time already, or the ones who might commit a murder in the future (since we don’t know who that is) but the murderer who committed this crime. Will we have to monitor every person in this country since we won’t know who will be the next offender? That is impossible and a waste of time to try. Many sex crimes are and will be committed by someone who is not on the registry, so should we put the whole country on the registry as a precaution? Again, I would rather have them focus on punishing the people who actually commit a crime and not on the ones who may never commit another offense, and when we talk about offense, it can be anything from the “Romeo and Juliet Offender”, the “Streakers”, the “Exhibitionist”, and yes, the occasional “Rapist” or “Child Molester”. What a way to confuse everybody and have law enforcement waste precious time with the silly “offenses” since they can’t focus all their time on the criminals that really matter or should matter to those who are so concerned. Think about it. Everybody is on the registry for life, and every day new “offenses” to make you subject to the registry get added, hence every day, more and more, and more people get added. Pretty soon, the country will have everybody on the registry. Good luck monitoring this. The real “rapists” are laughing right now, happy all this is happening since they will be harder to trace with that much commotion. Good thinking (sarcasm).

  9. JM

    Joe,
    I emailed my comment to the author Aimee.

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