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California

Juvenile rape legislation — ‘Audrie’s Law’ — stirs Capitol debate

SACRAMENTO — When San Jose lawmaker Jim Beall set out earlier this year to strengthen penalties for youths who sexually assault unconscious victims, he expected to win broad support easily.

Instead, he ignited a familiar Capitol debate among lawyers, victims and juvenile advocates about whether the justice system’s goal should be punishing or rehabilitating offenders. That debate will be renewed on Tuesday when an Assembly committee will again consider Beall’s bill. Full Article

Related: Audrie’s Law goes too far, some legislators insist

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  1. Q

    If this passes into law it’s going to be perverted into another nightmarish monster just like all the other laws that have to with sex and what some consider sexual, like going pee behind a bar, or a female flashing her breast’s at a concert, etc. I agree the KID’S got off light and I for sure agree mandatory minimum sentences have no place in the juvenile justice system; hell!; they are a really bad thing in the adult so called justice system. This “tough on crime” mentality needs to be kicked to the curb.

    I think consideration needs to be given to the fact that Audrie Potts willingly went to the party; she was drinking and had to have known there would be drinking at the party, and at some point got her self so drunk she passed out; is this what her parents taught her? The point being Audrie Potts willingly placed her self in a position to be harmed; she was old enough to have known better; no one forced her to drink so much alcohol that she passed out and nobody held a gun to her head and forced to go to the party. Sure; what the boy’s did was wrong. But her part in what happened needs to be looked at and considered too. Excessive alcohol consumption facilitates these sort of things. The press and public officials seem to be looking at half of the issue. I personally think they need to look at teen alcohol consumption instead of passing another law. They are stupid if they think a new law is going have an effect on a group of drunken teens, stupid drunk is stupid drunk!

    And why is it nobody seems to notice the rapid increase in juvenile crime starting in the early 80s, such as the rapid increase in drug and alcohol consumption, as well as other crimes like shootings and gangs in schools? This increase in juvenile crime lines right up with our government pushing God out of schools and society, which has effectively removed the kid’s moral compass; kids today do not have much of anything to measure right against wrong these days. I think the part society played in this must be looked at too. But our leaders are themselves as children and don’t seem to have the ability to connect the dots.

  2. JM

    Boy, things certainly have changed over the years…At sixteen, I was in love. My parents left my brother and I alone some weekends to develop some local property. I knew the house rules. No one allowed in the house while they were away.
    One day a friend of my boyfriends came to the door. He said he had something important to tell me. I let him in. He told me that the love of my life was seeing someone else. I was devastated. I had never had anything to drink in my life stronger than a sip of beer. My dad kept vodka in the house, and this adult male mixed it with orange juice and talked me into drinking.

    That’s the last thing I remember. A few months later, my mother asked if there was a possibility that I might be pregnant? How could I be? I was a virgin. But, I was pregnant. My parents assumed that it was my boyfriend. And at first I didn’t tell the truth. You see, my uncle was the sheriff, and I overheard him talking to my father saying, Good thing the kid isn’t over 18, or he would be in jail. So, I kept quiet. I didn’t want to see anyone go to jail.

    I took responsibility for my own actions. I broke the rules. I suffered the consequences. I had a child at 17, and I took responsibility for that too. I raised him, I finished school, went to college, and worked. No one helped me. I consider myself successful and lucky.

    What good could have come from this young man going to jail? Possibly ruining his life? Revenge? Blaming someone for my situation? Yes, it was hard, but I was the one riddled by quilt, still am.

    As my son became a young man himself, he was pursued by a young women. When he refused the relationship, she became angry and accused him of things that were untrue. He refused to take the plea that he was offered, and is now on the registry.
    So, in ways, I understand what being on a registry is like. Only I was the one that was treated like a leper. No one male or female should have to live their lives this way for one mistake.

  3. hannah grace

    What has become of accountability for one’s actions? When I was a teenager, there is no way I would have been allowed to get drunk with no repercussions. I can remember my father waking me up very early on several occasions for that same reason. Never once was I allowed to “blame” my actions on someone else or allow anyone else to assume responsibility for them. When I was raising my children, I made them accountable for their behavior. Now they are making my grandchildren accountable for theirs. The point I am trying to make is society morals are determined how children are raised. Those children with overly permissive parents and their children should be held accountable for their behavior and the results as well.

    I also think that parents of children who are victims of a sex crime should NEVER be allowed to become victim themselves through legislation against the sex offender. Often times, the results of which, although well intended, are driven by emotions and result in unrealistic expectations on the parent’s part. They are often driven by the need for revenge against society, not the actual perpetrator of the crime. The legislature gets on their soap box, proclaiming that these harsh laws will prevent the victimization of our children? When has Megan’s Law ever prevented a sex crime? I don’t believe Audrie’s Law will prevent any sex crimes either. Perhaps, stricter supervision of today’s teenagers and stiffer penalties for parents who do not properly supervise their children is the answer.

  4. NPS

    Here’s an update. They took out the mandatory 2 year minimum in favor of rehabilitation and treatment.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Audrie-s-Law-is-amended-to-remove-2-year-minimum-5575969.php

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