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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    South Carolina to consider proposal on sending child sex offenders to death

    COLUMBIA -- State senators are considering a proposal that would allow South Carolina to execute those convicted two or more times of sexually assaulting children.
    The amendment came as the Senate took up sexual offender legislation crafted in response to a Florida girl kidnapped and killed last year and a week after a Hartsville man was charged with abducting two girls to an underground shelter and assaulting them.
    Currently, South Carolina prosecutors can only seek the death penalty for murder with aggravating circumstances. If the proposed amendment by Sen. Kevin Bryant of Anderson passes, South Carolina would join Louisiana as the only other state to allow the death penalty for an offense other than murder, senators said. "They may never recover from this," Bryant said Wednesday of children who are assaulted. "I say that's just as bad as taking a life."

    But other senators worried whether the proposal could endanger the state's death penalty laws and be struck down as unconstitutional.
    Sen. Brad Hutto, an Orangeburg lawyer, argued against the amendment, saying it would cause victims' families unnecessary trauma and cost counties unnecessary legal expenses because it could be overturned as unconstitutional.
    "To do this is just wrong," he told the Senate.
    Hutto said the proposal has senators in a "political bind."
    "What this amendment is doing is putting us all in a political bind because who wants to stand up here saying I voted against being tough on child molesters," he said. "Maybe one or two of us would have the political courage to do that but you know it would mean the next 30-second ad against you when you ran the next time saying you didn't vote to be tough on child molesters."
    The legislation at the heart of the debate is known as "Jessica's Law," named after a 9-year-old Florida girl allegedly kidnapped and killed last year by a convicted sex offender.
    The legislation would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty if a murder is involved and the defendant was deemed a sexually violent predator. The bill also would require more frequent registrations by those deemed sexual predators and require electronic monitoring once they were released from prison.
    Bryant's amendment would deal only with cases in which a defendant is convicted twice of criminal sexual conduct with a child, 11 years old or younger.
    The Anderson pharmacist said the rest of the legislation is protected by a clause that would keep the rest of the law intact in the event a higher court overturns his proposal.
    He said he drafted his proposal last year, before the Hartsville assaults occurred.
    "I think there is strong support for this," he said. The Senate is to continue debate on the proposal today.

  2. #2
    Ducky's Avatar
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    I'll vote "yes" for this one. SC is finally doing something right.
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  3. #3
    cntryboy0531 is offline THE five-oh
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    Florida all ready states that any sexual battery of a child under the age of 12 is a capital felony, punishable by death. Wish they used it more often.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cntryboy0531
    Florida all ready states that any sexual battery of a child under the age of 12 is a capital felony, punishable by death. Wish they used it more often.
    Unfortunately they don't use it all. Stupid precedent.
    "Look, just give me some inner peace or I'll mop the floor with you!"

  5. #5
    cntryboy0531 is offline THE five-oh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Unfortunately they don't use it all. Stupid precedent.

    Uh huh. It's a good law, too bad it's not put to use.

 

 

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