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Colorado doesn't enact tougher sex offender law

For the most part, lawmakers as well as the general public are extremely tough on sex offenders, particularly those whose supposed offenses involved children. Some might be surprised, therefore, to learn that the state did not adopt a legislative proposal called Jessica's Law.

Many other states do have Jessica's Law in place. Basically, the law requires that any person convicted of a sex crime involving a child under the age of 14 serves at least 25 years in prison without parole. Colorado wasn't willing to put that law on its books.

Why? Well, according to those who don't support the law, Colorado simply doesn't need the legislative change. It already has relatively tough laws regarding sex crimes and registered sex offenders in the state. The main difference is that Colorado courts are given an opportunity to rule in each individual sex crime case in a way that takes the individual incident into consideration.

"One punishment doesn't necessarily fit all" is the argument that supporters of current laws in the state might assert. Just because the legislative proposal was declined, however, doesn't mean that a convicted sex offender wouldn't be sentenced to 25 years or more for his crime.

Despite Jessica's Law failing to pass in the state, the sentencing for sex crime convictions in Colorado is still harsh and worth fighting. A sexual assault conviction will lead to mandatory prison time, even up to a lifetime sentence. More than avoiding prison is the avoidance of a person having to register as a sex offender. The registry requirements have a lasting, intense impact on a person's life, even if his sexual offense was relatively minor.

To learn more about legal matters regarding sex crimes in Colorado, visit our criminal defense site.

Source: KJCT8, "Colorado Lawmakers decline Jessica's Law," Gina Esposito, March 25, 2013

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