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Colorado lawmakers pressured into rethinking sex crime laws

Sex crimes and related issues create passion in people, from media pundits to the average Joe. Some might say that the public tends to react more harshly to sex offenses than they do to even murder. An environment in which that is true makes it tough on those who've been convicted or merely accused of a sexual offense.

Strong opinions regarding sex crimes and the fear of recidivism inspires legislation that tends to throw a wide group of convicted offenders into the same pool. The sex offender registry is an example of that practice. States can generally adopt their own sex laws and offender registry rules, and Colorado stands out as having made at least one independent decision, so far.

The Jessica Lunsford Act refers to a law that sets a significant mandatory prison sentence for those who are convicted of committing sex crimes against kids under the age of 12. If enacted in the state, Jessica's Law would send a person convicted of the sex crime against a child to at least 25 years in prison. The differing details of each criminal case wouldn't matter. If the offense fit into the scope of Jessica's Law, there's be little way around the 25-year sentence.

Colorado has not adopted Jessica's Law. Now, however, Gov. Hickenlooper requests that lawmakers take another look at the state's currents sex crime legislation and consider the possibility of enacting the legislation that has gotten its roots in the ground of 42 states. 

When there is a development in this legislative matter, we will post an update. 

Source: The Gazette, "Colorado governor calls for review of sex offender sentencing laws," Ryan Handy, May 1, 2013  

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