David Allyn Dokich - Serial Child Rapist / High Risk Sex Offender

Monday, December 12, 2005

Press Enterprise Opinion

Public safety should not be a partisan issue. Yet Democrats in the Legislature are being disingenuous about a bill that would toughen penalties on sex offenders and impose new strictures on where they may live.

A Golden State version of Florida's Jessica's Law, named after murder victim Jessica Lunsford, is co-sponsored by the Antelope Valley's Sen. George Runner and Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, both Republicans. Among its many provisions, the bill would bar paroled sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park.

The Runners -- the only husband-and-wife team in the Legislature -- offered an identical measure in August, but it died when the legislative session concluded in September.

The bill has unanimous support from the tiny Republican caucus. But Democratic opponents -- the vast majority of legislators -- are trying to demagogue voters, saying the bill would drive offenders out of the cities to increasingly Republican districts in the Central Valley and Inland areas of the state.

Do not be fooled. Opponents' real objection is to the harshness of the bill. In August, Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, chairman of the powerful public safety committee, called Jessica's Law "bad public policy" because it could force some sex offenders to move. Haven't they suffered enough?

Fact is, the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate public safety committees killed nearly 30 measures last session that would have placed greater restrictions on high-risk offenders.

The Democrats may think their comfy majorities insulate them from the voters' wrath. But Californians want tougher restrictions on predators, and Jessica's Law should be a top legislative priority for 2006.


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