Jessica’s Law (HB 8) Passes The House

Posted in 80th Legislature, Around The State, Criminal Justice at 11:25 am by wcnews

Initially I have reservations about this bill for three reasons: The less the state is in the business of killing people the better, it’s possibly unconstitutional, and this is possibly the worst of all pandering, “..it’s for the good of children”. Especially when this bill will probably do less to protect children, Delay made Jessica’s Law worse:

First offense penalties for the new crime of continuous sexual abuse of a child (in debate it came out that “continuous” doesn’t need to be for very long at all) will be 25-99 years, with a death sentence on the second offense. That almost ensures many families won’t turn in relatives for fear they’ll receive such long sentences.I wanted to scream at them from the gallery, “Don’t you understand you’re causing MORE kids to be molested without recourse?!”

Grits has much more related coverage on HB 8 here.

BOR has this post on statements from several Democrats that voted against the bill, Honor Roll on HB 8 (Jessica’s Law). This law may be unconstitutional. Can the state put people to death that didn’t commit murder? That’s the question.
Vince has this from Rep. Martinez FIsher:

“Sadly, this important issue has been politicized. It is gubernatorial electoral politics in action, Even our notoriously tough Texas prosecutors, did not request the death penalty for HB 8”.

Karen Brooks at Capitol Letters on some of the “..interesting little dynamics”. Rep. Dan Gattis became the “water-carrier” for this bill.


  1. Eye on Williamson » Statesman Editorial Board Comes Out Strong Against Jessica’s Law said,

    March 7, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    […] It the worst kind of pandering because, as you can tell by that comment, they know this bill will not improve the situation. In fact it will probably make things worse for children that are subjected to sexual predators. I get a sense that there are many members of both parties didn’t like this bill. But voted for it hoping it will just go away. As far as who this dynamite will blow up on we’ll just have to wait and see. […]

  2. Eye on Williamson » Jessica’s Law Gets Mixed Reviews said,

    March 9, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    […] The DA makes some solid points on this. Not to mention the fact that there are many other problems with Jessica’s Law - Texas (see this previous EOW post w/links). The DMN has an article today, Predator penalties criticized, exposes how the way this bill is currently could possibly be used to kill people things like this: A coach pats a freshman cheerleader on the behind in the hall; an uncle touches his teenage niece; a baby sitter plays doctor with the young boy she’s watching. […]

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