Saturday, April 21, 2007

Jessica's Fraud

This has been a long time coming.

Fact: Jessica’s Law is a 25 year mandatory minimum for child sex offenders/rapists. The 25 year mandatory minimum is non-paroable.

According to the “leading advocate” site Marylanders for Jessica’s Law http://www.jessicaslawformd.org/, Jessica’s Law passed in Maryland!


There is only one word I could think of, Bullshit.

You would think the leading advocate group for a special interest would at least understand the law.

Speaking of which, here is the actual text of the law as amended. My comments are in italics.

MD Code, Criminal Law § 3-304. Rape in the SECOND DEGREE

Prohibited--In general
(a) A person may not engage in vaginal intercourse with another:
(1) by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other;
(2) if the victim is a mentally defective individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual, and the person performing the act knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a mentally defective individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual; or
(3) if the victim is under the age of 14 years, and the person performing the act is at least 4 years older than the victim.

Point #1: According to (a)(3), you can’t engage in vaginal intercourse if the child is under 14 and the rapist is at least four years older. That sure seems like child rape to me.

Prohibited--Children under age 13
(b) A person 18 years of age or older may not violate subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this section involving a child under the age of 13 years.

Point #2: Well, if the child is under 13, you can’t engage in vaginal intercourse with them by force, threat of force, without their consent (a 13 year old cannot give consent, the eyes of the law this is a strict liability offense i.e. you are screwed no matter what). Wow, second degree rape is sure looking more and more like child rape to me.

Penalty
(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection

(a) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.

Point #3 (in plain English): If you violate (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) you are guilty of second degree rape. Notice that (a)(3) is child rape. Notice also that there IS NOT A MANDATORY MINIMUM FOR THIS CRIME! THERE IS A TWENTY YEAR MAXIMUM! Hypothetically, a 30 year old could rape a 13 year old child and get 4 months in prison!

In addition, the non-paroable section is missing.

Wait a second; I thought Jessica’s Law passed in Maryland?

Now onward.


(2)(i) Subject to subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph, a person 18 years of age or older who violates subsection (b) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not exceeding 20 years.

Point #4: There is the added language. So, if you are eighteen or older and rape a twelve year old or under there is a five freaking mandatory minimum and still the twenty year maximum.

(ii) A court may not suspend any part of the mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years.

Point #5: After they serve five years, they are eligible for parole.

(iii) If the State fails to comply with subsection (d) of this section, the mandatory minimum shall not apply.

Required notice

(d) If the State intends to seek a sentence of imprisonment for not less than 5 years under subsection (c)(2) of this section, the State shall notify the person in writing of the State's intention at least 30 days before trial.

The rest is just notice.

Summary:
1) If an individual rapes a child thirteen and under and said individual is at least four years older, there is no mandatory minimum sentence, just a mandatory maximum. (I realize that a seventeen year old could have sex with a thirteen year old and be found guilty. I do not believe that the seventeen year old should spend 25 years in prison. That is why this law needs to be re-written. However, as it stands now, a forty five year old could rape a fourteen year old and spent four months in prison.
2) If an individual rapes a child twelve and under and said individual is eighteen or older there is only a five year minimum with twenty year maximum. Only the first five years is non-paroable.

Do you see why I am angry? The legislators and Marylanders for Jessica’s Law lied to us. I have a nice letter written to my legislators to tell them what I personally think about this law. I also have a letter to Nancy Jacobs, the idiot Senator (R) who allowed this law to be voted on.

Thanks for nothing.

2 comments:

bud said...

Jimmy,

I join you in denouncing this sham of a law. To call this Jessica's law insults the Lunsford family. Clearly, it needs to be tougher.

The cop out excuse of "well, this is Maryland" holds no weight with me. The legislature gets no points from me for passing such a weak law.

Jimmy said...

Bud,

Thank you for the support. I think it is an insult as well.

I agree the "well, this is Maryland" holds no weight. Try telling that to a victim.

I am dissappointed in the legislators, especially those who made it their platform issue.