The Instigator
ischuldt
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
bhman31289
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points

Jessica's Law

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2007 Category: News
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,337 times Debate No: 741
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (7)

 

ischuldt

Con

Jessica's law forces every single person charged with brutal child molestation into one of two categories. Mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison, or innocent. The reality is that most of these people probably deserve something in the way of 7-15 years depending on all the factors, which is what they were getting prior to Jessica's Law.

There will always be a few people who get off lighter then they diserve no matter what the crime is, but mandatory minimums will actually make the problem worse.
bhman31289

Pro

When you are put in front of a jury of your peers, there is usually enough evidence to suggest that you did indeed commit the crime. Jessica law was put in place to make sure sex offenders stayed behind bars. Now the reason for this is simple, they cannot be fixed, its a disease. Their sex drive is different then normal adults. This high level of sentence is put in place to keep them in Prison. As you might know most felons with good behavior could get out with 70% of their sentence completed; Then they are registered as a sex offender. There is always a min in the justice system like you said no matter what the crime, however when it comes to our children we need the best protection the law offers.
Debate Round No. 1
ischuldt

Con

Dept of justice did a study in 1997 of recidivism (the tendency to re-commit a crime). They released 243,000 people from prison in 15 states. Of those 67% were arrested again for the same or similar charges within 3 years.

In the same year there were 4,300 sexual predators released from the same 15 states. Of them, only 3% have been arrested again for any crime. Don't get me wrong, I'd like that number to be 0%, but the reality is that the actual rate of recidivism is incredibly good for sexual predators. Much better then it is for drug dealers, gang bangers, or any other criminals.

Part of the reason for this is I believe is because they are very highly supervised upon their release. The problem with Jessica's law is that it is already difficult enough to get a conviction in most of these cases. The primary witness in a case like this is a child, and any attorney will tell you they don't make very good witnesses. Not to mention more often then not the accused is a family member a father, an uncle or a boyfriend. Many times the parent don't even want to put their children though the pain of having to take the stand.

Prosecutors know this, which is why very often in these cases they try to reach a plea bargain with the defendant. With Jessica's Law however, there can be no plea bargain. That leaves the defendent with two choices, plead guilty and get 25 years, or fight it and maybe get off, maybe get 25 years, so they'll fight it every time. It stands to reason that the more often they fight the charges the more often they will win.

Not to mention this doesn't prevent prosecuters from charging the guy with some lesser charge, like regular old child battery which is a much lighter sentence and doesn't come with the same supervision as a sexual charge would come with.

I guarentee in states that pass Jessica's law you will begin to see a number of things happen over the next 5 years.
1. the number of these cases happening will stay about the same.
2. the number of people charged with the crime of brutal child molestation will go down, not because it isn't happening, but because prosecutors won't bother charging people with it.
3. of the number of people actually charged with the crime, the % of those convicted will go down.

The same people who would be getting off to easy before will still be getting off to easy now, possibly even easier with no supervision. All this law will do is introduce another level of complexity to an already over worked justice system.

We have judges because we the people can't sit down and listen to every detail of every criminal case. To many people in this country think they can sit down and listen to a 5 paragraph summary of a case from Bill O'Reilly and make a better decision then that of a professional who's JOB it is to deal with this type of thing every day. Manditory minimums solve nothing. They create more problems then they solve.
bhman31289

Pro

To make things perfectly clear, no law is perfect; No law ever will be. So now that we have that out of the way lets get down to business. No proscutor in their right mind would just use a child as their only type of evidence that a crime actually occured. There is a reason why we have rape kits, for DNA. You also have to put in place what I said before; if you are put in fornt of a jury of your peers then there is sifficent evidence to put you in that court room. Not all offences are put under 25 years to life. Jessica law is there to implement that this is what faces you if you commit an act of sexual aggression torwards a child. It sounds to me that you want to make sentences a little easier on those who predator children. When you go to prison its not suppose to be fun or easy, or in another case say hey I only got seven years for raping a child.
Debate Round No. 2
ischuldt

Con

ischuldt forfeited this round.
bhman31289

Pro

bhman31289 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by spinaltap 9 years ago
spinaltap
they should be put in jail for life...no probation...anyone with kids should agree with this or they shouldn't have kids.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
Not when judges aren't doing their job. These minimums are put in place to make sure justice is served. If it was your child , you would want a minimum in place. I know I would.
Posted by MtthwUsaf 9 years ago
MtthwUsaf
I think the basic argument here is over mandatory minimums. We put judges in place to decide things like this. Some make bad decisions and thus should be impeached, but making mandatory minimums is not the answer. Yes these people should rot in jail but that is for a judge to decide.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
If you sexually abuse a child you should rot in jail , I think Jessica's law is not tough enough. If a sexual predator thinks that is too long , tell them not to touch a child in any sexual way and then they won't have to do the sentence. What reasoning do you have to say that if someone commits a crime of this nature , they should get less time?
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by spinaltap 9 years ago
spinaltap
ischuldtbhman31289Tied
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Vote Placed by dbaytor 9 years ago
dbaytor
ischuldtbhman31289Tied
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Vote Placed by MtthwUsaf 9 years ago
MtthwUsaf
ischuldtbhman31289Tied
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Vote Placed by hark 9 years ago
hark
ischuldtbhman31289Tied
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Vote Placed by adamh 9 years ago
adamh
ischuldtbhman31289Tied
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Vote Placed by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
ischuldtbhman31289Tied
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Vote Placed by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
ischuldtbhman31289Tied
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