DENVER - On Wednesday, the father of a 9-year-old who was brutally raped and killed in Florida in 2005 was in Denver testifying in support of Jessica's Law. His arguments were not enough to pass the bill out of the House Committee, however.
The law died on a 7-4 party-line vote.
The law was created for Jessica Lunsfort. It asks states to adopt mandatory sentencing for first-time offenders who are convicted of sex crimes against children under the age of 14.
Colorado already monitors sex offenders after they are released, which is the second major component of Jessica's Law.
Mark Lunsford testified in front of a house committee meeting on Wednesday in support of the law. He said he will always testify but has not had to in the 44 other states where Jessica's Law is already in place.
"The most amazing part are the states that did [passed Jessica's law] without me testifying," Lunsford said. "They did not need influence from parents or organizations or the people, they did it on their own. Other states do not need to be convinced they just need to be sure that they are doing it the right way."
Lawmakers killed Jessica's Law in committee on Wednesday afternoon.
"Mandatory sentencing to protect children from pedophiles should be a 'no brainer,'" state Rep. Libby Szabo, the sponsor of House Bill 1149, said after the bill died. "Forty percent of released sexual offenders perpetrate a new crime within a year of being released, and the majority of the children they molest are kids under 13."
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