Death Penalty Possible for Some Child Predators?

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A get-tough measure to punish sex offenders who abuse children has been filed in Austin -- with the death penalty option.

The proposal is one of the top issues for Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the legislative session.

The plan has minimum 25-year sentences for first convictions and the death penalty option for repeat molesters.

Senator Bob Deuell of Greenville sponsored the bill that's raised concerns among prosecutors and victims rights groups.

They worry the tougher measures could make it harder to get convictions in cases that are already difficult to prosecute -- and could lead to even more violence against children.

Governor Rick Perry has given the bill emergency status for the session.

The bill is titled "Jessica's Law," after Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl who was abducted and killed in March of 2005.

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