Senator Jay Paul Gumm says repeat child molesters should face the death penalty or life without parole, and he has written legislation to ensure they do just that.
“Those who repeatedly prey on our children in this unspeakable manner should face the most severe penalties allowed under our justice system,” said Gumm, a Democrat from Durant who is a Senate assistant majority leader.
Senate Bill 1747 would make repeat child molesters subject to the death penalty or life without parole. That, Gumm said, would let the justice system better protect children from those sex offenders who never will be rehabilitated.
“There are too many stories of child molesters who are set free only to shatter the life of another innocent child,” he said. “The case of Jessica Lunsford in Florida is only one example, and I want to make certain her story is never repeated in Oklahoma.”
The 9-year-old Florida girl was kidnapped and murdered last year by a convicted sex offender. That tragedy led to the passage of “Jessica’s Law” in Florida and a number of other states, including Oklahoma. That law requires lifetime global positioning system monitoring of repeat sex offenders.
Gumm’s bill expands on the new Oklahoma law making the most heinous repeat offenders subject to the death penalty.
“If there was ever a crime that was worthy of punishment by death or life without parole, it is certainly this most horrible crime that is committed against an innocent, defenseless child,” said Gumm, himself a new father. “As a parent and lawmaker, I want the strongest laws possible on the books to protect Oklahoma’s children.”
Recently, Gumm added a link to the National Sex Offender Registry to his website, located on the Internet at www.gumm.us. With a few clicks on a computer, parents can learn whether sex offenders live in their neighborhoods and communities.
“I am committed to making Oklahoma the safest state possible for our children,” he said. “We in the Legislature should leave no stone unturned in our efforts to protect the most innocent and precious among us, our children.”
Lawmakers will consider the measure when the 2006 session begins on Feb. 6.