On Monday August 30th, California’s state assembly passed Chelsea’s Law unanimously, 72-0. Chelsea’s Law calls for mandatory life sentences for violent sex crimes committed against children in California. The bill will now be sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has already agreed to sign it.
The law received its name from slain San Diego teen, Chelsea King, who was murdered and raped by John Gardner III in late February of this year.
Back in February, I found out from a bagger at my local grocery store that the body of Chelsea King had been uncovered. For days before, her picture had been splashed all over the local papers and her story was a staple on all the local news stations. She had been missing since going for a morning run at a local park.
My daughter was searching for the perfect candy bar when the pimply-faced teen asked the cashier “Did you hear they found Chelsea Kings remains near Lake Hodges?” In unison, the cashier and I let out a sigh. The woman behind me voiced her disgust with a colorful array of words. My instinct was to reach down and swoop up my daughter, as if to protect her from some unseen and menacing force.