California Assembly Passes Chelsea’s Law

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.

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Phoebe Prince Was Mentally Ill Prior to the Bullying That Led to Her Suicide … But Does it Matter?

Phoebe Prince’s suicide last January shocked the nation. Prince was not the first teenager to commit suicide (and will sadly not be the last), but her story was noteworthy for the allegations that bullying by her classmates at a Massachusetts high school drove her to it. Now, a lawyer for several of the teens accused of harassing Prince to death is arguing that she suffered from mental illness and that this was the true cause of her decision to kill herself.

From People:

“They say that without the name-calling … Miss Prince would not have killed herself. But before Miss Prince’s unfortunate and tragic death, she had a history fraught with problems,” a lawyer for Sharon Chanon Velazquez, 17, who is accused of tormenting Prince, says in court newly filed documents. “She had been diagnosed and treated for mental health issues before [Velasquez] had any interactions with her.”

You know, medical records or not, it’s evident that Phoebe Prince had some pretty serious problems. Anyone that would commit suicide has, at the very least, the lack of an effective coping mechanism (and sometimes that inability to cope is temporary … but sadly too late). That said, though, there’s this expression about a straw and a camel’s back, and it’s an adage I happen to agree with.  Those on the outside will never know the straw that turned Ted Bundy into a psychopathic killer of women … or Osama bin Laden into the most notorious terrorist of all time … or Lindsay Lohan to start drinking before she was a teenager.

In Phoebe Prince’s case, that straw is obviously the cruelty she suffered at the hands of her classmates.

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Wet T-Shirt at the Heart of a Fishy Arrest … and Lawsuit Against Florida City

Janet Lovett of Florida got more than she bargained for when she went to a “kiddie splash park” with her husband and seven-year-old son. What should have been a fun-filled family day turned into Lovett’s arrest for supposed obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. Howard Marks, Lovett’s attorney, is now suing the city of Tavares, Florida “for violation of civil rights, false arrest and malicious prosecution.”

It’s quite a debacle when you consider that a wet t-shirt is at the heart of the story. Oh, wait, didn’t I mention that?

From AOL News:

The incident that provoked the lawsuit occurred in April when Janet Lovett and her husband took their 7-year-old son, who is autistic, to the Children’s Splash Park in Tavares. While she was in the park, Lovett was splashed by water, which soaked the front of her white T-shirt and made her padded bra visible.

“She was ultimately approached by an individual [who] professed to be a city employee and [told] she was not appropriately dressed for the park,” Marks said. “[He told her] she would have to change into a bathing suit or some other clothing.”

Okay, here’s my …

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43-Year-Old Australian Man Charged with Human Life Endangerment for Infecting Eight People With the HIV Virus

So here we go again. Another sad story that just further supports the argument for better sex education (is this getting old for you guys yet? Cause it’s getting old for me. ARE YOU LISTENING TO ANY OF THIS, POLITICIANS? … Hello?).

43-year-old Stuart James McDonald of Sydney, Australia is currently being tried in court for eight counts of “endangering life,” after infecting eight other men with HIV.

All eight men, whom he met on the website Gaydar.com, as well as in notorious “homosexual meet up” spot Veale Gardens (Wikipedia’s words, not mine) and a “gay boarding house,” tested positive for HIV back in 2005, after having relations with McDonald.

It is being said that McDonald withheld the fact that he had HIV from to each of his partners because he “believed that no one would want him” if they knew. He is alleged also to have lied about using condoms during intercourse, which was found out by the other men after the fact.

McDonald, who is currently standing trial, is pleading …

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