Demand Stricter Sentencing for Sexual Offenders

Target: U.S. Congress

Goal: Mandate stricter sentences for first-time sex offenders across the United States.

John Couey was arrested 24 times in a 30-year period. He was a known sex offender, yet he was still released from prison, allowing him the opportunity to sexually assault and murder a little girl. Idaho, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, and Hawaii have yet to pass a version of Jessica’s Law, legislation meant to keep sexual offenders in prison and away from children.

Jessica Lunsford was a nine-year-old girl who was abducted, sexually assaulted, and then buried alive by serial sex offender John Couey. When the police found her three weeks after her death, they found her partially mummified hands still clutching her purple dolphin. Medical Examiner Steven Cogswell believes it took her 3-5 minutes to die of suffocation, just enough time for her to break two fingers out of the garbage bags she was buried in.

In memory of her, Jessica’s Law was passed in Florida, 2005. The law mandates a minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum of life in prison for first-time sex offenders. This applies mainly to sexual assault directed toward a child under the age of 12 years old. Jessica’s Law seeks to end short sentences for sexual predators, thereby better protecting Florida’s children. The law was introduced at a federal level in 2005 as the Jessica Lunsford Act, and yet, the bill was never passed. Forty-two states have already begun to introduce stricter legislation regarding sexual predators, but wouldn’t it be better if the Jessica Lunsford Act were federal legislation?

Please ask Congress to better protect America’s children by reintroducing stricter legislation regarding sexual offenders at the federal level, and this time, enacting it into law.


Dear members of Congress,

Convicted sexual predators should not be given short terms. John Couey was convicted twice of sexual assault before he raped and murdered Jessica Lumsford. Children are precious and they must be protected.

Please reintroduce the Jessica Lunsford Act. While 42 states have already introduced stricter legislation regarding their sexual offenders, eight states have not, and in those eight states, children are at a greater risk. There is no telling when those states will change their minds, but many children don’t have that much time. Stricter legislation could have saved Jessica Lunsford’s life; it’s already making life safer for children in most of America. Please enact the law, and make life safer for all of America’s children.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jason Macor via Flickr

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