January 25, 2006

Bill aims to toughen sex-crime sentences

The Courier-Journal

By Deborah Yetter
The Courier-Journal

FRANKFORT, Ky. Sex offenders would face tougher sentencing and closer supervision, and court records of juvenile offenders as young as 12 would become public under two bills announced yesterday.

House Bill 3, which includes tougher laws for sex offenses, also would expand the use of the death penalty for such crimes as the murder of a child younger than 12.

House Bill 436 would open now-closed juvenile court proceedings and records of children older than 12 for offenses including burglary, felony sexual or physical assault, homicide and use of a weapon in a crime.

Diana Thornsbury of Louisville, whose 12-year-old daughter was raped and killed 11 years ago by a juvenile sex offender, said opening such records is overdue.

"I think it should be open to the public, what they're doing," said Thornsbury, who had no idea that the 17-year-old neighbor who killed her daughter had been convicted of raping a 7-year-old girl.

Posted by kshaw at January 25, 2006 08:37 AM