"Removing Serial Rapists from Our Streets"
Senator Dianne Feinstein
June 7, 1994
I rise today to introduce the "Protection from Sexual Predators Act of
1994." Similar legislation has already been introduced in the House of
Representatives by Louise Slaughter.
The goal: keep repeat sex offenders behind bars for life.
Under the legislation, state and local law enforcement will be given the
option of prosecuting repeat sex offenders under either state or federal
law after the first offense. This key change in the federal law means
that prosecutors will be able to seek the punishment of life in prison
without parole for violent and dangerous repeat sex offenders.
In the past, federal law only applied when an incident occurred on
federal land. With this legislation, Congress could apply the highest
federal penalty to a crime no matter where it occurred.
Significantly, this "two strikes and you're in" law will mean that if
someone is convicted of a first sex offense and then goes on to commit a
second aggravated sex offense, the predator could be sentenced to prison
Let me tell you why this legislation is necessary:
The man who kidnapped, molested and murdered 12 year-old Polly Klaas last
December, Richard Allen Davis, had an 11-page "rap sheet" that included a
1976 sexual assault. At the time that he dragged Polly at knifepoint
from her suburban bedroom, Davis was on parole after serving just half of
a 16 year sentence for kidnapping.
Sadly, the parole of violent sex offenders like Davis is not uncommon.
Melvin Carter was convicted in 1982 on 12 counts of sexual assault.
Carter confessed to raping more than one hundred women! Carter's release
to a prison camp in Modoc, County, caused an uproar from citizens and
former victims who didn't want this sexual predator in their community.
Both of these men are sexual predators, just two of thousands in our
Department of Justice figures show that sexual offenders are at least
twice as likely to repeat their original offense or commit a similar
crime as other repeat offenders.
In California alone last year, 25% of the 65,000 sex offenders who were
paroled went on to commit another sexual assault.
A computer analysis of 1992 statistics conducted by the California State
Department of Justice, and analyzed by Los Angeles Daily News, showed:
i Every day in California, an average of 14 convicted sex offenders
are released from prison;
i An estimated 5,000 sex offenders were paroled in 1993;
i An estimated that 46 percent of convicted sex offenders are
either given probation after having served no jail time, or are sentenced
to a year or less in a county jail;
i 51 percent of the people convicted of child molestation are
placed on probation with no jail term, or sentenced to a year or less in
a county jail;
i 57 percent of all felony sex offenders who were arrested and
later were convicted of a related offense were given probation or a
sentence of a year or less in a county jail.
It is time to protect our communities from the repeat sexual offenders.
Under the Sexual Predators Act of 1994:
_Anyone with one prior sexual abuse conviction who is later convicted of
using (or threatening to use) violence in order to force another person
into a sexual act will be eligible for prosecution in Federal court and
life in a Federal prison without parole.
_Violent second-time sex offenders who take advantage of a victim's
mental or physical inability to say "No" also would be subject to life in
_A second-time offender charged with having sex with a child under the
age of 12 would also be subject to life in prison.
The Act will also facilitate the collection and computer retrieval of
much needed information about sex offenders paroled into society.
The bill also commissions a one-year review of current research on sexual
predation and predators by (or under the auspices of) the National
Institute of Justice.
The "Protection from Sexual Predators Act" will allow federal prosecutors
to make it physically impossible for violent second-time offenders to
strike again by putting such predators away for life without the
possibility of parole.
As a result, violent sexual offenders would be behind bars, where they
I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.
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