In response to the brutal killings of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois in San Diego, California, Assemblymember Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) has â€˜fast trackedâ€™ legislation, Assembly Bill 33, the â€œRape â€“ 1 Strike Law,â€ that will impose a mandatory 25 years to life in prison for the rape of a minor.Â Additionally, the bill will create an electronic crime alert notification system for cell phones and other handheld devices by geographic region, similar to Amber Alert.
â€œMy heart goes out to the King and Dubois families for their tragic loss. I can only imagine the pain and hurt that these heinous crimes have caused,â€ said Nava, a former prosecutor. â€œItâ€™s time for the state to implement a zero tolerance policy. My legislation will send a resounding message that if you commit rape or another violent sexual act against a minor, you will be put away for a very long time.â€
Navaâ€™s legislation would propose that an adult who rapes a minorÂ or commitsÂ an illicit sexual act would be subject to a mandatory 25 years to life in prison.Â Â
The bill will also create a system whereby California residents will have the option to receive an electronic message from their cellular provider to alert them when a suspected sexual crime has been committed in their neighborhood.
Said Nava, â€œWe must use all available technologies to alert the public. Law enforcement already issues Amber Alerts for child abductions, there is no reason we cannot do the same for sexual predators.â€Â Â
If such sentencing laws had been in place at the time of Mr. Gardnerâ€™s conviction in 2000, then both Chelsea King and Amber Dubois would be alive today.
â€œStudies clearly show that monsters like Mr. Gardner do not get better and the only way to protect the community is to put them away for 25 years to life so that they will no longer be a threat to our children,â€ said Nava.
Nava, a former prosecutor in Fresno and Santa Barbara Counties, has been a leading advocate for protecting the rights of victims. He has authored legislation that includes, prohibiting authorities from expunging the records of juvenile offenders who have committed egregious sex crimes, therefore not making them eligible for probation; allowed for the unsealing of sexual violent predator listed crimes from juvenile records when assessing whether a civil commitment is warranted for a violent predator after they have completed their prison term; and protected a victimâ€™s personal information by not allowing it to be provided to their attacker during aÂ civil commitment hearing.
nava is also a candidate for the Democratic Nomination for California Attorney General.