September 8th, 2010
10:00 PM ET

Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign 'Chelsea's Law' on Thursday

The parents of a California teen who was raped and murdered by a sex offender this year will join Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday as he signs into law a bill that increases penalties for certain sex offenses.

Named after 17-year-old Chelsea King, "Chelsea's Law" increases penalties for forcible sex acts against minors and mandates lifetime parole for certain sex offenders.

Schwarzenegger will be joined by the teen's parents, Brent and Kelly King, and the bill's sponsor, Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher, as he signs it into law at Balboa Park in San Diego, California at 9:45 a.m. PT. The event will be webcast live at www.gov.ca.gov.

"Chelsea's Law" has an urgency clause attached to it that means it will take effect as soon as it is signed.

Read more about "Chelsea's Law" on CNN.com

The bill creates a penalty of life without the possibility of parole for forcible sex crimes against minors that include aggravating factors, such as the victim's age or whether the victim was bound or drugged.

"Chelsea's Law" also sets criteria for assessing the risk of recidivism and, based on that risk, placing certain paroled sex offenders under greater supervision.

Registered sex offender John Gardner III has admitted to killing King and 14-year-old Amber Dubois. He was sentenced in April to three consecutive terms of life without parole for the murders and an attack on a jogger in a plea deal that spared him the death penalty.

Dubois' father is behind three assembly bills concerning law enforcement response to missing children. They are also awaiting Schwarzenegger's signature.

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soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Kristi

    Maybe we should be one big police state. Yeah!!! That should keep our children safe.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Wonderfool

    Why was there any plea deal with this criminal? He should have been sentenced with castration and paraded naked in every town. MAy be death by stoning in a grave act like this is not too cruel compared to what he did to his victims,

    September 9, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Letsgetreal

    All this law accomplishes is more taxes, votes for politicians, ratings for the media. Like all the other laws named after children.

    Bottom line TURD POLISH!

    September 9, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rob

    This law makes no sense. Think about it. It will make children less safe. No law will deter a child molester – I doubt those people are driven by reason. But now, a child molester who does fit the definition of that law might just as well "go for broke". Since he will get a life sentence without parole no matter what, it no longer makes a difference how he treats the child. Now, if your child gets abducted in the process of the crime, don't expect the perpetrator to cooperate with the police and tell you about the whereabouts. Mandatory life sentence without parole means law enforcement authorities have nothing to work with that might make a difference. I would have kept the without the possibility of parole part optional to keep this important bargaining chip in the hands of the prosecution.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cynic

    It's about time that the punishment fit the crime. It's disgusting that a country calling itself "free" can punish a person more for violating laws against illegal vegetable matter than for committing violence against another person. I know that it offends our "high-and-mighty" "law"makers that people thumb their noses at them by doing something non-violent that gives them pleasure, but the chickens come home to roost when citizens have to make an effort to get laws passed that will take violent criminals off the streets. Chelsea King would be alive today if the "powers that be" had taken this creep's evil nature seriously (because of the nature of his previous offenses) and had dealt him the justice that he deserved. This nation is very, very sick, but it is we, and not our glorious politicians, who are suffering for it.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. mammajohanna

    I agree that there should be a death penalty for these types of crimes. Think of the people that go hungry, homeless, no medical care, and then think about this slimewad having a roof over his head, 3 meals a day, medical care FOR LIFE on the tax payers bill. The saying "if you do the crime, do the time""...hell no, not on my dime.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. robert lange

    We experienced something worse than anything imaginable when this event happened. I can proudly say I go to Poway High. After this occured, everyone in Poway joined together and everyone changed a little bit. People are nicer, a little more respectful, and helpful to each other. Theres no use for violence like this to happen, not again. I'm glad they are finally passing this law and making those responsible suffer in prison. no one likes these types of people. i ask that by reading this comment, you become a little bit nicer, grow a little bit more respectful, and become a little bit less filled with hatred. just a little bit. I want to help change the world, too. We all miss you, Chelsea. We will always keep you in are hearts.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Nick2

    cut their organs off so that they become harmless. Then release them so we do not have to pay their room and board in prison.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bishop felix

    Pray that Gov. ARNOLD will make it life imprisonment.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. Moon Johnson

    This is a step in the right direction to get these people out of society. However any of us that know prison life, either firsthand, or from a third party, will tell you that "Chesters" don't last long in prison, or must grow eyes in the back of their head ASAP.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. Paul

    Glad to see some appreciate the stupid knee jerk reaction and thats all this law is. Use the laws we have and quit being ploiticians. I agree wit Kristi..loll..love the idea of a police state,,,,

    September 9, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ron W

    Life without parole for child molestation sounds great, but won't they just kill their victims since they have nothing to lose, and much more to gain since it's less likely they'll be caught?

    September 9, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      That was exactly my point. Unfortunately, this law is based on emotions and not reason.

      September 9, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. george

    roger, give it a rest. most of congress would be out of a job.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    FINALLY!

    September 9, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Common Sense

    Thank you Arnold for including Amber in your speech, that was very kind, selfless and thoughtful. Amber's parents may not have a law named after their daughter; however they have the respect of many, and there is nothing more comforting and rewarding than doing good and being kind, as they are.

    All of us watching can teach our kids so many valuable lessons, especially how this law has now placed them in even greater danger than before. The politicians and the media have given two sad people way too much power and that is hurting these two, not helping the Kings heal.

    September 12, 2010 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
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