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Tougher sex offender tracking rules proposed

May 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The parents of Amber Dubois are using their horrific experience to try to help protect other families from such pain. They are lending their support to a package of state bills designed to crack down on sex offenders.Amber's life was cut tragically short by a convicted sex offender who managed to fly under the radar for years. Amber's father wants to make sure that never happens again. Tuesday, Maurice Dubois joined officials in Long Beach to provide details on a package of four bills designed to crack down on sex offenders and keep children safe.

Fourteen-year-old Amber was raped and killed in San Diego County by registered sex offender John Albert Gardner, who was sentenced to life in prison for her murder and the murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King.

"Any reform of the current system to make it better, to make it stricter, to make it harder for these predators to be on our streets is what we need," said Dubois.

One bill would require registered sex offenders to carry different colored driver's licenses or ID cards, which is something that would be recognizable to law enforcement when a sex offender is pulled over.

"You could then take that information and find out where they're supposed to be living, find out where it is you found them, and that leads to a whole new avenue of investigation," explained Santa Barbara Assemblyman Pedro Nava.

Another bill would make state officials provide police with a list of all sex offenders within a five-mile radius of an abduction within two hours of it being reported.

Another bill would establish a missing child rapid response team, and a fourth bill requires law enforcement agencies to alert state and national databases of credible reports of missing children within two hours, cutting the current time in half. Amber's father says if it weren't for flaws in the system, his daughter and Chelsea might still be alive.

"There's a number of parole violations which all should have sent Gardner back into the system. Did he fall through the cracks? Yes, a hundred times. Does he know how to work the system? Yeah, most predators do," said Dubois.

The expected cost of the proposed legislation could be a stumbling block, but Dubois says he is prepared to fight. Chelsea's parents are also pushing for legislation in her memory that would toughen penalties on sexually violent predators.


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