The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint-New laws to protect society from danger

By Keisha McDuffie/reporter

Sept. 1 marked the beginning of several new laws in Texas. Depending on your age, habits or mental health, you may or may not be affected by the new rules in Texas.

Some of these laws are right on time, and others are appreciated, but way overdue.

Speed demons, beware. A law prohibits anyone found guilty of driving at a speed of 95 mph or above from taking defensive driving to dismiss the ticket. I drive like a grandma, so I’m not too concerned.

Some laws are stiffer. The theft of wiring or cable that consists of at least 50 percent aluminum, bronze or copper metals and has a value of less than $20,000 is now a state jail felony. Applicable to the time, this law seems appropriate because until recently this type of criminal behavior was not very common. Now, however, it has become a very costly ordeal for taxpayer— individual and commercial. But this law is not of much concern to me either.

H8, also known as Jessica’s Law, was the first law to grab my attention. H8 imposes a 25-year minimum for those found guilty of sexually violent offenses against children 14 and under and makes a second conviction of a sexually violent offense against a child under 14 years of age a capital felony. The magnitude of this law is huge.

One in every six American women and one in every 33 males has been the victim of a sexual assault. Roughly 44 percent are under the age of 18, and in two out of three cases, the assault was by someone they knew.

These numbers are staggering. I don’t understand why there hasn’t been more of a demand for studies on such offenders. Obviously, there is a miss here, but why? Is this definitely a learned behavior or could it be heredity. How old were the offenders when this behavior began?

In 2000, these crimes were down by 22 percent, but the percentage of unreported incidents was up from 31 percent to 44 percent. If no other reason than themselves, these pedophiles will restrain from such damaging temptations, considering it could cost them their lives.

Probation for a pedophile that is a level RED, is ludicrous. If the person is considered to be a high risk, why is he or she living next door to the neighborhood day care? But I’m grateful, Even if overdue, these laws are now in effect.

If you think anyone you know may be the victim of a sexual offense and needs help, please call the Rape Crisis and Victim’s Services at 817-927-2737 or the National Sexual Assault hot line at 1-800-656-HOPE.

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