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State Legislative Affairs Update
By Scott Ehlers
Oklahoma, South Carolina Approve Death for Child Molesters
In June, South Carolina and Oklahoma became the fourth and fifth states to approve the use of capital punishment for certain repeat sex offenses against children On June 8, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R) signed SB 1138, and on the following day, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry (R) signed SB 1800.
The South Carolina legislation makes offenders eligible for the death penalty if they have been twice convicted of raping a child under 11 years old. Other provisions of the bill include increasing the mandatory minimum sentence for sex offenders to 25 years in prison, establishing a new crime for those who harbor sex offenders, and making electronic monitoring mandatory for those convicted of criminal sexual conduct. The legislation in Oklahoma, sponsored by state Sen. Jonathan Nichols (R), makes any person twice convicted of rape, sodomy, or lewd molestation of a child under 14 eligible for the death penalty.
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