Slain teenager parents, lobby for Chelsea’s Law

Brent King comforts his wife, Kelly, as Assemblyman Nathan  Fletcher talks about the introduction of Chelsea's Law SACRAMENTO — Aware of the challenge but committed to their cause, Kelly and Brent King on Monday launched the campaign to pass “Chelsea’s Law.” “We must demand nothing short of swift and decisive action for all of our children,” said Kelly King, the mother of slain Poway teenager Chelsea King. The grieving parents stood alongside Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, as he detailed the specifics of Chelsea’s Law to target “the worst of the worst.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 1844, would adopt a one-strike rule eliminating any chance of parole for those who commit forcible sex crimes against children that involve bodily harm, torture, kidnapping or other aggravating circumstances. Chelsea’s Law would require lifetime parole for less-serious attacks, requiring the state to monitor and pay for electronic tracking of those offenders. Those on parole would be barred from visiting parks where children gather unless they have prior permission of authorities. “The more we know about the movement of those sexually violent predators, the safer our society becomes,” Brent King said. Convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III, 31, stands accused of killing Chelsea after she went for a run at Rancho Bernardo Community Park on Feb. 25. He has pleaded not guilty. Gardner was off parole and was not being monitored after a past conviction on charges of beating and molesting a 13-year-old girl. Lobbying for Chelsea’s Law will continue today for the Kings and their supporters, who will rally in front of the Capitol with a thousand sunflowers, Chelsea’s favorite bloom. The biggest hurdle may be finances, given the state’s deep budget crisis. “There’s no price you can put on a child’s life,” Kelly King said. Fletcher’s bill does not provide a price tag or indicate how the state would pay for permanent new inmates at a time when prisons are packed. He said he will have a financing plan ready if Chelsea’s Law moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. There it might languish until the budget negotiations progress. The Kings meet today with4/13 Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. He chairs the Public Safety Committee, which will hear the bill April 20. “Obviously it’s a very delicate situation,” Ammiano said. “We have to take a step back and be careful with this to make sure we do everything correctly. Right now, I’m open.” as is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “The governor believes those who prey upon children should face the harshest criminal penalties society can impose. He looks forward to reading Assembly member Fletche

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