Would 'Chelsea's Law' Be Effective?

California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher is moving to create “Chelsea’s Law,” in honor of 17-year-old Chelsea King, who went for a jog and was found in a shallow grave, allegedly the victim of a registered sex offender. No details have been provided, but Fletcher is looking into extending sentences and parole requirements. However, the concern with these laws (like Megan’s Law, Amber Alert, and Jessica’s Law) is whether or not they are effective, especially given California’s financial state. With spending tight, budgets may not be so lenient for action with unclear results. An estimated $80 million is spent on ankle-bracelet monitoring of high-risk offenders annually in California, but a report on the tracking devices show no indication that they have made the public safer. A UC Berkeley law professor who has studied the legislative actions said they are more “symbolic politics” than anything. Still, the assemblyman is up for the task. “Everyone wants action now,” said Fletcher. “We owe it to the memory of Chelsea King to make sure that we do this right.”