Special Session on Sex Offender Laws? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Special Session on Sex Offender Laws?

Gov. Jim Douglas Gov. Jim Douglas

Montpelier, Vermont - July 16, 2008

In the wake of the Brooke Bennett case, Governor Jim Douglas, R-Vermont, plans to meet with legislative leaders about having a one-day legislative session to consider new sex offender laws.

Douglas wants new mandatory minimum sentence for child sex assault -- but is not sure if Vermont should adopt the 25-year minimums called for in Jessica's Law.

"I believe there has to be some greater minimum than we have now-- a 10-year presumptive minimum for sexual assault for a child-- but it's suspendable and what I'm hearing from Vermonters is that's not good enough. Whether it's 25 years or 10 without suspension, I don't know what it specifically ought to be, yet that's why I want to have some discussions with legislative leaders," said Douglas.

Douglas DOES want an expanded sex offender registry and civil confinements, where sex offenders are held past their prison sentences. But that could be a problem. Yesterday, Democratic leaders say civil confinement is the one issue that is off the table.

Douglas says if there is a special session, he'd like to have it this summer before the campaign season gets into full swing.

Kristin Carlson - WCAX News

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