Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly reporting tonight from Los Angeles. Thank you for watching us.
Everyday Californians have had enough: they want Jessica's Law. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo" and the reason we're out here. We're going to get this done.
After years of frustration, more than 600,000 Californians have signed a petition demanding Jessica's Law be put on the ballot next November. And so it will be. The Democrat-controlled state legislature will not pass Jessica's Law. And a current state law doesn't mandate strict penalties for child predators at all and is chaotic to boot.
So the folks here in the nation's largest state are going to do it themselves. And "Talking Points" thinks that's just great. But The Los Angeles Times and most of the other liberal California media disagree. Their main objection is that the new initiative, if passed, would make it very hard for convicted sexual predators to live in some places because they could not reside within 2,000 feet of schools and parks.
Also, the liberal media says it doesn't like the expense of tracking convicted predators after their release from prison. Now with all due respect to the left-wing media, I think this is just a ruse. They don't like mandatory prison sentences for anybody because it takes power away from judges.
All the polls say the Jessica's Law initiative here in California will pass overwhelmingly next fall, and here's what it would do. You would have a predator-free zone as I mentioned, that would include all sex offenders, not just pedophiles. You would have lifetime GPS tracking of all sex offenders. Mandatory minimum sentences of 15 or 25 years to life would be given to all convicted pedophiles. And there would be no early release from prison for anyone convicted of a sex offense.
Now there's no question the initiative would make life more difficult for some low-level sex offenders, people who make a mistake with another adult. But "Talking Points" believes most prosecutors would take that into account when offering a plea deal. You have to trust the authorities would not abuse Jessica's Law.
Of course, mistakes will be made. But overall, so much more protection would be afforded California kids, you've got to go for the greater good.
Right now, California's 85,000 registered sex offenders out on the street -- 85,000! And the California Department of Corrections says 50 percent of sex offenders released from prison 2001 went back to prison within three years --half of them.
So the folks are right. The opposition is wrong. California, like every other state in the union, needs Jessica's Law. We believe the folks here will make it happen in November.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Our pal Al Gore is not going to want to hear this, but here are the results of our billoreilly.com poll question. We asked: "Which story is more important: Al Gore accusing the USA of mistreating Arabs on U.S. soil, or Dick Cheney delaying the accident announcement?"
Well, more than 100,000 of you voted. Whoa. Eighty-five percent said the Gore story is more important. Just 15 percent went with the Cheney-quail-shooting story.
Demonstrates two things: one, the folks are smarter than the elite media. They know an important story when they see it. And two, that the fact the Gore story wasn't covered proves once again you're not being well served by many in the press, ladies and gentlemen. And that is ridiculous.
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