Jessica’s Law was named after nine year old Jessica Lunsford who was abducted and killed on February 27, 2005.
Jessica was asleep when John Couey came into her home through an unlocked door, woke Jessica up, and told her to follow him out of her house. She complied and was taken to his trailer, where he violated and killed her.
Jessica was found less than a month later on March 19, 2005 by police who found her remains inside a garbage bag in a hole in the ground covered by leaves. Couey was found guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping, and capital sexual battery, but died on September 30, 2009 before he could carry out his sentence.
After Jessica’s death, her father, Mark Lunsford, pushed for new legislation to strengthen regulations on tracking released sexual offenders. Jessica’s Law was passed in Florida in 2005. The act mandates a minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum of life in prison for first-time child sex offenders. It also requires tighter restrictions on sexual offenders, like wearing electronic tracking devices.
Since the passing of Jessica’s Law in the state of Florida, other states have introduced their own form of Jessica’s Law. One version of Jessica’s Law was the proposed Jessica Lunsford Act of 2005. The act was introduced at the federal level in 2005, but was never passed in Congress.
For more information about Jessica’s Law, visit the following websites:
What is Jessica's Law?
The Jessica Lunsford murder
To see the full Jessica’s Law text, click here