Governor signs "Chelsea's Law" in Balboa Park

Crime, Law and JusticeJuvenile DelinquencySocial IssuesCrimeGovernment

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation named for slain Poway High School senior ChelseaKing Thursday at a public ceremony in Balbao Park.

Schwarzenegger was joined at Spreckels Organ Pavilion by Chelsea's parents, Brent and Kelly King, and the bill's author, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher.

"I mean we are changing how they approach parol, penalty increases, we've done it all in a revenue neutral way," said Fletcher, Assemblyman.

"Because of Chelsea, everyone has joined to solve this serious problems in our state, because of Chelsea, California's children will be safer, because of Chelsea this never has to happen a again," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Very few things bring republicans and democrats together but your daughters have."

Assembly Bill 1844, also known as Chelsea's Law, requires a life sentence without the possibility of parole for forcible sex acts againstminors. It would also tighten sex offense parole guidelines and require lifelong tracking of certain sex offenders.

The legislation was approved unanimously by the state Senate and Assembly.

Chelsea was raped and killed Feb. 25 by registered sex offender John Albert Gardner III, who grabbed her while she was jogging at a Rancho Bernardopark. Searchers found the 17-year-old's body a few days later in a shallow grave on the shore of Lake Hodges.

Gardner, 31, was sentenced in May to two life terms without parole for murdering and sexually assaulting Chelsea and for abducting, raping and fatally stabbing 14-year-old Amber Dubois of Escondido a year earlier.

Gardner was on parole for other sex crimes when he murdered the teens.

A package of bills promoted by Amber's father that are intended to improve law enforcement handling of missing person cases also await thegovernor's signature.

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