Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for October 29th, 2011

WI Legislature — Pass April’s Law, Now

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Hey, Wisconsin Legislature — it’s time to unite behind a piece of legislation everyone should get behind, “April’s Law,” which will increase the mandatory punishment of sexual offenders (i.e., predators) who commit offenses against children under age twelve.  Put your politics aside, and vote for this common-sense piece of legislation.  Now.

As to why I feel so strongly about this?  My friend, Lika Saliscente, has been working hard to get “April’s Law” passed in Wisconsin for several years now.  She runs a non-profit called the Youth Voice Initiative, and recently testified before a legislative subcommittee, the Assembly Subcommittee on Criminal Law and Corrections, in Madison, Wisconsin; “April’s Law” is called that because a little girl named April, who was only six, was raped over and over again, to the point of contracting an STD; the perpetrator only served one year in prison.  Ten years later, he was convicted of raping several other children; you can see why, if this violent, disgusting individual had been put in jail for a longer term, it may have done some good in this instance.

“April’s Law” would increase the mandatory minimum sentence from twenty-five years to life in prison to a very simple “life in prison” without any possibility for parole or “early release due to good behavior.”  There would also be stricter penalties for adults who are convicted due to possessing child pornography, which is also something I strongly support.

Lika’s story, and push to get “April’s Law” passed in Wisconsin, was recently discussed in the Racine Journal-Times (on the front page in its Monday, October 24, 2011 edition; the online version was published on Sunday, October 23).  I urge you to read this important article if you haven’t already, and if it doesn’t make your blood boil, I’ll be quite shocked.

Now, not everyone is behind this law.  State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), has said he does not support this law in the past, to Lika and others; his reasons for not supporting this bill are spurious to the point of ridiculousness.  (He was not quoted in the Journal-Times article, and I’ve been unable to gain a response from him regarding this, or any other, issue, which is yet another reason why Van Wanggaard should be recalled and replaced.  But I digress.)

Fortunately, Lika’s push to get “April’s Law” passed does have the support of at least two Racine Legislators, Assemblymen Cory Mason and Robert Turner.  Here’s what Cory Mason had to say in the recent Journal-Times article:

“She stayed with it,” said Mason, who gives Saliscente credit for the bill now known as “April’s law.” Her bill received a hearing last week before the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Corrections, thanks to the help of Turner, who sits on the committee. 

She even helped with multiple drafts of the bill, said Mason, who believes in the importance of the bill. 

“Those are horrific crimes and the victims of those crimes deal with the consequences of those crimes for the rest of their lives,” Mason said. 

Exactly.  Which is why it’s time for the state Legislature to put their politics aside, and pass this extremely important bill.  Now.

Because child rape — which is what we’re discussing — is neither a Democratic nor a Republican issue.  It’s a human issue.  Period.

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 29, 2011 at 7:01 pm