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house Bill H.R. 4203

Should the Prison Term For Stalking a Minor be Increased by 5 Years?

Argument in favor

Stalking a minor is one of the most egregious crimes a person can commit. Prison terms for those convicted of it should be five years longer.

Tammy's Opinion
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04/09/2018
In general, I worry increased prison sentences are ways to funnel more money to the prison industrial complex, but stalking is serious and often dangerous. How can we be sure a fixation has ended? Prison doesn't treat the stalker mentality, so we tend to just put the stalker back on the street to pick up where s/he left left off or perhaps ready to seek revenge... This isn't a perfect solution by any means, but at least it does something to protect the victim and the public...
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Azrael's Opinion
···
04/09/2018
Lets start with the adults stalking and harassing the Parkland students And why is Pruit still on my payroll? Why is Ximena Baretto still on my payroll? Why is Ted Nugent not in jail for inciting violence against a whole slew of people? Why is Jamie Allman not in jail...threatening to stick a hot poker up David Hogg’s Ass? David is a child Why is Alex Jones not in jail, threatening Parkland students? Instead of having armed guards on paranoid Pruit to the tune of 3 million of my dollars, let’s use our enforcement officers to enforce laws
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Leo's Opinion
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04/09/2018
Stalking a minor indicates a very perverse mind that needs to be removed from society.
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Argument opposed

The current punishment for stalking a minor is sufficient, the prison term doesn’t need to be increased by five years.

hdinkins's Opinion
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04/09/2018
Incarceration increase is not the answer to social discord. Think outside the (for-profit) prison box.
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IllWill's Opinion
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04/09/2018
This is obviously a serious issue, but I don’t think increasing prison sentences is going to act as a deterrent for these crimes. We’re just going to further overcrowd our prisons without any rehabilitation for these prisoners before they get out.
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Craig 's Opinion
···
04/09/2018
Locking people up doesn’t solve anything. Punitive prison systems are harmful at many levels of society and mandatory sentencing laws do more harm than good. We must move to a rehabilitative criminal justice system.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed April 10th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 409 Yea / 2 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedNovember 1st, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 4203?

This bill — the Combat Online Predators Act — would increase the maximum prison sentence for stalking minors by 5 years. It would also require the Attorney General to produce an annual report evaluating the enforcement of stalking laws at all level of government and identify best practices.

Impact

People convicted of stalking minors; prisons; and the Attorney General.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4203

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost less than $500,000.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced this bill to increase penalties related to the stalking of minors after a case in his district where a teenage girl was stalked by a friend’s father, who was arrested on two occasions and sentenced to between 18 months and 7 years in prison:

“Sitting with the Zezzo family, I saw the pain in their eyes. After hearing the disturbing story of cyberstalking endured by this young girl and her family for years, I knew something needed to be done. We must do everything we can to forcefully respond to egregious instances of stalking and cyberstalking, especially when committed against minors — the most vulnerable among us. The Combat Online Predators Act ensures that not only are we increasing penalties for these crimes, but also requiring federal law enforcement officials to constantly evaluate and update practices to combat this digital harassment. There is still ”

This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote and has the support of five bipartisan cosponsors, including four Republicans and one Democrat.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: grandriver / iStock)

AKA

Combat Online Predators Act

Official Title

To amend title 18, United States Code, with regard to stalking.

    In general, I worry increased prison sentences are ways to funnel more money to the prison industrial complex, but stalking is serious and often dangerous. How can we be sure a fixation has ended? Prison doesn't treat the stalker mentality, so we tend to just put the stalker back on the street to pick up where s/he left left off or perhaps ready to seek revenge... This isn't a perfect solution by any means, but at least it does something to protect the victim and the public...
    Like (91)
    Follow
    Share
    Incarceration increase is not the answer to social discord. Think outside the (for-profit) prison box.
    Like (125)
    Follow
    Share
    Lets start with the adults stalking and harassing the Parkland students And why is Pruit still on my payroll? Why is Ximena Baretto still on my payroll? Why is Ted Nugent not in jail for inciting violence against a whole slew of people? Why is Jamie Allman not in jail...threatening to stick a hot poker up David Hogg’s Ass? David is a child Why is Alex Jones not in jail, threatening Parkland students? Instead of having armed guards on paranoid Pruit to the tune of 3 million of my dollars, let’s use our enforcement officers to enforce laws
    Like (57)
    Follow
    Share
    This is obviously a serious issue, but I don’t think increasing prison sentences is going to act as a deterrent for these crimes. We’re just going to further overcrowd our prisons without any rehabilitation for these prisoners before they get out.
    Like (56)
    Follow
    Share
    Locking people up doesn’t solve anything. Punitive prison systems are harmful at many levels of society and mandatory sentencing laws do more harm than good. We must move to a rehabilitative criminal justice system.
    Like (55)
    Follow
    Share
    Stalking a minor indicates a very perverse mind that needs to be removed from society.
    Like (48)
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    Share
    .......”ONLINE PREDATORS ACT” 👮🏻‍♂️👮‍♀️....... By all means YES. The staking of children 👶 is one of the most heinous of crimes imaginable to mankind. I’m in full support of the passage of the bill — H.R. 4203 - (The Combat Online Predators Act) —which would increase the maximum prison sentence for stalking minors by 5 years. It would also require the Attorney General to produce an annual report evaluating the enforcement of stalking laws at all level of government and identify best practices. Stalking a minor is one of the most egregious crimes a person can commit. Prison terms for those convicted of it should be five years longer. 4*9*18.
    Like (11)
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    Each situation needs to be tried on it's own merits and punished accordingly. Mandatory prison terms takes the human element out of the decision making and that's when things go wrong.
    Like (9)
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    Stalking a minor is reprehensible. The punishment must be increased. Protect children in every way possible.
    Like (7)
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    Online stalkers of minors deserve stiff sentences. Yea
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    As far as I’m concerned, if they catch someone stalking a minor either online or physically, they should be in prison forever. Extenuating circumstances apply but, the danger of kidnapping, murder or human trafficking are too high to mess around w/ this at all. Hang the first few & people will pay more attention.
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    Crimes against minors are the most egregious things that can be committed in a civilized society. Convicted persons should serve more time.
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    I don’t have enough information to understand what this bill means, but I do have great suspicion having seen the majority of Republican sponsored bill’s named the exact opposite of what they really are. Stalking is a favorite ploy of abusers usually ignored unless the target is famous, but we need to know what this bill actually entails. I fear further of loss of civil rights with many GOP ploys.
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    He/she will be released. Then what? I don't know what the real solution is but we are just putting a band aid on a larger issue than any is really willing to brainstorm about. I understand why we would react to say "Lock 'em up." However, there is no such thing as prison reform, when when they exit the prison system with no skills to manage his or her already aggressive behavior...what will happen?
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    this is a very serious problem but obviously a sentence is not a deterrent
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    We shouldn’t be voting on this. Increasing it by 5 years does nothing for the stalker. We should be working to fix this issue. What can we do to fix the problem? Come up with a solution and vote on that. This doesn’t fix the issue.
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    Just another way to make their stock price go up. I guess if I owned prison stock I would vote Yes. Stalking is serious but increasing the prison sentences ain't gonna fix it.
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    It's a no brainier that it's an egregious crime but the punishments are strict enough.
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    As many others have stated, throwing someone in prison for 5 extra years will do no good. Provide effective mental rehabilitation to address the problem.
    Like (4)
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    I’m generally not a supporter of growing our inmate population BUT we must protect our kids from predatory behavior and acts. Studies show u can not rehab a pedophile out of his desires. Putting him away and allowing that child to ‘age out’ is the child’s best chance for resolution.
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