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Nassau lawmaker leading effort to toughen Jimmy Ryce Act

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Updated: 1/03 11:52 pm
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Nassau County Rep. Janet Adkins is spearheading an effort to toughen the Jimmy Ryce Act.

Jimmy Ryce should have been 28-years-old today, maybe even having a family of his own -- but he never got the chance.

On Feb. 12, Jimmy's father, Don Ryce, will finally see his son's convicted killer be executed 18 years after his brutal murder. But Ryce says the fight for justice will continue.

"This fight is not over. The kids are not all safe today in many ways. Although things are better than they were 20 years ago we still got a long ways to go. I can tell you that my family will continue our part in that fight, until the time comes, if that ever comes, when we can say that our children are safe from this kind of a crime once and for all," said Ryce.

Adkins is taking the fight to Tallahassee. The Jimmy Ryce case sparked a law that bears his name. 

The law allows the state to detain violent sexual predators indefinitely, even if they've completed their sentences, until they can prove they're rehabilitated. But Adkins says the law isn't enough to protect all children.

According to Adkins, the goal is to help prevent cases like the murder of Cherish Perrywinkle.

"When you look at what one thing possibly could've have saved Cherish Perrywinkle it would've been that individuals with sex offenses being referred out of county detention centers, not just our state prisons, but out of our county facilities; having those individuals referred to the Department of Children and Families so they can get that evaluation," said Adkins.

Adkins says we can expect to see proposed legislation to toughen the Jimmy Ryce Act to be filed both in the Senate and the House this session.

"I'm confident that we will pass legislation this session that will not only tighten the Jimmy Ryce Act but will also make Florida the worst place to be if you're a sexual predator," said Adkins.

For Adkins, this fight goes beyond politics; she says it's personal to her.

"I am a mom, I have two children and so it strikes very close to home for every mother in our state," said Adkins.

March 4 is the deadline to file proposed legislation.

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viejo - 1/3/2014 11:32 PM
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The Williams statue seems to do a great job of putting innocent people in jail. Why not stick with it?
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