JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The mother of an 8-year-old girl who was murdered after being abducted at a Wal-Mart is pleading with lawmakers to toughen sex offender laws.
Rayne Perrywinkle angrily spoke Wednesday at a legislative hearing on sex offender laws. She said if nothing is done now, more children like her daughter Cherish will be killed.
Republican Rep. Janet Adkins of Fernandina Beach called for the hearing as a response to the murder. Registered sex offender Donald James Smith is charged with the girl's murder.
About 20 people participated in the hearing before a packed room at Jacksonville City Hall.
Among the suggestions were life sentences for child rapists and conducting risks assessments in all sex offense cases before sentencing.
[Special coverage: Remembering Cherish
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