The General Assembly recently passed a bill that would mandate a life sentence for anyone convicted of raping a child under the age of 13. Although existing law permits the imposition of a life sentence for such heinous crimes, the life sentence was imposed in only 10 of the last 215 convictions according to the bill's impact statement.
The punishment initially may appear disproportionate relative to the punishment meted out for other criminal acts. However, this is not a matter of the appropriate punishment as much as one of true public safety. Simply put, that brand of deviate is not likely ever to be rehabilitated, and I’m certainly not willing to risk my children’s safety to give them the benefit of the doubt. I have no problem taking them out of my neighborhood forever.
The bill was patroned by Del. Rob Bell who also patroned several other sex crime bills including a minimum 20 year sentence for distribution of child pornography. As you likely know, Bell is running for attorney general. He's definitely building his "law and order" resume here.