At the state capitol, a round-table meeting will conviene Tuesday on the subject of protecting Missourians from sexual offenders. Daniel Frumson has the story.
In a rare move for the Missouri legislature, Senate Judiciary Chairman Matt Bartle has called for a round-table meeting to coordinate the legislator's efforts in regards to punishing sex offenders and protecting Missouri's children from sexual preditors.
Bartle says he believes there is no doubt the legislature will stregthen sex offender laws, but that the government needs to help prosecutors as well.
"We want to do it in a prudent fashion so that we don't make the penanties so severe that prosecutors won't use them; that they won't be able to get juries to convict for those offenses. So that's our challange is that we want to make Missouri sex offender penalties work and that means creating laws that end up with those that are the greatest threat to re-offend are put away for the longest period of time."
Republican Senator John Loudon of St. Louis says his sex offender bill will likely be a large part of the round-table discussion.
Loudon also says some prosecutors disagree with most legislators on whether of not to have manditory minimum sentencing.
"Here's the problem. The prosecutors are arguing that this is going to make is more difficult for them. What they mean is they will instead of being able to plead these cases down, they're going to have to take a lot more of them to trial, which is going to mean more work for them. And my answer to that is hey, it's worth the effort if you can lock up a really bad guy away for a really long time."
The round-table is set for Tuesday afternoon at four thirty pm. From the state captiol, I'm Daniel Frumson.