A bill that would ban sexual predators from taking Viagra is advancing at the Capitol. It’s one of several measures lawmakers are considering to get tough on sex crimes.
But skeptics wonder if the effort is more about getting re-elected than protecting society.
It would be a crime for Florida’s nearly 6,000 sexual predators to possess Viagra or other sexual enhancement drugs under a bill gaining ground at the Capitol.
Sponsor Aaron Bean says these criminals shouldn’t have access to anything that would help them victimize others.
“They are evil, they have done evil things, and this is just another tool for law enforcement to hold the evil-doers in check.”
There is also a bill to ban sex offenders from living a half-mile from anywhere children congregate.
Another bill would designate on a person’s driver’s license whether they’re a sexual predator or offender. Some folks wonder whether the crackdown on sex offenders is more about election-year politics than good public policy.
Larry Spalding with the American Civil Liberties Union says what parents really need is more education since most child molesters are people they know.
“The feel-good legislation doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. Spalding: Correct, but it’s a good campaign topic when you pass out your literature.”
Senator Nancy Argenziano knows tough-on-crime bills look good at election time, but as the sponsor of Florida’s Jessica Lunsford Act, named for a nine-year-old murder and sex abuse victim, she argues the laws do make a difference.
“I keep Jessie’s picture in my office to remind me of the reality, and I don’t want to play politics with that.”
The political reality is bills to make life tough on sex criminals like the Viagra bill stand a good chance of passing this year because it also happens to be an election year.
The bill prohibiting sexual predators from possessing sexual enhancement drugs passed its House committee unanimously Wednesday. It now goes to the full House for a vote before going over to the Senate.