TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Lawmakers, families of victims and others gathered Tuesday to watch Governor Scott sign four bills strengthening the state's laws against sexual predators.
At the ceremony Scott embraced Diena Thompson, who lost her 7-year-old daughter back in 2009 to a child predator. She was among others today at the signing who fought for stricter laws against offenders.
The governor also spoke of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle, whose considered the face of the new legislation. She was a Jacksonville native kidnapped and murdered last year. The four bills will put predators behind bars for longer, require them to receive psychiatric review and allow law enforcement to keep a tighter watch on them.
"I miss Somer really bad, I'll miss her til the day I take my last breath but I feel hope for other children in the state of Florida that this is gonna be a wonderful place," Diena Thompson said.
One of the bills imposes a minimum mandatory 50-year sentence for dangerous sexual felony offenders if the victim or witness was a child younger than 16 years old.