In February 2005, a nine year old Florida girl named Jessica Lunsford was raped and murdered. The accused offender lived across the street from Jessica and had a history of crimes against children. He was required to register as a sex offender under Florida law but failed to keep his registration information current, as required. This case prompted Florida House Bill 1877 later that year, which increased punishment and monitoring of child sex offenders.
Two major components of the bill include a mandatory 25 years to life prison sentence for first time offenders convicted of sex crimes against children and the use of global positioning satellites (GPS) or electronic devices to track the location of sex offenders following release.
Several states have since passed similar versions of the original Jessica's Law although the title of acts may vary by state.
At least 25 states have enacted mandatory 25 year minimum sentences for first time child sex crime offenders; at least 39 states have enacted GPS or electronic monitoring provisions specific to sex
offenders; and at least 23 states have enacted both GPS or electronic monitoring and 25 year minimums, identified below by an asterisk next to the state name. Some states have not yet enacted
these Jessica's Law components but may have comparable or related provisions; that information is also included below.