Tri-City Ledger -

By Our View 

Life without, is right move for sex offenders


August 1, 2019

They say you learn something new everyday. We learned something new last week when we learned that a person over the age of 21 who is found guilty of certain sex crimes on a child under the age of 6 'shall' be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

We really thought that the only time you could be sentenced to life without was in a capital murder case when the only two options a judge and jury have are death or life without.

Last week an Escambia County (Ala.) jury convicted Christopher Lance Burtram, 34, of sodomizing and sexually assaulting a 4-year old girl. We won't go into all the details, but what he was accused of doing to that little girl, that a 12-member jury believed, was horrific.

The first thought is to take him out in front of the courthouse and shoot him. But we have a constitution that doesn't allow such justifiable punishment.

The jury convicted him of sodomy I and sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12. We felt Judge Dave Jordan would sentence him to life and then we learned he could be sentenced to life without parole due to an amendment passed by the Alabama Legislature.

Over the past several years, the Legislature has passed bills to keep many non-violent offenders out of jails and prisons due to the overcrowding issue. We we were proud to see they stepped up to the plate and decided that certain people, especially those who sexually abuse children as young as 4-years old, should not have an opportunity for parole even if they get a life sentence.

No sentence will take away the memories that little girl has to live with for the rest of her life, but knowing Burtram will never have an opportunity to harm her or any other child is at least a comfort blanket of sorts.


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