Lots of Lege activity in the last day or two - we've got what, a bit more than five weeks to go? I'm gonna hit a few of the highlights, for lack of a better term.
[T]he new wording hashed out over the past month is less drastic than a proposal [Lt. Gov. David] Dewhurst highlighted during his January inaugural address.
"There's tough. And then there's Texas tough," Dewhurst had said of the bill as conceived.
It would have created a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for a wide variety of sex crimes against children. A second offense for any of those could result in the death penalty.
Though the newly worded bill is tougher than current law, requiring many predators to serve 75 percent of their sentences, its penalties are generally less than Dewhurst and Deuell proposed.
"The only thing we impose the death penalty for is two (penetration) aggravated sexual assaults of a child," Deuell told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday before distributing the compromise language to other senators.
"There's a trigger in there that if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the death penalty for nonmurder is unconstitutional, then everything will revert back to life without parole."