At Vox Populi, Rep. Brad Daw discusses the case of child rapist Lonnie Johnson, who was recently released from custody because of what Daw describes as "a hole in Utah's criminal code." Daw says he's preparing legislation for the 2012 session to ensure that such a "legal travesty" doesn't happen again.
Fortunately, even though the release of Lonnie Johnson is a terrible miscarriage of justice, the remedy is relatively straightforward. We simply need to add to the law the notion that anyone who is mentally incompetent and presents a serious threat to sexually assault a child can be held in the state mental hospital. To that end I have contacted legislative research and begun the process of adding this to the law. I have also been in contact with the prosecutor's association, the Utah Association of Counties, and the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Over the next few weeks we will be meeting and drafting the exact wording of the statute to clearly cover this case. I expect by the end of summer to have something ready to present to an interim committee and ready for quick passage during the 2012 general legislative session.