Parents of abducted Iowa teen call for harsher punishments for offenders

The parents of an Iowa teenager who was kidnapped and killed in May of 2013 are calling for harsher penalties for offenders in an effort to prevent future tragedies.

WHO reported that on Thursday, January 23, 2014 Kathlynn Shepard’s parents urged lawmakers to change current laws regarding sex offender punishments.

“There is no reform for these cowards for these monsters that are out preying on our children,” said Kathlynn’s mother Denise Shepard, according to the report. “They are going to do it again and again and again.

Previous reports indicate that in May, Kathlynn and a 12-year-old girl were abducted by a man named Michael Klunder. Klunder reportedly took his own life after abducting the two girls. The 12-year-old was able to escape.

According to WHO, Klunder was sentenced to 41 years in prison on previous kidnapping charges but was released early for good behavior.

The families of the two girls urged lawmakers on Thursday to do away with the good behavior credit and implement harsher punishment for those types of charges.

The Des Moines Register reported that House Study Bill 501 elevates punishment for kidnapping cases from a 10-year prison sentence to a 25-year sentence if the victim is 15 years old or younger. This legislation also prevents inmates convicted of certain crimes from being released early from prison.


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