Local mother applauds new state sex offender laws

Diena Thompson watches governor sign bills in Tallahassee

By Marques White - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - New law toughening rules on the release of sexual offenders from prison went into effect last week, and a local woman who fought in Tallahassee to get laws passed says it's a step in the right direction.

Diena Thompson's 7-year-old daughter, Somer, was abducted and killed in 2009. Somer was walking home from her Clay County school.

Thompson turned her pain into progress and has lobbied for stricter laws in Florida, since she lost her daughter. Diena Thompson sat down with Channel 4 to discuss why she attended the bill signing ceremony. Channel 4's Marques White asked Thompson how she and her family have been dealing with what happened.

"Obviously, it's a nightmare. Unfortunately it is what it is and none of us can change what's happened already," said Thompson. "I just choose to stand up and fight, rather than sit down and be quiet."

Thompson has attended a number of bill signing ceremonies related to laws about sexual predators. News4Jax asked her how she is reacting to the tougher laws.

"We have to pass tougher laws in order to do that, but we also have to educate our children and our parents," Thompson said.

Thompson was also asked if she had any other ideas on laws against sexual predators.

"No, I wish I had the answer to that. If I did, we would be in a much better place," Thompson said.

Thompson says she believes sex offenders will offend time and time again. Thompson says she plans on attending bill signing ceremonies in the future.

Asked what she plans to do in the future, Thompson said she plans to keep fighting, until there is not a breath left in her.

Thompson also spoke about the Somer Thompson Foundation, which plans to educate Clay County residents about sexual predators.

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