Wednesday, July 24, 2013

eAdvocate- S1243 Senator Vitter Requests that his amendment - attacking sex offenders NOT be read into the record

If you aren’t already following eAdvocate you should!

"E" follows National Legislation plus State issues and news too. 

Here is an Alert from eAdvocate on a Federal Bill. 

7-24-2013 Washington DC:

Yesterday we reported that Sen. Vitter presented an amendment affecting certain sex offenders in a new bill S-1243. At that time we did not have the details of the amendment, but in the Congressional record we found where he presented the amendment (see below).

Pay particular attention to the fact, that, he asks the clerk to "dispense with reading the amendment" i.e., to not read it into the record. He doesn't want the public to know what it says!

Thankfully the clerk reads some part of it to give us an idea of its intent, but we still do not have the exact wording to properly analyze it. In addition, the bill text on Thomas was not updated to reflect what it says either. So below is all we have to report.

Note: ONE Senator voted AGAINST this amendment, Senator Rockafeller of West Virginia. He should be commended for standing up against this harmful amendment. His contact information is at the link. 

To read more click here

Oklahoma Legislators Admit a Conviction-Based Classification System with No Risk Assessments Has Resulted in a Meaningless Registry

Per the below article, Oklahoma lawmakers admit their states Conviction-Based Classification System for Registrants is flawed and wasting valuable resources. 

I have personally asked Governor McDonnell’s staff (2 times-December 2009 and June 2010) The Virginia State Crime Commission (2 times-2009 and 2011) and numerous State lawmakers to eliminate our current 2 tiered (Non-Violent and Violent) Conviction- Based Classification System for Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia. 

Multiple crimes of varying degrees are “registerable” offenses, the plain and undeniable truth is there are even innocents listed on the Virginia Registry. The current laws that stigmatize someone as a “Sex Offender” in Virginia DO NOT distinguish between dangerous and stupid behavior. More than 94% of criminal charges in Virginia end with a plea deal mainly due to ignorance of the system, fear of prison time, lack of financial abilities to cover legal fees and the inevitable  fear of losing ones steady employment, housing and family. As opposed to actual guilt, believed by most citizens as the reason for any person would accept a plea. 

Once listed on the registry all are considered the same, all are assumed to be a “pervert”, a “pedophile” and a “predator”. 

When in reality only a fraction listed is a danger and should be monitored. 

Not to mention the “due-overs” the Virginia General Assembly has done without any due process. 

  • In 2006 and 2008 the Virginia General Assembly retroactively re-classified Virginians who were classified as Non-Violent to Violent. The offenders were notified via letter of the new mandate to register for another 5 years after the law went into effect that July. When this change occurred it meant the offender would not be able to petition to be removed from the registry.. …ever. They would be listed for life. It also meant instead of re-registering in-person with the VSP once per year they were mandated to do so every 90 days for life. A lifetime with no option to be removed, a lifetime of state resources and monitoring on people who were originally deemed Non-Violent by the courts.
  • In 2008 the Virginia General Assembly retroactively increased the mandatory time Non-Violent offenders were required to register from 10 years to 15 years before they would be allowed to petition the courts to be removed. A few Virginians that had successfully petitioned and were removed before 2008 were notified via letter of the new mandate to register for another 5 years after the law went into effect that July and were put back on the list. Everyone else had 5 years added onto their time-frame but weren’t even notified of this change by the state.
Today, approximately 83+%*** of the 20,000+* Virginian RSO’s are classified as Violent due to Virginia's inferior 2-Tier, Conviction Based Classification System. That's approximately 16,600 Virginians who are incorrectly classified as the “Worst-of-the-Worst” when in fact that category should be 12-22% of our total based on States that have a 3-Tiered, Risk-Based Classification System. That’s 12,200+ too many people in the lifetime monitoring category! 

Virginia State Crime Commission Child Sexual Abuse Work Group Holds Second Meeting at Richmond Capitol

I previously posted the 2013 VSCC meeting schedule and issues here. 

Yesterday the Work Group held their second meeting at the Capitol to finish discussing these issues. 

Originally HJ 595 directed the Virginia Crime Commission to study one issue but as with many bills and resolutions during the yearly General Assembly session it was merged with another study and has 2 different parts. 

Part 1 – to study the laws and policies governing the investigation of alleged child sexual abuse in the Commonwealth; this is the reason for the Work Group. 

Part 2 – to study feasibility of creating a criminal penalty for sexual conduct between secondary school teachers and adult (18 year old) students. 

WTVR covered yesterday’s meeting and incorrectly titled their coverage of the Work Group meeting (Part 1) Commission studies child sex laws following teacher’s arrest, which is Part 2 and not being discussed by the Work Group. 

A bit misleading for their viewers so I wanted to make the distinction here for anyone who is following the VSCC’s 2013 schedule and watches WTVR.

Be Sure to Check Out the Page Sections of This Blog Too!

Some days there are new posts and some days there aren’t.  

But some days I load new articles in the articles page and new books and studies in the books and studies page. Also every once in a while I make edits to the restrictions and regulations page to make it easier for everyone to stay compliant so keep an eye on that page too.

Do you know who your State Representatives are? How about your Federal Representatives? You can find out by clicking the links. 

When the 2014 General Assembly session begins in January I will add a G.A. page which could be updated daily and the VSP Monitoring Report page will also get updated with the new report that comes out the first week of January. 

I spend a lot of time making sure this site is user friendly, informative and current and I hope everyone who visits it finds something new each visit. 


Mary D. Devoy