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Monday, January 20, 2014

5 Top Virginia Bills to Oppose or Request Amendments for during the 2014 General Assembly Session



Please Email or call  your Virginia Delegate and Senator about these 5 Proposals! 

Virginia Delegates                                                     Virginia Senators
Phone List                                                                           Phone List
E-mail List                                                                          E-mail List


HB195 Del. Ramadan 
Requires the Superintendent of State Police to establish and maintain a supplement to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry that would include the names of persons who have committed offenses that would require registration if the offense occurred today, but who are not otherwise required to register.  

·       It adds 19+ year old convictions onto the posting of people who are already listed on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry
·       It forces Virginians who have not re-offended in the last 19+ years (including adjudicated juveniles) that have all successfully re-entered society to become Public Sex Offenders. Denying them due process and violating ex post facto
·       Such mandates have been attempted before and failed many Circuit Courts and State Supreme Courts have already dealt with retroactive mandates of registration for a decades old convictions prior to the creation of their States Sex Offender Registry, they’ve been ruled unconstitutional




 

Virginia-  Proposed HB195

 

       Additional Restrictions or Retroactive Mandates are Punitive Not Administrative

       Convictions from Before the Registry Existed Being Mandated to Register

      Juveniles Retroactive Application and/or Lifetime Mandate

Connecticut

-

2001

-

Hawaii

-

2001

-

Indiana

-

Sep. 2012

Sep. 2012

Maryland

-

Mar. 2013

-

Missouri

-

2006

-

Montana

-

-

Sep. 2009

Nevada

Dec. 2011

-

-

Oklahoma

Jun. 2013

-

-

Ohio

Jul. 2011

Apr.2011

Apr.2012

Pennsylvania

-

-

              Nov. 2013          Jan. 2014 
 
·       An estimated cost of $1.69 million for the first year
·       No one knows if this bill will add 500 or 5,000 new Virginians. Until a year and a half has been invested into the research an accurate fiscal impact is an unknown.
·       There is no process for the VSP to keep the data current and accurate
·       Oppose
 
 
HB523 Del.  Albo
Requires juveniles adjudicated delinquent of rape, forcible sodomy, or object sexual penetration to register on the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. The bill also provides a procedure for removal of the name of a person who was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile from the Registry. 

·         15 years of research has concluded
o       Juvenile recidivism rate is even lower than the adults very low re-offense rate of 5-7%
o       Juveniles respond extremely well to treatment and therapy
o       Requiring juveniles to register as Sex Offenders for any amount of time creates an unshakable label that undermines all productive steps for that juvenile into society
o       The public stigma of Sex Offender upon a juvenile undoes all positive steps previously made in treatment
·       Today in Virginia we allow judges to decide if a juvenile must register, they have all the evidence of the individual case in front of them to determine if registration is appropriate for the specific juvenile 
·        Leave this very important decision in the courtroom where it belongs
·        Oppose 
 

SB442 Sen. Garrett
Raises the penalty for sexual abuse (a defined term) of a child aged 13 or 14 from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony 
 
·       There is no age gap allowance for a perpetrator who is close in age to the victim. This means Virginia would be charging a minor who is a year younger, the same age or a year or two older than the victim with a felony instead of a misdemeanor who did NOT use force, threat or intimidation.
·       It does NOT have a start date of July 1, 2014, so it would be applied retroactively to all past convictions
·       Anyone convicted in 2010, 2000, 1997 or maybe even earlier would be retroactively reclassified from a Non-Violent Sex Offender to a Violent Sex Offender. These newly categorized Violent Sex Offenders would now become “lifers” on the Virginia Registry, requiring Virginia State Police to monitor and manage them until they die.
·        Such mass retroactive extensions and reclassifications have been attempted before and failed many Circuit Courts and State Supreme Courts
 
 
Virginia- Proposed SB442
 
Retroactive Extension of Time Required to Register and Retroactive Mass Reclassifications
Nevada
Dec. 2011
Oklahoma
Jun. 2013
Ohio
Jun. 2010
 
·       This would deny those affected due process and violate ex post facto
·       Not knowing if 200 or 2,000 people would be retroactively mandated to lifetime VSP monitoring means the fiscal impact statement is very inaccurate 
·       Amend, add an age gap allowance and a start date of July 1, 2014

 
HB235Del.  Bell    /    SB454  Sen. Obenshain
Amends the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act to add solicitation of prostitution from a minor.

·        It does NOT have a start date of July 1, 2014, so it would be applied retroactively to all past convictions. Denying them due process and violating ex post facto.
·        Not knowing if 200 or 2,000 people would be retroactively added to the VSP Registry for lifetime monitoring means the fiscal impact statement is very inaccurate
·        Amend, add a start date of July 1, 2014
 

SB384 Sen. Reeves
Provides that any adult who is convicted of an offense prohibiting proximity to children, when the offense occurred on or after July 1, 2014, shall as part of his sentence be forever prohibited from knowingly and intentionally having any contact whatsoever with children that are not in his custody on the premises of any place that he knows or has reason to know is a public library. A violation is a Class 6 felony. 

·        The word “whatsoever” could be applied to anything like holding the door open or sitting at the same table
·        Creating a Felony that ONLY applies to Registered Sex Offenders (RSO). How will they know their next trip to the library could result in a Felony even if there was no sinister intent? There is no current process to advise RSO’s in Virginia of new laws that they must abide by.
·        Instead, create a policy that ONLY Library employees can speak to, approach or assist a minor. After all there is a MUCH higher statistically likelihood that someone not on the Sex Offender Registry is going to approach, abduct or molest a child from a public location than someone who is already a known offender. Put signs up in the library stating this policy or law and everyone will be aware of other patrons who are violating the policy.
·         Propose a statewide library policy instead of a criminal statute