majority of Bills having to do with Sex Offender Restrictions, Regulations and
Registration, Federal Adam Walsh Act/SORNA Compliance, Sexual Assault and
Battery, Sexting, Internet Chat, Child Pornography and Civil Commitment of
SVP’s are usually sent to the following 3 Committees.
members for these committees were finally decided and I have just updated /
finalized the 2014 Committee Memberspage on this blog with all their email addresses and Richmond Office
phone numbers easily accessible for you to contact them about bills you oppose
and support during this session.
to save that page as favorite so when there is an action item you can contact
the Committee members where the bill is headed in addition to your district’s
one Delegate and one Senator.
Sex Offender Registry; notification
of laws. Requires the Attorney General to annually prepare a pamphlet listing
and summarizing laws containing requirements and prohibitions relevant to
persons required to register as sex offenders and communicate the pamphlet to
the State Police and the Department of Corrections. The bill requires the State
Police to (i) publish the pamphlet on its website and (ii) annually distribute
the pamphlet to persons required to register as sex offenders unless the person
is under the control of the Department of Corrections or community supervision,
in which case the Department of Corrections must distribute the pamphlet.
this bill do?
Why is it
can tell you the history of this bill as I initiated it way back in 2009 during
my first session.
of you know, currently when a new law is passed that changes where an RSO can
or can’t be, who they can or can’t be with, what their classification is or
when certain information is required to be updated they are NOT notified of the
change nor are these restrictions readily available anywhere for an RSO to
confirm they are not breaking the law.
being an RSO is like being on lifetime Probation except the “rules of the game”
change yearly. When you are on Probation you are given a written list of the
rules and you must sign that you understand them all. Then if you break a rule
of Probation you face the legal consequences.
RSO’s no one tells you the rules, many people in authority don’t even know them
because they change so frequently, but yet if an RSO breaks “a rule” which is
actually a law they face a new Felony even if their original conviction that
put them on the Registry might have been a misdemeanor.
laws (restrictions and regulations) are generally based on the… “What if’s”,
almost a crystal ball approach to lawmaking. So how are the RSO’s supposed to
know what the lawmakers have recently legislated as a “no-no”?
previously asked for the bill to do:
All Virginia and all Federal
laws should be available in easily understandable terms not legal
mumbo-jumbo like on this blog, to every RSO.
The first copy would be given
to an RSO upon their first registration and then an updated and complete
list given each year (without having to ask for it) after the General
Assembly session bills become law on July 1st .
The list would be posted
on-line and available upon request to be mailed out to those RSO’s without
Internet access (many RSO’s are prohibited from using the Internet, many
RSO’s can not afford to have Internet and in some parts of the state
Internet access is not available to anyone) especially when they live 2-3
hours from the closest VSP Barracks.
Legislation attempting to accomplish this goal:
year the Virginia State Police Legislative Liaison has opposed these bills.
year (2009) the VSP Liaison claimed
to the Sub-committee “we already do this”
and then I stood up and said, “no you
don’t”, the committee chose to believe the VSP Lieutenant over me, the bill
second year (2010) the VSP lobbied
all the Legislators behind the scenes (hard) telling them that such ahandout would be “legal advise” to the RSO’s
and that is not allowed so the bill “died”.
year (2011) the VSP told Legislators
we’ll provide a handout without
legislation mandating it, we’ll do so administratively so the bill “died”
again. But when I checked up on that in after July 1, 2011 the VSP did not have
copies available when asked, they were not offering copies at registration,
they refused to mail out copies to requestors and in October 2011 when I
finally read the 32 page list of legal statues it was missing 4 brand new laws
that had taken effect on July 1st. Obviously the VSP could not be
trusted to advise the 17,800+ RSO’s of their legal obligations
administratively, legislation was needed.
fourth year (2012) I actually can
not remember if the VSP spoke against the bill or not because this version proposed the Virginia Attorney General take on the responsibility of creating the handout and I don't have the time to find and listen to the audio of that meeting but I do have the
votes from the Senate Committee and a note I made.
2012-SB420 Senate: Failed to report
(defeated) in Courts of Justice (7-Y 7-N)
It was an even split Democrats for it, Republicans
against, which results in a bill failure. Even though 2 Republicans agreed that
“the request was reasonable and a good
idea they saw no reason to give RSO’s special treatment in advising them of the
restrictions they must abide by as members of a governmentally designated group”
is the fifth try (2014) to get the State of Virginia
to advise the RSO’s of their legal obligations as an RSO, a label the State has
need not inform citizens that killing another person is against the law, that is
like with Probation restrictions, RSO restrictions are not clear-cut. They are
murky and they expand retroactively every year.
no allowance for good intention or harmless behavior; it is simply an arbitrary
restriction or rule based on an abstract idea.
importance of this Bill is that it ensures that those who break the law will
have done it knowingly and can therefore be held fully accountable, if they sign for receipt of the list each year.
a bill introduced which goes so far to prevent crime from occurring as opposed
to simply stating what will be done upon violation of said law.
promised the patron that I will NOT stand up and speak in favor of this 2014
version during the Committee hearing and I’ve decided NOT to send all 140
Legislators a mass-email on this bill as I do with all other bills during
session. Perhaps if I do not stand up to tell the lawmakers and the VSP that
they are failing the 20,500+ RSO’s and their families by intentionally setting
them up with no information/direction, the bill mayfinally
pass this year.
I'm willing to try anything to get this bill passed and my silence is what I'm trying for 2014.
I am doing this year is publishing this post advising all of you of the need
(as if you didn’t already know) and the history of this request.
asking all of you .....now that you are
armed with the knowledge and history of this bill to please immediately Email or call your one State Delegate
and your one State Senator asking them to vote “Yes” on SB553.