Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Take Action Today!

Back on October 8th I posted that I had attended a few meetings over the past few months but did not say with whom. I did say some Action Items could follow, one already was posted. 

Well today I’m going to a post two more based on what I was advised in a meeting with Virginia State Police last month.

1. Lt. Col Kemmler confirmed how the VSP interprets § 9.1-901. Persons for whom registration required. C.Unless a specific effective date is otherwise provided, all provisions of the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act shall apply retroactively. This subsection is declaratory of existing law.

If NO start-date is added by the patron to a bill and it becomes law the VSP WILL apply it retroactively which included the retroactive reclassifications of Non-Violent Offenders to Violent in 2006 AND 2008. 

In 2014 and 2015 the Senate Courts of Justice Committee heard me ask for a start date to be added to Senator Garrett’s misdemeanor to felony bill SB442  (2014 version). At first Senator Garrett agreed to add a start date to the 2014 version because VSP Legislative Liaison Bill Reed told the Committee the VSP would apply it retroactively if passed. Then Sen. Garrett had a staff member of Legislative Services call me afterwards and explain to me that unless the bill includes 9.1-902 it CAN NOT be applied retroactively, so my request of a start date was unnecessary. 

Well according to VSP Lt. Col Kemmler last month, that is NOT correct. The VSP does NOT look for a change in 9.1-902 as a prompt to apply the change in law retroactively they look for a start date and if there is NO start date they will apply the change in law retroactively to anyone already listed on the VSP Registry OR previously convicted of the crime. 

This means there is a serious disconnect between Legislative Services and Virginia Legislators intention and their expectation of how new laws are being applied by the Virginia State Police and how they are actually applying them in our State. 

I believe one of the two needs to occur before the 2016 G.A. session begins in January.
1.     The VSP stops applying laws retroactively UNLESS 9.1-902 is also amended in the bill as the Virginia Legislators intended.
2.     All 140 Legislators and Legislative Services need to be advised by the Virginia Attorney General  OR the Virginia Secretary of Public Safety (that oversees the VSP) that  the VSP applies ALL sexual laws retroactively unless there is a start date so if they don’t intend the new law to be applied to our current RSO’s then they need to begin adding start dates to their bills, otherwise I (Mary Devoy) will continue to ask for them every year during Sub-Committee hearings. 

I- Take Action: 
1. Ask Virginia Governor McAuliffe to take one of the two above steps by December 2015!
2. Tell your one Virginia Delegate AND your one Virginia Senator they currently believe that no start date is needed for ANY Sexual Legislation to avoid the State applying it retroactively because the VSP will only do so if 9.1-902 is also amended in the bill........well that is INCORRECT! Unless a start date is added to a new requirement to register for a sex crime, an increase of a misdemeanor to felony for a sex crime, an increase for minimum time to register, an increase in classification and any new restriction or regulation for those who register under a penalty of a felony the Virginia State Police DOES apply it retroactively!

2. Lt. Col Kemmler confirmed the VSP’s interpretation of § 9.1-903.Internet communication name or identity information” that the person uses or intends to use. 

When an RSO registers with the VSP they are asked to register all their Instant Messenger Identities, Internet Communication Names and Email Addresses. The VSP does NOT hand them a list of websites asking them are you on any of these? 

Our RSO’s are NOT being asked for every username they use on EVERY website they visit. 

But this exactly how Lt. Col Kemmler is interpreting Virginia code. 

He told me last month that he expects every RSO to give their username to every online account they have, including but not limited to every charge card account, every bank account, their power bill, their phone bill, their 401K account, etc.  

First, the VSP has never advised our RSO’s of this, they have no idea they’re expected to give usernames for bank accounts. 

Second, such broad interpretation of law has already been ruled unconstitutional in other states. 

·         Nebraska
·         Louisiana
·         California
·         Indiana
·         North Carolina
·         Illinois 

I believe we need a Virginia Attorney General Opinion on the way the VSP is interpreting this portion of Virginia Code before the next session starts (January 2016) so if a constitutional violation is occurring in Virginia it can be addressed as soon as possible. 

As a citizen I am not permitted to request an AG Opinion but Legislators can.  

II- Take Action:
1. Ask Virginia Governor McAuliffe to file an AG Opinion on how the VSP is currently interpreting § 9.1-903. . Does it include EVERY website username that Virginias RSO’s visit, use and belong to?
2. Ask your one Virginia Delegate AND your one Virginia Senator to file an AG Opinion on how the VSP is currently interpreting § 9.1-903. . Does it include EVERY website username that Virginias RSO’s visit, use and belong to?

When you submit these requests please email me so I can keep a tally. 

Also if you receive a reply from the Governors Office, your Delegate or your Senator on either request please let me know! 

Thank you! 

Mary Davye Devoy