Monday, December 5, 2016

6 Years Ago Today I Wrote a Piece Explaining Why I Advocate for Reform of the Virginia Sex Offender Registry and Laws

6 years ago Today I wrote a Piece Explaining Why I Advocate for Reform of the Virginia Sex Offender Registry that was printed in the Virginian Pilot.  Sex Offender Registry: The Result of Legislative Predator Hysteria, December 5, 2010: 

It’s not the only piece I’ve written, that’s been written about me or that I’ve been quoted in over the last 8 years of advocacy but I do believe it captures just how broad and how punitive Virginia laws and our VSP Registry has become from it’s original intent. If it could happen to us, it could happen to anyone and I don’t want that to happen. 

My husband and I know how easily anyone can be swept up by these poorly written laws and the broad expansion of our Registry. We know that innocence or proof beyond a reasonable doubt no longer matters when it's a sex crime. I know that the definition of sex crime has also become too broad and the penalties include mandatory minimums with no parole are an impossible fate leaving no options but a plea deal, which then means you've given up all rights to appeal. Sex Offenders are the politician’s career stepping-stones and the public punching bags and we will not sit idly by while they attempt to continue the expansion under false statements, fear-monger and hate. 

But we can use our knowledge and our experience to reform the system that failed us in 2007 and that gets more punitive and more difficult every year when the General Assembly session convenes. 

I hope you will help us help you as the 2017 Virginia General Assembly approaches. When you see an Action Item, please take a few minutes out of your day and send an email or make a phone call to your 2 VA Legislators or to the  Committee members scheduled to hear a Bill in either chamber. 

Thank you for your support. 

Mary Davye Devoy

Here are a few other (but not nearly all) articles/editorials I’ve participated in just the last 4 years.
Editorial by Mary Davye Devoy
Has Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry Kept Us Safe? July 5, 2015
A program that claimed it would better protect society has been in place for 20 years. We owe it to our citizens to see whether it has done what was promised, is cost effective, whether justice is being served or reforms are needed.

Editorial by Mary Davye Devoy
Campbell: Sex offender bill would stir up angry mobs, February 15, 2015

Roanoke Times Point& Counterpoint Editorial: Does the VA Sex Offender Registry Need Reform?
Part 1- March 31, 2013:
Point: Raising fear, to no effect, Mary Devoy

Part 2- April 7, 2013:

Rebuttal: Don’t believe every scary statistic, Mary Devoy
Rebuttal: Sex crimes are among the most heinous, Senator Bill Stanley

Va. Lobbyist Works Tirelessly to Soften Sex Crime Laws, March 27, 2012: