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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Update: Virginia Bill SB1072- Requested by the Virginia State Police and Patroned by Senator Creigh Deeds is Dead for 2017!


Dear Readers, Followers and/or Supporters, 

Today in the Full Senate Finance Committee meeting I was thrilled to watch SB1072 which came at the request of Virginia State Police (I personally think from Lt. Kennon Hook) and Patroned by Senator Creigh Deeds died by being “Passed by Indefinitely”. 

Now officially it was decided to “PBI” SB1072 by the Senate Finance Public Safety Sub-Committee when the Bill was heard back on January 25th, in a meeting I did not attend. But Senate Finance Sub-Committees wait to bring their decisions to the Full Senate Committee before any votes, amendments or decisions are posted in LIS. 

The decision to PBI SB1072 sadly was NOT because Residency Restrictions and Loitering Laws have all been proven to be baseless, feel-good laws that actually make society less safe. 

It was NOT because the Virginia State Police seemed 100% fine with retroactively making compliant RSO’s homeless by originally proposing a Bill they had full intention of applying retroactively OR that they then continued to refuse to fix until I stood up in Senate Courts of Justice Committee back on January 16th and made the issue public which then led to an amendment of a grandfather-clause. 

And finally today’s PBI of  SB1072 was NOT because the VSP refuses to notify those who will be affected retroactively by the proposed change in the Loitering portion of the Bill even though I offered up 2 reasonable options to Senator Deeds, Lt. Hook and the Senate Courts of Justice Committee that were ignored which meant they were ALL 100% OK with intentionally setting up Virginians who had confirmed years ago what their legal obligations as RSO were and changing the rules of the game in 2017. 

No SB1072 was PBI’d today per the Public Safety Sub-Committee Char Senator McDougle because a decision was made that no NEW money would be spent on creating new crimes or initiatives for 2017 so that money could be directed towards the deficit within the Virginia State Police for salaries, hiring and training. A goal that I do agree with the VSP needs to fill the large number of vacancies and they also need to pay their people much better than local authorities do. 

So while I’m thrilled to see SB1072 die, it died for the wrong reasons and will most likely be back at the 2018 or 2019 sessions. 

What does this mean for the companion Bill HB1485- Patroned by Delegate’s Dickie Bell / Scott Lingamfelter / Isreal O’Quinn? Well it means it will NOT be heard in House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee tomorrow (the next to last Criminal-Sub meeting before Cross-Over Day) because the Senate will not approve it even if it made its way through the House. So unless the Patron is stubborn and wants to just “make-a-point” by pushing the Bill through the House knowing it will be PBI’d in the Senate HB1485 will just “die-on-the-vine” with no action being taken for 2017. 

Thank you all for your phone calls and email’s to House and Senate members against SB1072 / HB1485. 

If any similar Bills are proposed at future Virginia General Assembly sessions that could result in RSO’s homes becoming felonies OR would be implemented with no advance notification to the RSO’s its being applied to retroactively, I will oppose them! 

We need laws in Virginia that are data-driven and that don’t intentionally set citizens up for failure not to mention laws that violate ex post facto. 

On a side note, many of you may have noticed the GA page has not been updated in a while I apologize. If I do not have to attend a VA GA Committee meeting tomorrow I will be able to update that page tomorrow morning. 

Thank you for your support! 

Mary Davye Devoy

Monday, January 23, 2017

Virginia State Police Not Accountable for Lost Paperwork, But Citizens Face a Felony


The below was emailed to 19 members of the Virginia Administration at 12:47PM on January 23, 2017
 

Governor McAuliffe and Secretary Moran, 

Back on October 20, 2015 I wrote about the Virginia State Police no longer giving a receipt to our Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) when they re-register in-person at a VSP location. 

Here it is:
In short, somewhere during 2015 the State Police without direction from the Virginia Legislature decided to no longer make a copy of the signed, thumbprint and date- stamped SP236A to the Offender to prove they had met their legal requirement to re-register within the deadline. 

I knew this unnecessary VSP policy change was going to lead to future problems for our RSO’s who had met their legal obligation on time but were being investigated by the VSP. 

Last week I received this email from a Virginian. I have removed any none relevant paragraphs and I’ve also removed any identifying information even though I’m sure the VSP knows exactly who he is. Otherwise, these are his words. 

I am a sex offender, and have been since I was 17.
Around ________ ___, 2016, I received a notice in the mail letting me know I had to pick up my VSP re-registration letter from the post office. On ________ ___, 2016 I pick up the letter from the post office and hand delivered it to the Sergeant's desk at the State Police station.
Twenty-three days later my VSP Compliance Officer visits me at my home, there were no issues to report on either side.
15 days after that I update my work address at the VSP, only to find out I have a warrant issued for failure to register. I wasn't arrested immediately. I was told to contact my Compliance Officer, who told me to contact the Trooper who handles my case. The warrant was confirmed and I turned myself in the following Monday, and had a hearing that Friday.
When I turned myself in, I was told that the burden of evidence was on me. I was told there was no way there was a paperwork error, and that I was being charged because I didn't register. I explained that the re-registration form (SP236A) doesn't have a carbon receipt like the standard form (SP236) does, so there was no evidence for me to have. It was at this point that I was told I needed to have the cover letter of the reregistration letter stamped (mind you, the only type on the cover letter is my address and two bar codes).
The only evidence in my favor that I managed to find was through an FOIA request to the facility that I registered. The footage documenting visitors of the State Police location on that day was written over, but I was able to get a copy of the visitation log taken by the Sergeant on Duty on that date. That proved that I registered on time.
I haven't been to my hearing yet, but I’m hoping the log is enough to prove my innocence. I'm writing due to my grave concerns about how insurmountable it seems to defend against the accusation of 'knowingly failing to register'. It's especially troubling considering had I mailed it in and been accused, I would have no means to defend myself. Moreover, had the Sergeant on Duty failed to keep records, I'd have no defense. I feel like this is procedural recklessness, especially considering the Department that handles the registration paperwork is the same Department that had access to visitation records. Blatant willful ignorance.
I feel like if this can happen once, it can happen many, many more times, and to people who may not have any evidence to support their claim.
 

The number of known and unknown legal hurdles that the Virginia Legislature and the Virginia State Police expect our Registered Sex Offenders to jump through is long and arduous but for the VSP to drag this man through this expensive legal process with a new felony hanging over his head is beyond unacceptable. 

Virginia RSO’s who visit a VSP location or any local authority to update their data or re-register should ALL be given a copy of the form that shows the data they have registered, that they have signed, given their thumbprints and is stamped with a date and time. 

The change that the VSP made back in 2015 was a mistake and it needs to be corrected immediately. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Davye Devoy

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Update & Action Item for SB1072-Deeds: If Virginia’s Trespassing Law Requires Posted Signage OR Prior Notification For It to Be a Crime, Then So Shouldn't Our RSO Loitering Law?

100 Feet = 33.33 Yards

There’s Good News and there’s Bad News on SB1072-Deeds which will determine the outcome of its Companion HB1485-D.Bell/Lingamfelter/O’Quinn. 

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knew on the evening of January 18th about the one amendment to SB1072 but now that I have the time I can post the whole 3 day long story. 

On Monday January 16th SB1072 was scheduled to be heard by the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee (as I previously posted about) and it was. 

Senator Deeds told the Committee this Bill came at the request of the State Police and a new VSP Representative that I have never seen at the last 8 Virginia General Assembly sessions came forward to speak in favor of the Bill. 

VSP Lt. Keenon Hook told the Senate Committee this: 

“This Bill addresses what VA already sees as public policy Sex Offenders not having unrestricted access to children.  

This Bill also corrects what is NOW an incentive for Offenders who have their convictions in other States move to Virginia. 27 other States have restrictions and these Child Sex Offenders are able to relocate to VA to avoid those restrictions… creates an incentive for them to do so. So this Bill will correct that”. 

This is word-for-word, taken from my audio recording of the hearing. 

No amendments or substitutions were submitted by Senator Deeds. 

I then stood to oppose the Bill; I was the ONLY person who spoke in opposition. I began raising my concerns the same concerns I had already shared with every Virginia Delegate and Senator via email and via handout delivered to every Legislators office. The Chairman of the Committee Senator Obenshain stopped me twice, first to claim that residency restrictions as policy in VA have already been decided so that isn’t the issue to be debated that day and then he stopped me when I began the point about not conviction date being included so the VSP would apply it retroactively which would result in a n unknown number of current RSO’s residences becoming illegal as of July 1st. The Chairman directed Senator Deeds and Lt. Hook to work with me on a way to ensure that didn’t happen. Then SB1072 was “passed by for the day” to be taken up again at the next Senate Courts of Justice meeting, which was Wednesday January 18th. So I reinterred to Deeds and Hook of to the side of the room not just that issue with the Bill but the second problem of no notification to the RSO’s who’d be required to know about their change in the loitering law as of July 1st. 

Later that day via email Lt. Hook sent me an amended Residency restriction proposal that did not add a conviction date of July 1, 2017 but it grandfathered all residences established before July 1, 2017, which was better than nothing. So for the next 2 days I waited to get an answer on my loitering proposal. Neither Lt. Hook nor Senator Deeds responded to me. Luckily I had already scheduled an appointment w/ Deeds the week before for the morning of the 18th but as I expected he wasn’t available to meet so we discussed the second amendment with his Legislative Assistant and I asked her to notify me before the afternoon meeting started if the Senator would or wouldn’t offer the second amendment. I had to follow back up hours later to learn he would not be submitting the amendment so I was going to have to raise the second problem with the Bill to the Committee members when it was reheard during the afternoon docket something I had not been allowed to do on Monday because the Bill had been “passed by”. 
 

SB1560-Norment Proposes a New Crime for Those Who Produce Child Pornography and are in Possession of It to be an Additional Charge. But What About the Teens Who Consensually “Sext”?


February 4 Update: 

VA Attorneys can’t agree if Bill lowers or raises the punishment!
I don’t feel so bad about my original post now. –Mary 

Senate kills Norment child pornography bill after questions over effect, accusation over motive, February 4, 2017

January 26 Update:

Claims that SB1560 LOWERS the punishment!
I may have been wrong in my interpretation of this Bill. –Mary 

Senate majority leader under fire for bill that reduces punishment for child porn production, January 26, 2017
http://wric.com/2017/01/26/senate-majority-leader-under-fire-for-bill-that-reduces-punishment-for-child-porn-production/
 

Original Post:

Virginia Bill SB1560- Possession of child pornography where the accused has produced the child pornography sponsored/ Patroned by Thomas K. Norment, Jr. isn’t increasing the current sentencing for Possession OR for Production BUT it’s actually creating a new/additional crime for Prosecutors to stack onto Defendants who Produce. 

Read Full Text or Track Bill Status on Virginia General Assembly Website:

Track Bill Status, Cast Your Vote or Read/Leave Public Comment on Richmond Sunlight Website:

Now, when it comes to the Production of Child Pornography you will RARELY see me oppose any Bill, same with anything to do with profiting from Child Pornography. Compared to Possession or even Distribution (as long as it’s not for financial gain) of CP, then I will carefully look at the proposal and consider all issues with it and if needed I will oppose it. 
 
To create a new criminal offense the first thing to consider is, is this really needed. Is there an action today that we don’t have covered under or statutes that allows for a crime to go unpunished?   

Well, looking at this proposal I’d say NO. 

Currently anyone who produces and possesses Child Pornography faces stiff punishments with mandatory minimum sentences in a State with no parole for BOTH crimes. No one is “falling through the cracks”, in fact in Virginia until this past July Possession of CP  had a harsher punishment than Production and if  2017’s SB1278 and HB2039 are successful and become law this coming July, we revert BACK to THAT! 

So…….SB1560 is JUST overkill with a way for Virginia’s Commonwealth Attorneys to stack even more charges onto Defendants and I expect the Fiscal Impact Statement (which is not available as of today) will be VERY high. 

But if THAT isn’t enough of a reason for this Bill to die, how about this………….. 

Consensual Teen “Sexting” can be charged as Child Pornography in Virginia because so far the Virginia Legislature has flat-out refused to add a 4-year age gap allowance to teenagers who are not forced, threatened, intimidated or extorted when they take and send images of themselves or of each other. They can both be under-age or one under 18 years old while the other is 18 or 19 years old both facing  felony Child Pornography statutes with a lifetime on the public Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry as a “Violent”.
 

HB2065-Mullin Proposes Adding “Surprise” to Virginia’s Sexual Battery Statute. Is this Because Donald Trump Says He Grabs Women by the “P___y”?


Virginia Bill HB2065-Sexual battery; surprise; penalty Sponsored/ Patroned by Michael P. Mullin (by request) which is a Class 1 Misdemeanor (and Registrable as a Sex Offender for minimum of 15 years if done to a minor) proposes adding……may be accomplished by “surprise”. 

Read Full Text or Track Bill Status on Virginia General Assembly Website:

Track Bill Status, Cast Your Vote or Read/Leave Public Comment on Richmond Sunlight Website:

Fiscal Impact Statement (Cost to Implement and/or DOC Prison Bed/Space):
The obligatory $50,000 

The only thing I can think is the impetus for this Bill is.....Donald Trump. 

When Trump said he "grabs women by the p____y" and then he denied that such an action would count as Sexual Assault or Sexual Battery meaning it would be a crime.

Well in Virginia if you grab a boob or pinch a butt EVEN over clothing that IS Sexual Battery, so I would think "grabbing a p____y" or on the flip-side grabbing a "d__k" would already be Sexual Battery. 

So I'm not sure if we really need to add "surprise" to this statute. 

Back in 2012 Senator Stuart had SB20 which proposed adding may be accomplished by “ruse” and “trickery” to our Rape statute and that failed, thankfully. 

The more nouns & verbs that we add to our criminal statutes to expand the options for victims and Prosecutors actually makes us less safe and our criminal justice system, less just. 

This Bill while timely is totally unnecessary. 

Mary Devoy

Friday, January 20, 2017

It’s Interesting How Virginia Legislators Think Defendants Have Access to Justice in the Commonwealth….Then They Become a Defendant and They Get a Dose of Reality


When the tables turn and the same injustice that has been happening for decades to thousands of others......happens to someone who has the ability to fix it, then all of a sudden a solution is proposed. 

In 2007, we personally experienced "Trial by Ambush" in Hanover County, VA.....with ZERO Discovery available to us but yet we were faced with a Plea Deal and if we didn't take the deal then the unknown Discovery would head to a Grand Jury. 

Virginia's well known "Trial by Ambush" (no requirement to provide Discovery to Defendants) has been willfully ignored by the Virginia Legislature FOREVER. 

In 2014 a lengthy study by an independent Committee was released that strongly supported reform. Nothing happened. 


But now that a Virginia Delegate has personally experienced Virginia's extremely unjust no-Discovery rule (goo.gl/Qqqj6x, goo.gl/lQXu7t, goo.gl/arWBZ8, goo.gl/cetLKe, goo.gl/WV4yq4, goo.gl/2rv2gA, goo.gl/bu3GmP, goo.gl/IoDuPM ) here we have a Bill by that specific Delegate proposing a fix for 2017. 

It's about time HB2452 was proposed in Virginia, but the irony and hypocrisy that comes with it is almost too much for me.  

Mary Devoy

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Virginia Bills SB1072- Creigh Deeds / HB1485-Dickie Bell/Israel O’Quinn Loitering Bans, What Does it Really Mean?


When an expansion of Virginia’s Loitering Law was proposed with a Bill back in 2013-SB1152 (by my Senator) I shared an experience with every Virginia Legislator who was in office back then.

And knowing that 2017’s SB1072 expansion of not just our Loitering Law but also our Residency Law will be heard tomorrow morning in Senate Courts of Justice Committee I’m pulling out my 2013 opposition to expanding Virginia’s Loitering Law.

Here it is:

In 2011 when I visited my local CVS on the corner of Mechanicsville Turnpike and Lee Davis Rd to get a flu shot there was a 45+ minute wait, so instead of waiting inside the store I went outside for some fresh air.

Within the next 5 minutes Lee Davis High School let-out for the afternoon and students were walking across the street, boarding buses and loading into cars. At that moment I realized that I was “loitering” by definition because I was standing less than 100 ft. from the school property line and if I happened to be a Registered Sex Offender I could be charged with a Class 6 Felony for simply waiting for my turn to get a flu shot. It wouldn’t matter if there was any intent in my presence outside the store, all that needed to happen was a parent to recognize my face from the VSP Registry or for someone to complain that I was lurking and looking at the teens “creepily” and once it was confirmed I was a Virginia Registered Sex Offender I would be handcuffed and hauled off.
 

SB1278-McDougle Added to Tomorrows VA Senate Courts of Justice Committee Hearing after Docket Was Posted on Friday


SB1278 that only posted in LIS on 01/12/17 for the pubic to track has NOW been added to the Monday January 16, 2017 at 8AM Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee docket, http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+doc+S0310116 .

I realized this particular docket was available on the morning of Friday January 13th and SB1278 was NOT listed on it at that point.  

Since then……. either late in the day or into the evening on the 13th or sometime on Saturday the 14th or maybe early on Sunday the 15th SB1278 was added. 

There is no citizen email sign up to receive dockets or changes in VA Senate Committee meeting agendas. 

There is no mandatory 24 hour time-frame for changes in VA House or Senate Committee dockets for citizens to know about a change. 

And there is no red flag or version notation when a change occurs to a VA Senate Committee docket for citizens to know about the change. 

I just happen to know after 8 years of experience to keep checking Committee dockets/agendas ahead of meetings including on weekends. 

The Virginia General Assembly needs to be more transparent, more accessible and more systematic. 

Last minute and weekend changes to Virginia Committee dockets that have no alert systems in place give the appearance of cloak-and-dagger-politics, zero transparency and a closed-door for citizens to what is going on in our government. 

Mary Devoy

Friday, January 13, 2017

SB1278 is Patroned by a Virginia Senator Who Did NOT Read the Book Refining Child Pornography Law: Crime, Language, and Social Consequences by Carissa Byrne Hessick


 
Update:
 
There is a Companion Bill in the House its HB2039 http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+HB2039 Patroned by Jackson H. Miller. 

It posted in LIS on January 11th and at 8:21AM on 01/16 I received an email (because the VA House added email signup back in 2016, but the VA Senate doesn’t have it) that HB2039 is a last minute addition to the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee agenda http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/agendas/agendaItem.php?id=599&ses=171#  for the early afternoon of 01/16.  

Less than 5 hours from the Bill being placed on the Committee agenda and the Committee gathering to hear the Bill. 

That’s not transparent, that's not Open Government! 

Mary

 
Original Post:
 

Not only did I post about it, I emailed my recommendation to all the Virginia Legislators and like in the post I ended the email with this “Before one more Child Pornography law is proposed, tweaked or even considered in Virginia, every Legislator, the Governor and the AG should read this book”.   

Well it seems my Senator Ryan T. McDougle didn’t read the book, hasn’t  considered any of the research I’ve  shared over the last 9 GA sessions but instead has decided to sponsor the below Bill. Why? Because Camille Cooper of PROTECT and Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Rusty McGuire (who I ran into outside Senator McDougle's office) want to reverse the Virginia Criminal Sentencing’s recent change that slightly lowered the sentencing for “Possession” of Child Pornography. 
 

Action Item: Virginia Bill SB1072 (Senate Part of a Companion Set) is Scheduled to be Heard in Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee on Monday January 16th at 8:00AM

On Monday January 16, 2017 at 8AM the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee will meet and SB1072 is on the docket, http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+doc+S0310116 . This docket is exceedingly long, so there will be Bills on this agenda that get pushed-off until the next Courts of Justice meeting on January 18 or even the following meeting on the 23rd. But I will be in attendance on the change SB1072 is debated as Committee hearings are the only time the public can speak for or against a Bill. 

SB1072 is one of two similar Bills, one in each chamber (“Companion Bills”) that need to be significantly amended or “killed”. 

With “Companion Bills” the How a Bill Becomes a Law in Virginia process isn’t fully followed. If they aren’t “killed” in the first chamber when they flip to the opposite chamber the Committee just converts the opposite chambers version to match the one they previously passed out of the chamber, with no debate, discussion or public comment. 

This means the public can NOT wait for the second pass to show up at Committee to speak against the Bill or to send emails or make phone calls against them. Each Bill must get the full-court-press BEFORE it passes out of the first Committee hearing. 

This means anyone who opposes these 2 Bills needs to take action against the Senate version NOW, see their contact information at the bottom of this post.

Who has sponsored these Bills? 

SB1072  is patroned by Senator Creigh Deeds and the House version HB1485 is patroned by Delegates Dickie Bell and Israel O'Quinn.

What do these Bills Claim to Do? 

SB1072 adds “includes any similar offense under the laws of any foreign country or any political subdivision thereof, any Native American tribe or band that is recognized by federal law, or the United States or any political subdivision thereof”. Compared to HB1485 that adds “shall include any offense under the law of any other jurisdiction that is substantially similar”  

     To:
  1. §§ 18.2-370.2 (Loitering w/in 100ft for some RSO’s on VSP Sex Offender Registry)
  2. §§ 18.2-370.3 (Residency Restrictions w/in 500ft. for some RSO’s on VSP Sex Offender Registry)
  3. §§ 18.2-370.4 (Employment for some RSO’s on VSP Sex Offender Registry) 

Who Will be Affected by these Bills?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Reminder: Lee-Jackson Day Which is ONLY Observed in Virginia is One of the Two 4-Day VSP Holidays When RSO’s Can’t Register, Re-register or Update Changes in Data


Back on July 9, 2015 I posted about the Virginia State Police (VSP) website, VSP Locations hours of operation, VSP S.O. Helpline hours of operation and VSP observed holidays. 

The VSP website does not post VSP Location hours of operation or observed holidays. The VSP Barracks doors or main desk do not post hours of operation or observed holidays. The VSP website also does not post the phone number 804-674-2825 OR the hours of operation for the VSP Sex Offender Help Desk (Hotline). Despite my multiple requests directly to the VSP to add this crucial information to their website and locations. 

Leaving Virginia’s RSO’s to “guess” correctly or incorrectly under the threat of a felony. 

In Virginia because there is NO electronic system our RSO’s MUST register ANY change of information in-person (if they move or become homeless, if they change their name, if they lose or start a  job part-time or full-time, if they enroll or un-enroll in school part-time or full-time, if they add or delete a phone number or if they buy or sell a vehicle) within 3 days (not 3 business days) or within 30 minutes (if they add or delete an email address, an instant messenger identifier or a chat identifier) per Virginia law. 

There are 2 reoccurring 4-Day stretches where Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia are unable to comply with Virginia law they are: 

1. Lee-Jackson Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day        
(Friday Preceding the 3rd Monday in January and the 3rd Monday in January)
2. Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday
(4th Thursday and Friday in November) 

#1 is this Friday and next Monday! 

Lee–Jackson Day is a holiday celebrated in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S., for the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.[1] The original holiday, created in 1889, celebrated Lee's birthday. Jackson's name was added to the holiday in 1904. 

In 1983, the holiday was merged with the new Federal holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as Lee-Jackson-King Day in Virginia. This merger was reversed in 2000. 

Lee–Jackson Day is currently observed on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is the third Monday in January. Typical events include a wreath-laying ceremony with military honors, a Civil War themed parade, symposia, and a gala ball.[2] State offices are closed for both holidays.[3] - Wikipedia 

If you have any Registry changes that include residence, mailing address, employment, unemployment, vehicle registration, phone numbers, school enrollment, un-enrollment, email addresses or online identifiers  OR your re-registration letter and/or photograph has a due date of 01/13, 01/14, 01/15 or 01/16  (yes certified letters have due dates that include holidays and weekends) there will be no option for you to meet the requirement in Virginia law or your stated due-date deadline because of the 2 upcoming VSP observed holidays flanking this weekend. 

Be sure to double check the due date on your certified letter and if it’s the 13th-16th get to a VSP Office/Location by Thursday or if your re-registration letter has no changes and doesn’t require a photograph get to a U.S. Post Office and mail it back by Wednesday the 11th! 

Mary Devoy

Monday, January 9, 2017

Action Item: Oppose Virginia Residency Restriction & Loitering Bills SB1072-Senator Creigh Deeds and HB1485-Delegates Dickie Bell & Israel O'Quinn


As I expected a Companion Bill to Delegate Dickie Bell’s HB1485 has posted in LIS SB1072 by Senator Creigh Deeds. 

Senator Deed’s version adds " includes any similar offense under the laws of any foreign country or any political subdivision thereof, any Native American tribe or band that is recognized by federal law, or the United States or any political subdivision thereof  to §§ 18.2-370.2 (Loitering), §§ 18.2-370.3 (Residency) AND §§ 18.2-370.4 (Working). 

Whereas Delegate Dickie Bell & Israel O'Quinn’s version adds “shall include any offense under the law of any other jurisdiction that is substantially similar to §§ 18.2-370.2 (Loitering), §§ 18.2-370.3 (Residing) AND §§ 18.2-370.4 (Working).

The Senate version does not have a start date of July 1, 2017 as Delegate Bell’s does which was completely unnecessary to begin with but neither of the Bills have a conviction date of July 1, 2017. So as written both versions would be applied retroactively by the Virginia State Police. 

Which would mean because of  the changes being proposed to 18.2-370.3 some Virginians who are currently residing in a registered location that is legal would be committing a felony as of July 1, 2017 and would need to move immediately or worse they might become homeless/transient.  

Over the last 8 years I have shared countless studies and reports with every Virginia Legislator that all conclude residency restrictions are nothing more than feel-good laws that instead of making our communities safer put citizens at risk of unregistered, unstable and /or transient RSO’s.  

It’s 2017 and we still have Virginia Legislators whom have chosen to ignore years of data that I’ve made sure they know about and instead they continue to promote baseless, fear-mongering, hate-driven and punitive laws. 

I am opposing both versions (House and Senate) of these Bills that contain anything to do with 18.2-370.2 and 18.2-370.3 .I do not oppose the proposal to change 18.2-370.4 , I understand and agree with ONLY that part of these two Bills. 

Please Email or call your one Virginia Delegate and your one Virginia Senator this Wednesday (January 11, 2017) the first day of session in Richmond, VA and ask them to Vote ‘No’ on both HB1485 and SB1072 as long as §§18.2-370.2  and §§ 18.2-370.3 remain in the Bill. Plus remind them ANY Virginia RSO Bill should have a conviction date of the upcoming July 1st otherwise we are proposing and passing laws that are being retroactively applied by the Virginia State Police and that is a violation of ex post facto (the Constitution).  

And if your Delegate is Dickie Bell or Israel O'Quinn and your Senator is Creigh Deeds ask them to remove the loitering and residency portions to their Bills. 
Virginia deserves laws that are data-driven not fear and hate driven!

Thank you! 

Mary Devoy