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Friday, April 21, 2017

Legislative Goal #11 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Repeal OR Amend Virginia’s 21-Day (to Recant) Rule


I’ve decided to wrap up the posting of Legislative Goals today. 

Goal #11; Repeal OR Amend Virginia’s 21-Day (to Recant) Rule. 
 

If you agree with this goal please ask your one Virginia Delegate and one Senator to Patron/Sponsor a Bill at the next Virginia General Assembly session in January 2018.  Our VA GA. sessions begin the second Wednesday of every January so you should make your request somewhere between May and early-November.  

You could make your request via email, via phone or even schedule a meeting with your Delegate and Senator to discuss the issues that concern you as their constituent and then propose a Bill or two at that meeting.  

If they decline to Patron/Sponsor the Bill, ask them why 

If their concerns can be addressed, address it. If not let them know you’ll be in a touch again in a month or 2, then pick a different goal and ask them to sponsor that new proposal and if they decline, again ask them why 

If their concerns can be addressed, address it. 

If not (they may say I just don’t want to patron that), then select another goal and ask them again in 2+ months to sponsor that Bill, persistence pays off!  

Even if they don’t agree to be a Sponsor they will know:
  1. If they give you a legitimate reason not to Sponsor you will return with facts and data to alleviate those concerns.
  2. If they don’t give a legitimate reason not to Sponsor a Bill you are willing to point out empirical evidence should be the reason laws are proposed not emotion, myth and hate.
  3. That you will continue to return to them asking for Sponsorship as a constituent in their District.
  4. That you are a registered voter (hopefully) and these issues are very important to you and your family members (also voters, hopefully) and so every November they are up for reelection you and your family will be making your selection based on a candidates willingness to listen to reason and data.
You are their constituent, you are a tax-payer and hopefully a voter, they must listen to your concerns and proposals. If you aren’t sure how to address their reason/denial to sponsor a particular Bill that came from my Legislative Goals list, email me at marydavyedevoy@comcast.net with:
  1. The # of Goal you requested
  2. Which VA Legislator you asked
  3. The reason they gave you not to sponsor the Bill
If I can help you find a solution to deliver to your Delegate or Senator, I will. 

Mary Devoy 

Goal #11: 

Repeal or Amend Virginia’s 21-Day (to Recant) Rule 

Problem:
Currently an accuser or a witness is only allowed 21 days to recant an accusation in Virginia. Any longer and the State will not accept their recant and so the conviction and the requirement to remain on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry stands. Only DNA can reopen a conviction.
 
Solutions:
Chose one
A-           Repeal the 21 day limit entirely
B-           Add recants to the list of excepts as DNA was years ago
C-            Amend it to be 21 years, instead of 21 days 

There have been past proposals that did not pass and excluded Virginians who took a plea deal. Both Alford and Guilty, these Virginians CAN NOT be excluded when more than 94% of Virginia criminal cases in Virginia are settled with a plea deal and less than 6% of our citizens have the resources to arrive at  a jury trial. 

Virginia has repeatedly adjusted legal statutes to allow victims of abuse to come forward many years later. But when it comes to a recant by a witness it is 21 Days or NOTHING! The very same person that the Commonwealth previously based their entire case upon is now ignored. 

Every recant should be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly as would be done with every new accusation of abuse no matter how old. 

There should be no deadline on the truth or for the clearing of the name (and life) of an innocent citizen!