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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Legislative Goal #4 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Move Misdemeanor/Non-Violent and Juveniles RSO’s to a Private Registry AND Automatically Remove Them Both After a Reasonable Time-frame of Perfect Compliance


Today’s Goal is #4; Move Misdemeanor/Non-Violent and Juveniles RSO’s to a Private Registry AND automatically remove them both after a reasonable time-frame (see below) of perfect compliance. 

This Goal (#4) is needed only until Goal #3 can be fulfilled in its entirety.  

This Goal (#4) is the easiest, fastest and cheapest part of Goal #3 so if there is push-back on Goal #3; Goal #4 is a compromise for the meantime. 

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 #4: 



Until Virginia implements a 4-Level/Tier Risk-Based Classification System (Goal #3) two groups of RSO’s could have reforms implemented NOW, the Juvenile RSO’s and the Non-Violent RSO’s. 


Proposals for Juveniles:

  1. Juveniles would be automatically removed from the VSP Registry on their 25th birthday if they have perfect compliance. This change would need to be applied to past and present juvenile RSO’s, not just in the future.
  2. Juveniles would be given the ability to petition the court after 10 years of perfect compliance (no failures-to-register, no new convictions) for removal from the VSP Registry. Today these juveniles are “lifers” in Virginia with NO opportunity to petition for removal. This change would need to be applied to past and present juvenile RSO’s, not just in the future.
  3. Juveniles who have a failure-to-register  OR additional convictions that were NOT sexual be given the ability to petition the court once 10 years has past since their last conviction.
Proposals for Misdemeanor/Non-Violent RSO’s:
  1. Before the 2006 and 2008 Virginia General Assemblies met there were misdemeanors offenses that became felony offenses. The Virginia State Police took those two Legislative changes as intended to be retroactive; they increased 2,000+ Non-Violent Sex Offenders to Violent Sex Offenders. This meant those Non-Violent Offenders who did nothing wrong, lost their ability to petition the court becoming “lifers” plus their re-registrations went from once per year to every 90 days. Return all formerly Non-Violent Offenders to their original classification if they have not been convicted of a new sexual offense.
  2. Before the 2008 Virginia General Assembly met all Non-Violent Sex Offenders could petition the court after 10 years, and then in 2008 it retroactively increased to 15 years. Amend § 9.1-910. back to 10 years, this change would need to be applied to past and present juvenile RSO’s, not just in the future.
  3. Non-Violent Sex Offenders would automatically be removed from the VSP Registry after they’ve completed their mandatory time (currently 15 years) if they have perfect compliance. Amend § 9.1-910. to remove the requirement for a court petition.
Proposal to Create an Authority (VSP Only) Registry that is NOT Online (on the Internet).
 
  1. Take ALL the Juveniles and ALL the Non-Violent RSO’s from the Online/Public Registry and Place then onto the new “Private” Registry.
The Misdemeanor and Juvenile RSO’s would still abide by all the restrictions, regulations and mandates during their time on the Private Registry or face a felony. 

The Virginia State Police would still visit their residences and confirm their employment does not violate any laws. 

Many states do not require misdemeanors to even register and other states have a private registry for misdemeanors that is only accessible by law enforcement. A misdemeanor is not supposed to follow someone for life, but with a public registry it does. Inclusion of all offenses overburdens the system and dilutes the registry to a point where society cannot differentiate between plausible threat and a non threat. 

Fourteen States (Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming) and the District of Columbia do NOT require ANY registration for juveniles. 4 of those States are Federal Adam Walsh Act/SORNA compliant. 

19 States have Private Registries, 18 of which place their Juveniles on them and 7 of those States are Federal Adam Walsh Act/SORNA compliant. 

Only 4 States mandate lifetime registration for juveniles as a Sex Offender with no opportunity to ever be removed and sadly Virginia is one of them. 

AWA/SORNA does NOT require public registration for misdemeanor offenses OR for juveniles.
 
 
To read the full 50 State list go to http://goo.gl/Qsuy3h

If your Delegate and/or Senator are in the below list you should know that they have previously (and may still) believe mandating lifetime, public registration for Juveniles as “Violent Sex Offenders”  is a great idea even though I’ve been sharing studies and reports to the contrary with them for years. The below VA Legislators have willfully ignored the empirical evidence and have chosen to not just fan the flames of fear and hate but to destroy young lives before they have had a chance to even begin. Know your audience!
·         2011 - SB1409 Patroned by Senator Bill Stanley
·         2012 - SB127 Patroned by Senator Bill Stanley and Senator Tommy Norment
·         2012 - SB412   Patroned by Senator Tommy Norment
·         2012 - HB624 Patroned by Delegate Dave Albo retiring at the end of 2017, Delegate Gordon Helsel, Delegate John O'Bannon and Delegate David Ramadan retired
·         2012 - HB753 Patroned by Delegate Ben Cline
·         2014 - HB523 Patroned by Delegate Dave Albo retiring at the end of 2017