June 9, 2011

State mulls registry for its violent felons

There is something I do not get, this registry "will be similar, but not exact, as the sex offender registry." Then the article goes on to say HIGH recidivism rates are at the heart of this registry. Humm, sex offenders have a low recidivism rate and are treated harshly on their registry, but violent offenders -more dangerous to the FULL community- are to be treated not so harshly? Does this make sense...
6-9-2011 New York:

Would be similar to sex-offender list

Could New York's violent felony offenders soon join sex offenders on a public watch list?

A bill that would create a registry for anyone convicted of a violent felony offense, including murder, manslaughter, assault, robbery and burglary, is making its way through the state Legislature.

It would be similar to the state's sex offender registry — offenders would have to register upon their release from prison and re-register every year for 10 years.

Brittany's Law is named after 12-year-old Brittany Passalacqua, killed along with her mother in upstate Geneva in 2009 by a convicted violent felon on parole.

The bill easily passed the state Senate — our region's three senators voted yes — and now is in the state Assembly.

"I support any legislation that will reduce repeat offenders," said Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, D-Forestburgh, a co-sponsor. "I think it gives increased protection."

Opponents said the registry punishes offenders after they've legally served their sentence, and could hinder their ability to find housing or employment.

"Why don't we just give them tattoos?" said lawyer David Lindine of the Orange County Legal Aid Society. "They used to do that in Cuba."

In a news release touting the bill's passage last month, the Senate cited studies showing high recidivism rates. In New York, recidivism among parolees, which includes all violent felony offenders, declined 40 percent the last decade, according to Division of Parole data. Parolees accounted for just 3.1 percent of all criminal arrests in the state in 2009, a 25 percent drop from the previous decade.

"That's great, but it doesn't mean the problem is gone," said state Sen. David Carlucci, D-New City. "Should we not pass any more legislation that helps our law enforcement?"

There haven't been any studies that conclusively show the impact — positive or negative — of criminal registries, said Ohio State law professor Douglas Berman, an expert in sentencing law.

Their public-relations impact is certainly positive.

"It's a relatively cost-effective way for politicians and public officials to suggest that they're getting tough," Berman said.

Berman adds the courts generally have been hands-off when it comes to the legality of registries.

"It's been about public safety rather than directed punishment," he said.

One exception was two years ago, when a state Supreme Court judge effectively squashed all local sex offender residency laws, ruling only the state had authority over registered sex offenders.

Just knowing where their attackers live would further empower crime victims, said Pat Bodnar, co-chair of the Orange County Coalition for Crime Victims' Rights.

"I think it gives victims a sense of security, and I think the public has a right to know," Bodnar said. ..Source.. by Keith Goldberg


Anonymous said...

This can only be good for sex offenders. More people to join the cause against registries and maybe someday an understanding that they just don't do any good.

Anonymous said...

Actually this is not good for us on the SO registries. As I have said before; politicians realize they don't have much time and the sex offender registries could be successfully challenged in courts as class punitive. So they will include other classes of convictions such as violent offenders, as in this article.
I think we all need to realize that state and federal legal "think tanks" are constantly researching and developing new SO laws and how to KEEP and EXPAND them legally.

Anonymous said...

This new registry is almost exactly like the original version of NY's sex offender registry. This leaves room for the legislature to gradually stiffen it up over the years as they have done with the sex offender registry. I think there is little chance that the NY Assembly will go along with this.

Robin said...

The victims rights advocate Pat Bodnar said, "I think it give victims a sense of security..." No actual security. No actual safety. An illusion of safety. That is where our politicians are going because they do not want anyone to notice how all of our tax money is being diverted to making them and the rich richer while the rest of us go down the drain.