February 26, 2015

Governor signs sex offender bill into law

2-26-15 Vermont:

Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law a bill to tighten restrictions on sex offenders getting out of prison Wednesday

Shumlin thanked House and Senate lawmakers for their work on the bill, which was among the first to be signed this session.

H.16 updates current policy for the sex offender registry to require any offender who is maxing out their sentence, meaning they have not undergone any treatment, to submit the address where they intend to reside

Under the previous law, the offender has three days before they are legally required to check in with the registry. “This leaves a victim and the victim’s community, workplace and others in fear,” Rep. Maxine Grad, D-Moretown, chair of the House Judiciary Committee and the bill’s lead sponsor.

Grad and her fellow lawmakers ushered the bill through the Legislature in part to serve the case of one of her constituents, who was kidnapped and raped in 1992.

Since the attack, Sue Russell has been an advocate for survivors, testifying in Montpelier and Washington, D.C., about victims’ rights.

Russell’s attacker will be released from prison later this year, having maxed out his sentence. In advance of his release, Russell has secured a restraining order prohibiting him from entering the towns around where Russell lives.

The new law will help Vermonters prepare when a violent sex offender is being released from prison, she said.

“It’s not just impacting the victim, but the community as well,” Russell said. “It’s a ripple effect.” ..Source.. by Elizabeth Hewitt

No comments: