May 22, 2015

State Senate Enacts 'Brittany's Law'

5-22-15 New York:

New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio today announced that the State Senate has taken significant and important action in adopting a tougher stance against violent crime by enacting the "Domestic Violence Prevention Act-Brittany's Law." This legislation, Senate Bill 513, sponsored by Nozzolio, will create a publically accessible registry of convicted violent felons.

"Brittany's Law represents a major step forward for New Yorkers in the fight against violent crime and domestic abuse crimes. By putting new measures in place to track violent offenders and keep our communities informed of their whereabouts, Brittany's Law will undoubtedly save lives.

As Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee and as the former Chairman of the Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee, I am committed to enacting tougher sentencing laws for violent criminals, reinforcing laws to protect women and children from domestic violence, and strengthening the rights of crime victims to prevent future tragedies from occurring," said Nozzolio.

In November of 2009, 12-year-old Brittany Passalacqua was brutally murdered along with her mother, Helen Buchel, at their home in Geneva. Brittany's law is named to honor their memories, and the memory of countless domestic violence victims across our state and region.

"Shannon Pepper, of Cuba, NY, was a courageous domestic violence survivor who used her personal tragedy to fight for greater protection for others. After her attack, Shannon made the adoption of Brittany's Law her number one mission. She believed that the victims of domestic violence deserved to know that their abusers would be not only held accountable, but that steps would be in place so their attackers could not hurt someone else in the future.

It is in her memory, and the memory of Brittany Passalacqua and Helen Buchel, that we are gathered here today, and it is with the lives of these young women in mind that the Assembly must take action to prevent their tragic circumstances from befalling anyone else," said Senator Catharine Young.

"The tragic death of Brittany Passalacqua, assault on Shannon Pepper and the horrific mutilation of Andrew Lesperance of Massena - underscores the need for a registry of violent offenders. We have a responsibility to keep our communities safe. Brittany's Law will bring good out of tragedy, by giving families the information they need to know who is living in their neighborhood.

The state's sex offender registry has helped many; we're expecting the same for the violent offender database. I thank Senator Nozzolio for his leadership on this bill, and urge my Assembly colleagues to join us in passing this important piece of legislation," said Senator Joe Griffo

The New York State Senate has adopted Brittany's Law every year since 2011, but the State Assembly leadership has repeatedly refused to bring this important legislation to the floor for a vote. Nozzolio has continued his efforts to see the measure enacted into law and has worked with law enforcement officials, crime victims' advocates and with Dale Driscoll, Brittany Passalacqua's grandmother. ..Continued.. by NYS Senator Mike Nozzolio

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