Friday, February 7, 2014

Two sex offender-related bills in the House Judiciary committee Wed. 2/12/14 at 1:00pm

The House Judiciary committee has two bills up for discussion next week related to sex offenders:

HB 224: Rape, sodomy, burglary in the first degree, person convicted of these crimes under certain conditions sentenced to minimum of 20 yrs in prison if victim is 65 yrs old or older, Secs. 13A-6-61, 13A-6-63, 13A-7-5 am'd.

I am not fond of mandatory minimum sentences, but there is little here that should concern anyone unless you commit a crime. 

HB 413: Sex Offenders, registration and community notification, technical revisions and citations update various sections, petition for relief from employment, residency living restriction, civil division of circuit courts, absconding without registering, penalty, Secs. 12-15-107, 12-15-116, 13A-5-2, 13A-5-6, 14-9-41, 15-18-8, 15-19-7, 15-20A-4 to 15-20A-7, incl., 15-20A-9, 15-20A-11, 15-20A-14, 15-20A-16, 15-20A-18, 15-20A-21 to 15-20A-26, incl., 15-20A-28, 15-20A-29, 15-20A-32, 15-20A-34, 15-20A-35, 15-20A-37, 15-20A-39, 15-20A-40, 15-20A-43, 15-20A-45, 15-20A-46, 15-22-27.3, 32-6-49.24, 36-18-24, 36-18-25, 38-13-2, 38-13-4

Of these two bills, HB 413 may be of a bigger concern. The bill is over 100 pages long and adds more regulation of registrants. Below is a brief breakdown of a few key points of HB413:

1. Amends §15-20A-16 to add an exemption to the no victim contact order under certain circumstances (under "Romeo and Juliet" offenses once the victim is age 19) This is a good thing.
2. This provision sounds bad to me (p.48): "(d) When an adult sex offender declares that he or she is homeless, notification shall be provided by posting a copy of the notice in a prominent place at the office of the sheriff and at the police station closest to the declared residence of the released adult sex offender, publicizing the notice in a local newspaper, or posting the notice electronically, including the Internet or other means available." I see some potential problems with this.

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