Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bills related to sex offenders as of February 3, 2015

At the moment, there are no bills directly affecting sex offenders in the Alabama legislature. There is a bill that is of interest, however, and we can offer support to the bill.

HB 8, sponsored by England, concerns so-called "mugshot" websites that demand fees to remove mugshots from people, which has become a big issue in recent years. Sites like Offendex have targeted Registered Citizens, demanding money for removal of mugshot info from their websites, only to place them up elsewhere. 

HB 8 SUMMARY

This bill would require the operator of a website containing an arrest photograph and personal information of a person charged with a crime to remove, at no charge, the photograph and information within a specified period after notice that the person was acquitted, the charges were dropped, or the charges were otherwise resolved without conviction. This bill would also provide that the failure to remove the photograph and personal information upon request is a deceptive trade practice and that an aggrieved individual is entitled to all rights and remedies under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

This may be a good year to push for reforms to sex offender laws, given the legislature is considering overhauls to the sentencing and correctional policies. However, it will be a tough sell in Alabama, as the legislature already introduced a bill to bring back the electric chair (SB 11, sponsored by Ward). 

Stay tuned as new bills are introduced regularly. With Wallace gone, we may not have to deal with anti-cluster bills this year, but you never know. 

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