Thursday, June 18, 2015

2015 Legislative Roundup

The 2015 Legislative Season has come to an end, so here is the final results for the bills ReFORM-AL was watching this year:

HB316: 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-9, incl., 15-20A-11, 15-20A-12, 15-20A-14, 15-20A-15, 15-20A-16, 15-20A-18, 15-20A-21 to 15-20A-29, incl., 15-20A-32, 15-20A-34, 15-20A-35, 15-20A-37, 15-20A-38, 15-20A-39, 15-20A-40, 15-20A-42, 15-20A-43, 15-20A-44, 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 am'd.

Status: Enrolled (passed into law) -- This will benefit a few registrants to petition for relief under certain conditions.
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SB 272: Sex crimes, sexual misconduct, lack of consent required, crimes of rape in the 3rd degree, sodomy in the 3rd degree and sexual abuse in 3rd degree created to address circumstances where both parties are below age of consent, Secs. 13A-6-65, 13A-6-70, 15-20A-5, 15-20A-6 am'd.

Status: Never left committee. Good.
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These laws all pretty much read the same way; all referred to residency restriction extensions to "camps" used by children.

HB654: Sex offenders, residency, prohibited within 2,000 feet of camp facility used by children, Sec. 15-20A-11 am'd.

Status: Died in committee.

HB680: Sex offenders, residency requirements, prohibit residence within 2,000 feet of a camp facility used by children, Sec. 15-20A-11 am'd.

Status: Died in committee

SB489: Sex offenders, residency requirements, prohibit residence within 2,000 feet of a camp facility used by children, Sec. 15-20A-11 am'd.

Status: Died in committee

I'd like to point out that these bills simply did not advance due to time restraints. I expect we will see these bills introduced early next year.
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SB67: Corrections reform, criminal penalties and sentencing revised, alternative community corrections programs required, specified treatment and supervision practices by Board of Pardons and Paroles required, criteria for release required, sanctions for violations by parolees and probationers, mandatory supervision periods for inmates, Secs. 13A-8-3.1, 13A-8-4.1, 13A-8-8.1, 13A-8-18.1, 13A-8-24, 13A-9-3.1, 13A-9-6.1, 15-22-26.1, 15-22-36.3, 15-22-57 added; Secs. 12-25-32, 12-25-33, 13A-5-3, 13A-5-6, 13A-5-9, 13A-5-11, 13A-5-13, 13A-7-7, 13A-8-3, 13A-8-4, 13A-8-5, 13A-8-8, 13A-8-9, 13A-8-10.2, 13A-8-10.3, 13A-8-18, 13A-8-19, 13A-9-3, 13A-9-4, 13A-9-6, 13A-9-7, 13A-9-14, 13A-12-211, 13A-12-212, 13A-12-213, 13A-12-291, 14-14-5, 15-8-8, 15-18-171, 15-18-172, 15-18-174, 15-18-176, 15-18-180, 15-18-182, 15-22-24, 15-22-26, 15-22-28, 15-22-29, 15-22-31, 15-22-32, 15-22-33, 15-22-36, 15-22-36.2, 15-22-51, 15-22-52, 15-22-53, 15-22-54, 29-2-20, 36-18-25 am'd.

Status: Enrolled (Passed into law)

SB 67 is going to require the state to settle on an "actuarial" risk assessment test for "certain offenders;" I'm sure this means sex offenders, of course. Alabama currently lacks a standard for risk assessment. Also, this seems only to apply to juvenile offenders.

SB 67 introduced a "Class D felony" with a maximum 5 year sentence and a maximum $7500 fine, half the penalty of a class C. It seems sex offenses are not given class D felon status, however.

SB 67 extends the time by which alleged victims are notified of a registrant's release or pardon or parole review from 30 days to 45 days.
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HB 68: Statute of limitations, commencement of civil actions based on sexual abuse, tolled until final adjudication of related criminal case

HB 68 changes the time that an alleged victim can sue for damages from two years after the act to two years after the alleged perpetrator is convicted.

Status: Died in committee. Good.
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HB8: Websites containing personal information of persons convicted of crimes, required to remove information at no charge upon request, civil penalties, presumption of defamation

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.

Status: Died in committee. THIS BILL SHOULD HAVE PASSED!!!
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Overall, this session has made few laws that harm registered citizens as a whole. Expect to see that residency restriction bill reintroduced next year. Hopefully, 2016 will be as quiet as this year was for registered citizens and their families.

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