Monday, May 07, 2012

Victim Notification

The Columbus Dispatch over the weekend reported the state's senate approving a bill, 33-0, that would give victims of crime and their families greater opportunity to argue against a convict's parole.

Dubbed "Roberta’s Law," after Paul Raymond Saultz's raping & then beating to death 15-year-old Roberta Francis in 1974 after having been just released from a state mental hospital for molesting a 12-year-old girl, serving 30 years for the crime against Roberta, and then molesting yet another girl two years after being paroled, the law would create a mandatory notification system for victims and their families when a convict is released.

Current law allows victims and families to opt in to a notification system when a convict is being released or having a parole hearing… That's not good enough, the Dispatch quoted Senator Kevin Bacon, who sponsored the bill along with Jim Hughes, as saying. "They're already going through a traumatic time," Bacon said. "They're not all going to remember to (opt in)." Under the new, when convicts are given a parole board hearing or are about to be paroled, victims and families would be notified automatically unless they opt out of the system. This would give them the chance to argue against parole at the hearing.

SB 160
Bill analysis

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