Mar
08

Virginia Leading The Way

I have not yet read Dr. Richard Wright's Sex Offender Laws: Failed Policies, New Directions. But I ordered a copy yesterday. If I were a lawmaker in Virginia or a member of U.S. House Judiciary Committee, I would have a copy given to me gratis. A Virginia advocacy group has made its mission the education of lawmakers and has either hand-delivered of mailed copies of the book to lawmakers.

The Virginia groups is called, simply enough, Reform Sex Offender Laws, or RSOL. It is one of a series of statewide organizations united under that banner. This latest lawmaker education campaign is a stroke of genius that should be replicated elsewhere.

Virginia lawmakers are this term neck-deep in proposed legislation regarding sex offenders. Among the bills being considered are calls for civil commitment, new laws against sexting, legislation to ensure compliance with tht federal Adam Walsh Act, and other measures. Typically, there is little debate about passage of such bills. Proponents promise to get tough on crime, hitch their proposal to the latest sensation news story they can find, and then date someone to oppose measures designed to keep the streets safe for little children. It is no wonder in such a climate that the laws regarding sex offenders have become an unintelligible mess.

Virginia RSOL is doing something about it. It is working to educate lawmakers about the consequences of passing laws without worrying about the consequences. Other states should consider following suit.

Here is a list of Virgnia lawmakers who received a free copy of Dr. Wright's book. I suggest follow up emails to these offices to determine what lawmakers thought of the book. I fear an absence of pressure will result in their ignoring the book. We all know the truth of the old aphorism: "You can elect a lawmakers to the statehouse, but you can't make 'em think."

House Courts of Justice Committee

Chairman: David B. Albo R [hidden email]ia.gov VCC

Vice Chair: Clifford L. Athey Jr. * R [hidden email]ia.gov

Ward L. Armstrong D [hidden email]ia.gov VCC

(Minority Leader)

William K. Barlow * D [hidden email]ia.gov

Robert B. Bell R [hidden email]ia.gov VCC

William Cleaveland * R [hidden email]ia.gov

Benjamin L. Cline * R [hidden email]ia.gov

C. Todd Gilbert * R [hidden email]ia.gov VCSC

H. Morgan Griffith * R [hidden email]ia.gov

(Majority Leader)

Charniele L. Herring D [hidden email]ia.gov

Patrick A. Hope D DelP [hidden email]ia.gov

Salvatore R. Iaquinto R [hidden email]ia.gov

William R. Janis R [hidden email]ia.gov

Joseph P. Johnson Jr. D [hidden email]ia.gov

Terry G. Kilgore R [hidden email]ia.gov VCC

G. Manoli Loupassi R [hidden email]ia.gov

Jennifer L. McClellan D [hidden email]ia.gov

Jackson H. Miller R [hidden email]ia.gov

Christopher Kilian Peace R [hidden email]ia.gov

David J. Toscano D [hidden email]ia.gov

Ron A. Villanueva R [hidden email]ia.gov

Vivian E. Watts D [hidden email]ia.gov


* On Both House Committees

VCC = On Virginia Crime Commission and received their book on December 15, 2009

VCSC= On Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission


House Militia Police and Public Safety Committee



Chairman: Beverly J. Sherwood R [hidden email]ia.gov VCC

Vice Chair: Thomas C. Wright Jr. R [hidden email]ia.gov

Clifford L. Athey Jr. * R [hidden email]ia.gov

William K. Barlow * D [hidden email]ia.gov

Charles W. Carrico Sr. R [hidden email]ia.gov

William Cleaveland * R [hidden email]ia.gov

Benjamin L. Cline * R [hidden email]ia.gov

John A. Cox R [hidden email]ia.gov

James E. Edmunds R [hidden email]ia.gov

C. Todd Gilbert * R [hidden email]ia.gov VCSC

H. Morgan Griffith * R [hidden email]ia.gov

(Majority Leader)

Matthew James D [hidden email]ia.gov

Mark L. Keam D [hidden email]ia.gov

Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. D [hidden email]ia.gov

L. Scott Lingamfelter R [hidden email]ia.gov

Donald W. Merricks R [hidden email]ia.gov

Paula J. Miller D [hidden email]ia.gov

James W. Morefield R [hidden email]ia.gov

David A. Nutter R [hidden email]ia.gov

James M. Scott D [hidden email]ia.gov

James M. Shuler D [hidden email]ia.gov

Roslyn C. Tyler D [hidden email]ia.gov



* = On Both House Committees

VCC = On Virginia Crime Commission and received their book on December 15, 2009

VCSC= On Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission

Senate Courts of Justice Committee

Chairman: Henry L. Marsh III D [hidden email]ia.gov VCC &VCSC

R. Creigh Deeds D [hidden email]ia.gov

John S. Edwards D [hidden email]ia.gov

Janet D. Howell D [hidden email]ia.gov VCC

Robert Hurt R [hidden email]ia.gov

L. Louise Lucas D [hidden email]ia.gov

Ryan T. McDougle R [hidden email]ia.gov

Ralph S. Northam D [hidden email]ia.gov

Mark D. Obenshain R [hidden email]ia.gov

Toddy Puller D [hidden email]ia.gov

Fredrick M. Quayle R [hidden email]ia.gov

William Roscoe Reynolds D [hidden email]ia.gov

Richard L. Saslaw D [hidden email]ia.gov

Open Seat (was Cuccinelli)

Open Seat (was Stolle)

VCC = On Virginia Crime Commission and received their book on December 15, 2009
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About Norm Pattis

Norm Pattis is a Connecticut based trial lawyer focused on high stakes criminal cases and civil right violations. He is a veteran of more than 100 jury trials, many resulting in acquittals for people charged with serious crimes, multi-million dollar civil rights and discrimination verdicts, and scores of cases favorably settled.

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I believe that the state is a necessary fiction and that failing to combat it is the first step toward tyranny.
– Norm Pattis

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Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice about your case. You need a lawyer who understands the context of your life and situation. What are offered here are merely suggested lines of inquiry you may explore with your lawyer.

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