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 DelDAlbo@house.Virginia.gov VCC

Vice Chair: Clifford L. Athey Jr. * R DelCAthey@house.Virginia.gov

Ward L. Armstrong D DelWArmstrong@house.Virginia.gov VCC

(Minority Leader)

William K. Barlow * D DelWBarlow@house.Virginia.gov

Robert B. Bell R DelRBell@house.Virginia.gov VCC

William Cleaveland * R DelWCleaveland@house.Virginia.gov

Benjamin L. Cline * R DelBCline@house.Virginia.gov

C. Todd Gilbert * R DelTGilbert@house.Virginia.gov VCSC

H. Morgan Griffith * R DelMGriffith@house.Virginia.gov

(Majority Leader)

Charniele L. Herring D DelCHerring@house.Virginia.gov

Patrick A. Hope D DelP Hope@house.virginia.gov

Salvatore R. Iaquinto R DelSIaquinto@house.Virginia.gov

William R. Janis R DelBJanis@house.Virginia.gov

Joseph P. Johnson Jr. D DelJJohnson@house.Virginia.gov

Terry G. Kilgore R DelTKilgore@house.Virginia.gov VCC

G. Manoli Loupassi R DelMLoupassi@house.Virginia.gov

Jennifer L. McClellan D DelJMcClellan@house.Virginia.gov

Jackson H. Miller R DelJMiller@house.Virginia.gov

Christopher Kilian Peace R DelCPeace@house.Virginia.gov

David J. Toscano D DelDToscano@house.Virginia.gov

Ron A. Villanueva R DelRVillanueva@house.Virginia.gov

Vivian E. Watts D DelVWatts@house.Virginia.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 DelBSherwood@house.Virginia.gov VCC

Vice Chair: Thomas C. Wright Jr. R DelTWright@house.Virginia.gov

Clifford L. Athey Jr. * R DelCAthey@house.Virginia.gov

William K. Barlow * D DelWBarlow@house.Virginia.gov

Charles W. Carrico Sr. R DelCCarrico@house.Virginia.gov

William Cleaveland * R DelWCleaveland@house.Virginia.gov

Benjamin L. Cline * R DelBCline@house.Virginia.gov

John A. Cox R DelJCox@house.Virginia.gov

James E. Edmunds R DelJEdmunds@house.Virginia.gov

C. Todd Gilbert * R DelTGilbert@house.Virginia.gov VCSC

H. Morgan Griffith * R DelMGriffith@house.Virginia.gov

(Majority Leader)

Matthew James D DelMJames@house.Virginia.gov

Mark L. Keam D DelMKeam@house.Virginia.gov

Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. D DelLLewis@house.Virginia.gov

L. Scott Lingamfelter R DelSLingamfelter@house.Virginia.gov

Donald W. Merricks R DelDMerricks@house.Virginia.gov

Paula J. Miller D DelPMiller@house.Virginia.gov

James W. Morefield R DelJMorefield@house.Virginia.gov

David A. Nutter R DelDNutter@house.Virginia.gov

James M. Scott D DelJScott@house.Virginia.gov

James M. Shuler D DelJShuler@house.Virginia.gov

Roslyn C. Tyler D DelRTyler@house.Virginia.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 district16@senate.Virginia.gov VCC &VCSC

R. Creigh Deeds D district25@senate.Virginia.gov

John S. Edwards D district21@senate.Virginia.gov

Janet D. Howell D district32@senate.Virginia.gov VCC

Robert Hurt R district19@senate.Virginia.gov

L. Louise Lucas D district18@senate.Virginia.gov

Ryan T. McDougle R district04@senate.Virginia.gov

Ralph S. Northam D district06@senate.Virginia.gov

Mark D. Obenshain R district26@senate.Virginia.gov

Toddy Puller D district36@senate.Virginia.gov

Fredrick M. Quayle R district13@senate.Virginia.gov

William Roscoe Reynolds D district20@senate.Virginia.gov

Richard L. Saslaw D district35@senate.Virginia.gov

Open Seat (was Cuccinelli)

Open Seat (was Stolle)

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

Also listed under: Sex Offenders and Justice

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