Monday, June 29, 2009

TX Gov. Vetoes Reasonable Sex Offender Bill : Smith blasts Perry for vetoing sex offender bill.

State Rep. Todd Smith has an op-ed piece in today's Star-Telegram criticizing Gov. Perry for vetoing one of his bills. Smith also suggests that Perry didn't properly understand the bill before he vetoed it.

SB 3148 would have allowed certain low-level sex offenders to petition a judge to be removed from the state's sex offender registry. The bill passed through the Legislature relatively easy and faced little organized opposition.

"Gov. Rick Perry vetoed one of the most morally compelling bills I have ever filed in the Texas House," Smith wrote.

Perry said in his veto statement that he couldn't sign the bill because "sex offenders would be eligible to petition a court for an exemption from sex offender registration, regardless of the age of the victim." However, Smith's bill only applied to cases where an offender was convicted of having consensual sex with someone who was at least 14 and not more than four years younger than the defendant.

"Perry apparently believes that every teenager who has a consensual relationship with someone more than three years, but less than four years younger should be labeled for life as a sex offender," Smith wrote.