Sunday, April 11, 2010

OH: Senator Wants to Go Around Supreme Court Ruling Senator Smith Calls for Immediate Action to Close Sex Offender Loophole.

First of all, this isn't a loophole. It is a Supreme Court constitutional ruling. Secondly, the media misreported this story horrendously last month when the Ohio Supreme Court handed down this ruling.

See: OH Supreme Court Invalidates Sex Offender Notification and Ohio Senator Already Planning to Get Around Supreme Court Ruling

Please take immediate action by contacting the office of Senator Smith of Ohio who wants to amend the Ohio Supreme Court decision that Tier Level III offenders may apply to have their names removed from public notification.

Senator Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland)
Senate Building

1 Capitol Square, 2nd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 466-4857

Columbus – Senator Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland) issued an urgent call today for Senate hearings on legislation to close a loophole in Ohio’s sex offender registration and notification law. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled this week that trial judges have the authority to suspend community notification for Tier III sex offenders, the most serious classification for sex offenders under Ohio law. The ruling highlights the need for immediate action to pass Senate Bill 237, legislation introduced by Senator Smith in response to the murders on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland.

“The current law provides trial courts with too much discretion when determining whether to provide community-notification of a Tier III sex offender’s status,” said Senator Smith. “My bill will ensure that communities receive notice about dangerous sex offenders in their neighborhoods. We must close this loophole now to protect our citizens.”

Under provisions of Senate Bill 237, Judges would no longer have the authority to suspend community notification for Tier III sex offenders. Senator Smith’s legislation also requires sheriffs to check each Tier III sex offender’s files to verify that notification has been sent. If notification has not been sent, the bill mandates that sheriffs do so. The legislation also eliminates a section of the Revised Code that potentially excludes reclassified Tier III sex offenders from current notification law.

Seante Bill 237 : S. B. No. 237-Senator Smith, et al.

"To amend sections 2950.06, 2950.10, 2950.11, and 2950.13 of the Revised Code to apply SORN Law victim notification and community notification to specified offenders or delinquent children who verify their registered residence address and for whom such notifications previously have not been provided and to revise the criteria for subjecting offenders and delinquent children to SORN Law community notification."