Grits gives a report.
I was pleased to get to spend a little time with Mary Sue Molnar and the folks at Texas Voices (a group made up of families of registered sex offenders) at their statewide conference here in Austin. By the time I showed up in the late morning there were perhaps 60-70 folks there; I walked in just in time to hear most of their legislative update.
They were, of course, all devastated at Governor Perry’s veto of legislation to allow defendants to petition judges in Romeo and Juliet cases to be taken off the registry. But this was the first legislative session they’d even been involved as a newly formed group and that same bill could probably pass again whenever it’s somebody else’s turn to be Governor. In the meantime, about 100 new people per month are being placed on Texas’ sex offender registry, Molnar reported to the group.
The bill Grits refers to is HB3148; another bill that was favorable to Texas Voices never made it out of committee. blogged about this group before and am glad to hear they are continuing to organize. We spend an awful lot of time, energy, and money punishing people who really aren’t a threat to anyone, and in doing so we cause a lot of harm – to the offenders, to their loved ones, and to the state of Texas, which suffers a large economic loss from all this wasted effort. We’ll be much better off the day we recognize this and do something about it.