Ok, all you Texans out there…there are some new proposed laws out there that you should take the time to read and research. You should take the time read these newly proposed laws to see if you either agree or disagree with them. It’s important to support a good law and to challenge a bad one, but in order to be able to do that you need to be aware of the facts of that proposed law. On these bills to get to read the full text of the bill you have to click on the “Text” tab and then chose which format you want to use to read it.
1.) Bill SB 198 – This bill is about creating some exemptions for sex offender registration. It would apply to those who are convicted of certain sex crimes who are no more than 4 years older than the victim or intended victim who is at least 14 years old. Also, in order to gain the exemption is has to be shown that the person’s conduct was done only with the CONSENT of the victim or intended victim. This to me sounds like an exemption bill for teenagers who got caught having consensual sex where there is a big enough age difference for one of them to be charged with a sex crime like statutory rape. There is more to this bill than what I have written; so, I encourage you to read it for yourself.
2.) Bill SB 166 – This bill is about civil commitment of sex offenders, and the creation of a state agency to preform the tasks of the civil commitment program which is currently being done by the Council on Sex Offender Treatment. Some examples of those who could be placed in the civil commitment program are those who were found not guilty by reason of insanity, those guilty of certain sexually violent crimes, and those who “may be a repeat sexually violent offender”. To me this bill came across like it was probation on steroids. The offender has to notify where they are expected to live once released from prison, has to wear a monitoring system, and has to abide by the “treatment” plan and supervision plan that has been designed for them. If they wish to move they must gain permission to do so. Some of the requirements will include “requiring the person to reside in a Texas residential facility under contract with the office [
council] or at another location or facility approved by the office [ council]”. I do not think that all who are put into the civil commitment program will be required to live in such contracted residential facilities. Also, some of them may be required to live in supervised housing. There will be child safety zones in place for which these offenders cannot live in. They will be subject to polygraphs. There will be assessments to determine if there needs to be changes made to a person’s “treatment” plan or to their supervision rules, and to even determine if the person can be taken off of the civil commitment program based on if that particular person is no longer deemed to be a risk to society. There is a LOT to this bill, and I highly recommend that you read it in it’s entirety. The reason why I said that this bill sounds like probation on steroids is because a lot of the supervision rules for these offenders sounds a lot like the rules that my ex-step-dad has to abide by for the remaining 9 years that he has left on his probation.
3.) Bill SB 98 – This bill is about human trafficking. Ok, I’m having a hard time understanding this bill. From some of what I do understand this bill seems to outline under what conditions a person can be charged with multiple charges of human trafficking, and if a person is found guilty of multiple charges from the same “episode” they can either serve their time concurrently or consecutively. This bill also states that a victim has 5 years after the day to bring forward a personal injury suit from injuries they suffered from conduct that violates some of the penal codes that they have outlined in this bill…to include sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, continuous sexual abuse of young child or children, trafficking of persons, trafficking of child in furtherance of sexual conduct or performance, or continuous trafficking of persons. This bill also talks about under which conditions the defendant can receive life in prison. There are sections that talk about getting out on parole, but the person has to serve at least half of their sentence or 30 years which ever is shorter, but must serve a minimum of 2 years. There is so much to this bill, and so many different scenarios that are talked about that I couldn’t keep up with what exactly they were talking about. This bill is defiantly something that you have to read for yourself in order to try to understand it. There is just so much that is covered in this bill.