State Senate passes 'Brittany's Law' to create registry of violent felony offenders
Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 11:56 am

The state Senate has passed “Brittany’s Law,” co-sponsored by Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, which would create a registry of violent felony offenders if passed by the Assembly.

Sen. Griffo, R-Rome, represents St. Lawrence County towns Massena, Brasher, Potsdam, Pierrepont, Norfolk, Stockholm, Russell, Clifton, Fine and Pitcairn.

“The recidivism rate of violent offenders necessitates the need for a new law that will help keep our communities safe,” said Griffo.

“Our goal is to avert future tragedies for New York families who will never recover from losing a loved one because this registry isn't in place. New Yorkers have the right to know when violent offenders are living in their midst and this initiative will help law enforcement identify criminals who continually commit violent acts,” he said.

The bill, S1850A, would establish a statewide violent felony offender registry which convicted violent felons would be required to register for with the state Department of Criminal Justice Services upon discharge, parole or release from any facility, hospital or institution.

Similar to the state’s sex offender registry, violent felons would be assigned risk levels. Annual registration requirements and procedural guidelines would be established to allow local law enforcement agencies and the state to monitor the whereabouts of violent felony offenders.

The measure would also allow access to certain information by the public.

Brittany’s Law is named for 12-year-old Brittany Passalacqua. Passalacqua was murdered in 2009, along with her mother, Helen Buchel, in Geneva.

The killer, John Edward Brown, was on parole at the time. He was released from prison after serving more than 2 years of a three-year sentence after assaulting his infant daughter in 2003.

The bill is under consideration by the Assembly.

The Senate version of the bill is available at open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S1850A-2013.