Statement from Senator Hassell-Thompson

Ruth Hassell-Thompson

June 03, 2009

As Chairwoman of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction, I was very disturbed to hear of last Wednesday's shooting incident in the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office. My colleagues and I will be taking a close look at the 2007 law that allowed certain sex offenders, such as Ken-Tweal Catts, to be released from civil confinement. Recent criticism following last week's attack has focused on the provision of the 2007 civil confinement law that allowed juries the ability to grant freedom to sex offenders. Clearly, we must study this law in greater detail and fix the aspects that have failed. One major component that needs to be examined deals with who should be entrusted with the decision-making in cases such as these - a jury or a judge.