Senator Nozzolio Announces “Brittany’s Law” Adopted by State Senate

Michael F. Nozzolio

May 17, 2011


New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio today announced that the State Senate has taken a tremendous step forward in adopting a tougher stance against violent crime by enacting “Brittany’s Law” (S.3645A), legislation he sponsored to create a statewide registry tracking violent felony offenders.

“This is a tremendous victory for our State in the fight against violent crime. By putting measures in place for law enforcement to track violent offenders and keeping our communities informed of their whereabouts, Brittany’s Law will save lives,” said Senator Nozzolio, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee. “I thank State Senator Joseph Griffo for his invaluable efforts in developing this legislation and commend all of my colleagues who joined me in supporting this important measure.  It is now critical for the members of the State Assembly join us in adopting Brittany’s Law to prevent future tragedy from occurring.”

Senator Nozzolio and Senator Griffo were joined at the State Capitol today by law enforcement officials and crime victims’ advocates who voiced their strong support for Brittany’s Law and urged the State Assembly to join the Senate in enacting this legislation. Among them was Dale Driscoll, grandmother to Brittany Passalacqua, for whom Brittany’s Law is named.

“My family and I are tremendously grateful to Senator Nozzolio for his outstanding efforts to get Brittany’s Law adopted in the New York State Senate,”  said Dale Driscoll. “Nothing can ever bring Helen or Brittany back, but if this legislation prevents another family from suffering the heartbreak that we have been through, my daughter and granddaughter will not have died in vain.”

In November of 2009, 12-year-old Brittany Passalacqua was brutally and savagely murdered along with her mother, Helen Buchel, at their home in Geneva. The perpetrator was John Edward Brown, a violent convicted felon who had been released from prison early after serving only 2 ½ years for assaulting his infant daughter in 2003. Brown had been put on parole just months before he committed the murders.

Since these tragic murders occurred, Senator Nozzolio has worked closely with Brittany's grandmother, Dale Driscoll, to develop legislation that would establish tougher penalties for violent offenders so they can no longer threaten the lives and safety of innocent people in our communities.

Brittany’s Law would require all individuals convicted of a violent felony to register with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) upon release from prison. The registry would be accessible to the public, similar to the registry of sex offenders that the State currently has in place.  The legislation also establishes annual registration requirements for offenders to allow local law enforcement agencies and the State to monitor the whereabouts of these individuals.

“All we need now for the violent offender registry to become a reality is for the State Assembly to adopt Brittany’s Law. New York State currently requires all convicted sex offenders to register with the State and keeps track of those individuals.  It makes no sense that we do not do the same for those who commit violent felony crimes against our citizens. We cannot continue to put innocent New Yorkers at risk,” said Senator Nozzolio.