Continuing his aggressive efforts to strengthen criminal justice laws, protect crime victims, and safeguard New Yorkers privacy, State Senator Mike Nozzolio today announced that he has co-sponsored legislation, S.4187, to empower law enforcement to pursue charges and prosecute criminals who use a GPS or electronic tracking device to stalk victims.
“Our laws must keep pace with new technologies to protect crime victims and increase penalties for the criminals who use these new technologies to stalk and harass others. This legislation represents the next step in our aggressive efforts to keep our communities safe by ensuring that the predators and criminals who use technology to stalk their victims are kept off our streets and in prison where they belong,” said Senator Mike Nozzolio.
Jackie’s Law is named for Jackie Wisniewski, a young nursing student who was brutally murdered by her former boyfriend, Timothy Jorden, in June of 2012 - just three months after it was discovered that Jorden was using a GPS tracking device to stalk her. As incredible as it sounds, law enforcement was unable to arrest or prosecute Jorden when the device was first discovered because New York's current criminal justice laws have not kept up with technology. There is currently no law in place to make it a crime to place a GPS tracking device on someone's vehicle without their consent.
This important legislation would make it a class “E” felony to attach a global positioning system (GPS) to another person’s car without their consent. Under the current laws, it is not illegal to put a GPS tracking device on someone’s vehicle without their consent – even if it is for the purposes of stalking! This legislation protects victims by allowing law enforcement to prosecute perpetrators for the crime of unlawful surveillance, without requiring the victim to file an Order of Protection or press charges.
“We cannot continue to put innocent New Yorkers at risk. It is critically important that we enact this legislation to protect crime victims and ensure that those who use new technology to stalk and harass others are punished. As Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee, which has jurisdiction over all aspects of criminal justice law, I will continue my efforts to enact tougher sentencing laws for violent criminals, reinforce laws to protect women and children from domestic violence, and strengthen the rights of crime victims," concluded Senator Nozzolio.
Senator Nozzolio has been an outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform, crime victims' rights and tougher sentencing guidelines for violent criminals and sexual predators. He has fought to end work release and conjugal visit programs for dangerous felons, and helped enact critical legislation including Megan's Law, the Sex Offender Reform Act, the Domestic Violence Prevention and Family Protection Act and Jenna's Law. Senator Nozzolio is also working to enact “Brittany’s Law”, which would require all individuals convicted of a violent felony to register 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.