State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing that a measure she cosponsors that would help save lives and prevent instances of violence by creating a publically accessible “Domestic Violence Offender Registry” has passed the Senate.
Known as “Brittany’s Law,” the measure (S.65) was sparked by the brutal murder of Helen Buchel and her daughter Brittany Passalacqua in Geneva in 2009. The man charged in the brutal attack, John Edward Brown, was a violent felon who was released early from prison after assaulting his infant daughter in 2003. Before committing the aforementioned murders, Brown had only been on parole for several months and his victims had no knowledge of his violent past.
“One of the most powerful tools individuals can possess when it comes to protecting themselves from domestic violence is knowledge,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “Through this measure, we can ensure that people have access to information that can make them aware about a person’s past, and whether that person has the potential to harm them, or their loved ones. I am hopeful the Assembly will take up this important piece of legislation, which has the power to save lives and prevent future tragedies.”
Under the measure, domestic abuse offenders would be required to register with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) upon their release from prison. The registry—which would be similar to the state’s sexual offender registry—would be available to the public. In addition, the measure also establishes annual registration requirements for offenders.
The bill—which has passed the Senate a total of seven times—was sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblyman Marcos Crespo.
(Attn. photo editors: Senator Ritchie is pictured in the above photo at a press conference Wednesday, where along with colleagues—as well as Dale Driscoll, who is speaking at the podium, mother of Helen Buchel and grandmother of Brittany Passalacqua and other domestic violence survivors—called for passage of Brittany’s Law)