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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: March 3, 2010

Sen. Dan Newberry
Sen. Dan Newberry

Senate Advances Proposal to Enable Electronic Monitoring of Sex Offenders

The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation allowing Oklahoma law enforcement officials to electronically monitor the state’s most dangerous sex offenders.

Authored by Sen. Dan Newberry, Senate Bill 2301 would make electronic monitoring devices mandatory for all Level Two and Three sex offenders who have been released from custody. Newberry explained that Level Two and Three offenders are considered the state’s most dangerous.

“These are the most heinous crimes – kidnapping for sexual exploitation, rape in the first degree and soliciting sexual conduct with a minor,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “This is legislation that can protect the most vulnerable members of our society from the kind of people capable of committing crimes of unimaginable horror. Today we took action to protect the lives of children, the lives of women and the lives of citizens at the greatest risk of harm and exploitation.”

Newberry cited a Florida State University study showing that GPS monitoring resulted in a significant deterrent for offenders. The study found that within a group of paroled or supervised sex offenders, 300 attempted murders were recorded. In an actively monitored group, only one attempted rape was recorded over the same period of time.

“Today we are not talking about an onerous penalty, but about protecting the lives of women and children,” Newberry said. “I believe that when we ultimately look at the numbers, we will find that when on an active monitoring device, the people in these categories will be less likely to reoffend. I’m pleased by today’s vote and I look forward to working with my colleagues as the measure advances through the legislative process.”

Sen. Debbe Leftwich, who spoke in favor of the proposal, said the Legislature must continue to do everything in its power to protect the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

“This is an important proposal that provides a strong deterrent for those who would prey on the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society,” said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City. “We already understand the importance of monitoring individuals who have shown a pattern of violent behavior to women or children, and this proposal takes a logical step toward electronic monitoring for the most active and dangerous sex offenders. With our state currently ranking ninth in the country in the number of women murdered by men, our Legislature must do more to provide protection.”

Senate Bill 2301 now advances to the House for consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Newberry: 405-521-5600

 

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