Bill calling for domestic violence registry heads to assembly

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A bill is headed to the state assembly for the fifth time that would require those convicted of a violent felony to register on a statewide site just like sex offenders.

For five years, the state assembly has voted down the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, or Brittany’s Law. But senators said people have a right to know the criminal background of a violent felon.

Brittany’s Law was introduced in 2011 after a man brutally murdered his girlfriend and her 12-year-old daughter Brittany back in 2009.

“She did look him up on the Department of Corrections’ website, but it was too vague,” Brittany’s grandmother Dale Driscoll said.

Linda Randolph’s daughter, Shannon, was brutally attacked by her boyfriend in 2013.

“She goes, ‘If I knew what he was, I would have stayed away from him,’ because that’s what she was running away from,” Randolph said.

The Act would require people convicted of a violent felony to register on a statewide site once out of prison. It’s similar to the sex offender registry, and it would provide more information about that person’s criminal background.

It is headed by Sen. Michael Nozzolio and Sen. Catharine Young.

“We believe that this action is a way we can use the Information Age to help prevent domestic violence from occurring in the first instance,” Nozzolio said.

Driscoll said people have a right to know about violent history. She believes if the bill existed six years ago, her daughter, Helen, and granddaughter would still be alive.

“It has potential to save a lot more women,” she said. “And they do have the right to know. You have the right to know.”

The Act has already passed in the senate and is gaining support in the assembly. Some members are calling on their counterparts to finally pass the law.

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