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Texas Voices update

Grits gives a report.

I was pleased to get to spend a little time with Mary Sue Molnar and the folks at Texas Voices (a group made up of families of registered sex offenders) at their statewide conference here in Austin. By the time I showed up in the late morning there were perhaps 60-70 folks there; I walked in just in time to hear most of their legislative update.

They were, of course, all devastated at Governor Perry’s veto of legislation to allow defendants to petition judges in Romeo and Juliet cases to be taken off the registry. But this was the first legislative session they’d even been involved as a newly formed group and that same bill could probably pass again whenever it’s somebody else’s turn to be Governor. In the meantime, about 100 new people per month are being placed on Texas’ sex offender registry, Molnar reported to the group.

The bill Grits refers to is HB3148; another bill that was favorable to Texas Voices never made it out of committee. blogged about this group before and am glad to hear they are continuing to organize. We spend an awful lot of time, energy, and money punishing people who really aren’t a threat to anyone, and in doing so we cause a lot of harm – to the offenders, to their loved ones, and to the state of Texas, which suffers a large economic loss from all this wasted effort. We’ll be much better off the day we recognize this and do something about it.

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2 Comments

  1. Jan says:

    I enjoy your blogs. Hope you don’t mind, I repost some with links back.

  2. Baby Snooks says:

    TAASA and other organizations have spoken out about this and of course Rick Perry has ignored them and his veto has left most wondering what on earth he was thinking although no doubt it is tied into maintaining his solid base of the more rabid of the Republicans who when not waving their guns, their Bibles or their interpretations of the Constitution around are waving their big fat checkbooks around.

    Their sons, of course, engage in “consensual sex” even when there are photos indicating the “consensual partner” was brutally raped. Everyone else, well, too bad. Branded for life. It’s a class thing, really, that goes far beyond just the usual “keep the minorities in their place” approach to life in Texas. Good girls, of course, don’t put out. But sometimes they’re raped. And then they’re just branded sluts. One of the more chilling aspects to the “good old boys” syndrome. There’s really no such thing as a “good old girl.”

    Maybe in 2011 we will have a new governor. And maybe in 2011 this will be signed by the new governor. Along with other legislation that will move Texas from the 19th Century into the 21st Century.

    Chattel law may not be the law anymore in Texas. But it is still very much the state of mind for many Texans. But only for some. And everyone else needs to be kept in their place. And the sexual offender registry is just another place to keep them in their place.