Focus On Sex Offenders

From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Joseph Lentol, Chair, Codes Committee

July 2006
Assembly cracks down on dangerous
sexual predators; Senate stalls

This legislative session, the Assembly made it a top priority to pass legislation cracking down on dangerous sexual predators who threaten the safety of New York’s families. The Assembly passed a package of bills to address the sex offender problem in January, and called on the Senate and governor to work towards enacting meaningful laws — including civil commitment.

Unfortunately, the Senate didn’t come through. It waited five months after the Assembly to pass common-sense crime bills that punish violent sex offenders, and refused to reconvene a conference committee to reach agreement on legislation subjecting sexual predators to civil commitment. The Assembly will continue leading the fight to keep sex offenders away from our families.

Assembly Actions

December 7, 2005

Assembly introduces the Child Safety and Sexual Predator Punishment and Confinement Strategy which imposes tougher sentences on sex offenders, subjects the most dangerous predators to civil confinement, and intensely monitors any who might be released by the courts.

January 17, 2006

Senate passes civil commitment legislation (S.6325).

January 23, 2006

Assembly passes the Child Safety and Sexual Predator Punishment and Confinement Strategy, including bills to:

  • provide for civil commitment for sex offenders who pose a further risk to society after their release from prison (A.9282)

  • provide for up to life sentences for the most heinous sex crimes (A.8939-A)

  • put “moderate risk” sex offenders on the state’s online registry and provide notification about “low risk” sex offenders (A.8370-A).

February 6, 2006

The Legislature’s joint conference committee on civil commitment convenes to iron out differences between the houses’ bills.

March 8, 2006

Conference committee members – without reaching an agreement – agree to go on hiatus until the state budget is passed and then reconvene.

May 22, 2006

Senate co-chairman of the joint conference committee on civil commitment – in response to Assembly calls to resume negotiations – refuses.

June 7, 2006

Assembly again calls for the Senate to reconvene the conference committee; Senate does not respond.

June 22, 2006

Assembly passes amendments to address issues raised by the Senate on civil commitment legislation (A.11991); again calls for conference committee to reconvene.

June 23, 2006

Senate finally passes Assembly legislation providing up to life sentences for the most heinous sex crimes (A.8939-A/S.8459), and expanding the online sex offender registry (A.8370-A/S.8457), but fails to advance civil commitment. The Senate doesn’t agree to reconvene the conference committees on civil commitment.

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