Attorney General Fox Asks Legislature to Close Sex-Offender Loophole
This morning Attorney General Tim Fox testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bill that would improve the state Sexual and Violent Offender Registry and help protect communities across Montana.
Senate Bill 213, introduced by Sen. Cliff Larsen (D – Missoula, SD 50) at the request of Attorney General Fox, would require sexual and violent offenders who move to Montana from another state to submit a DNA sample to the state DNA database when they register as an offender. Currently Montana is one of just four states lacking such a requirement.
“This common sense change not only gets Montana up to speed with the laws of most states, but it may lead law enforcement and prosecutors to criminals who should be in prison for unsolved crimes, and prevent them from inflicting future harm against our children or other members of society,” Attorney General Fox told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today.
Megan Ashton, DNA Database Administrator at the state crime laboratory, testified in favor of the bill and briefed committee members on the technical aspects of collecting, storing, and utilizing DNA samples of sexual and violent offenders who move to Montana.
Mark Murphy, representing the Montana County Attorneys Association, the Montana Chiefs of Police Association, and the Montana Police Protective Association, as well as Jim Smith of the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association also testified in support of the bill.
No one testified in opposition to the bill. Audio of the hearing is available online.
Senate Bill 213 is part of Attorney General Fox’s 2013 legislative agenda.