Updated 12/15/2011 05:32 PM
Davis Motel murder inspires more legislation on monitoring sex offenders
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UTICA, N.Y. -- The message on the sign outside the Davis Motel -- "Miss U" -- is a somber reminder that its owner, 68-year-old Linda Turner, is gone, raped, strangled and robbed on the property that doubled as her home and business early last month.
Convicted serial rapist Robert Blainey was charged with her murder Wednesday.
For many, including Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, one of the most disturbing details involves reports that the 45-year-old Blainey was released from prison in 2009, despite telling the parole board he was a danger to society.
"I just couldn't believe it," said Assemblyman Brindisi. "How could he be passed over for civil confinement after making that statement? It just didn't make sense."
Brindisi and State Senator Joseph Griffo announced Thursday they're co-sponsoring five bills aimed at better handling the cases of dangerous sex offenders.
One problem tackled: The indeterminate sentencing policy that allowed Blainey to be released early.
"Relative to indeterminate sentencing, because this individual served two-thirds of that sentence, he was allowed, regardless of what he has said or what the parole board thought, to be released," said Senator Griffo.
The new laws would require offenders serve the maximum term if their release would mean immediate danger to society.
Photos would be updated every 90 days or more often if a drastic change in appearance takes place.
Victims' advocates say the new laws could also serve to provide survivors of attacks with more of a sense of security when offenders are released. They say they were relieved to hear lawmakers use two words when talking about the proposed laws.
"Just common sense," said Rosemary Vennaro, director of non-residential crisis services for the Mohawk Valley YWCA. "This man, this offender said numerous times, 'I'm going to be a danger to the community.' We need to ensure that this doesn't happen again."
Brindisi and Griffo say they'll advocate for the package in the next legislative session.
The bills they plan to sponsor are as follows:
Senate 1199 - changes the law to provide that discharge of an offender from confinement or strict and intensive supervision by the court to include a discharge plan that ensures the offender is discharged to the community of their residence prior to conviction or commitment and shall include the use of electronic monitoring for a period to be determined by the court.
Senate 6073/Assembly 1115 - will require sex offenders who fail to register in a timely manner or verify their registration requirements under New York State's Sex Offender Registration Act to wear GPS transmitting devices.
New legislation -- would require all parole interviews with sex offenders to be reviewed by a State Office of Mental Health civil commitment review panel.
New legislation -- to require that high-level sex offenders provide a current photo on file every 90 days.
New legislation -- would authorize the Parole Board to require a felony sex offender to serve their maximum term if their release would pose an imminent threat to society.
Senator Charles Schumer is also supporting legislation requiring more frequently updated photos of offenders as a result of this case.