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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 13, 2015 02:51 PM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Robin's Law
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation that would create a new, statewide registry for domestic violence predators, similar to the Megan’s Law database for sex offenders. This bill, also known as ‘Robin’s Law,’ would honor the memory of Robin Shaffer, a Quakertown woman who was brutally murdered by her estranged husband on June 15, 2004.

Unfortunately, Robin’s story is far from unique. Between 2000-2013, there were at least 2,040 fatalities that occurred as a result of domestic violence in Pennsylvania, according to reports by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Combating domestic violence is a difficult issue because some individuals continue to commit acts of violence against their current or former partners, or family members, even after they have spent time in prison for a prior domestic violence offense. We must identify these persistently dangerous perpetrators and protect our residents from them, just as we protect our citizens from sex offenders.

This legislation would create a new board to assess individuals convicted of a domestic violence offense and determine if they are a domestic violence predator. Upon their release, these individuals would be required to register their home address with the Pennsylvania State Police. Failure to register or provide a change of address would be a third-degree felony. Information would remain in the database for ten years, and these offenders would be subject to lifetime parole, as well as required attendance at monthly counseling sessions, at their expense.

The State Police would maintain this information on a publicly available website, notify victims and local law enforcement of initial registrations and changes of address, forward fingerprint information to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and re-verify address information every 90 days.

I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor of this bill. This is a reintroduction of SB 486 from the previous legislative session. Co-sponsors included: HUGHES, FONTANA, BROWNE, FARNESE, WOZNIAK, and BREWSTER.

Introduced as SB448