The Franklin County Sheriff's office posted some comments on their Facebook page, seeking public input on two companion bills (one in House, one in Senate) being debated in Olympia.

:House Bill 1080 and Senate Bill 5244 would create a database for domestic violence offenders, similar to that which has been out for years for sex offenders. The Sheriff's Department clarifies what the bills would do. Here's part of that commentary:

"House Bill 1080 and companion Bill SB 5244 would mandate the registry of persons convicted of a serious violence offense against a family or household member. The “family/household” definition is a fairly long list including children, parents, spouse, ex-spouse, roommates, etc.. The bill defines “serious violence offense” as a felony domestic violence conviction, or a second misdemeanor conviction.

The law in essence would require, as part of sentencing, that the Judge require the person to register much in the same way that sex offenders are required to register now. This information would be deposited into a searchable database (presumably on the internet) which would allow for anyone to search for this information. The information available would include name, date of birth, photograph, conviction information, and address block.

In the era of online dating, and other means of meeting people that are unfamiliar to the prospective “match”, it seems that this information could potentially be very useful and may save an unsuspecting person from ending up in a very bad situation. This information may also be accessed for other reasons such as employment or other reference-type checks that the law did not necessarily intend.

Is this potential new law a good idea? Do the safety benefits outweigh the invasion of privacy? Would this new law make people less like to plead guilty because they are worried about being put on “the list” thereby clogging up the already packed court docket and potentially losing these cases on technicalities?

Curious to know what you all think…."

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