More than 500 sex offenders are registered in Hinds County.
Now pending legislation that would keep better track of sex offenders who violate the sex offender registry is up for consideration in the Senate. The proposed bill comes in light of the murder of a Rankin County woman. Her alleged killer who has confessed to the crime is a convicted sex offender who didn't properly register.
Early next week, Republican Senator Will Longwitz (District 25) plans to bring up a bill he believes would update the state's sex offender system. Convicted sex offenders who get out of jail but violate the terms of the offender registry and get re-convicted by for example, registering at a false address would be required to wear a GPSs monitoring device. It would alert authorities when the offender has violated the registry.
"If you've been put away for a sentence of five years, but only served one year for your violation, for the balance of that sentence we're going to track you and if you violate it again we're going to convict you and track you again," Senator Longwitz told WLBT News.
Cassio Batteast, the dad of a 15 year-old supports the proposed legislation.
"If they've already been convicted and if they violate I think that's definitely something because we're going above and beyond," said Batteast.
"If they're not going to abide by the statue as it is now I definitely agree with it," said Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis.
The legislation would be called "Lenora's Law." Convicted sex offender Cortrell Rose confessed to murdering Rankin County resident Lenora Edhegard. Rose violated the offender registry by registering at a fake address in Hinds County when he truly lived in Rankin County.
"If we could have kept a tighter leash on him earlier I think we would have been able to identify him as trouble," said Senator Longwitz.
The Hinds County Sex Offender Registrar said that of the 516 registered sex offenders in Hinds County, 500 of them are compliant. He said most on the registry had sex with an underage girl and an estimated ten percent or less of the offenders re-commit a sex crime.
Senator Longwitz said this proposed legislation would also require cities to notify residents electronically when any sex offender moves into a new neighborhood. It would also allow the families and victims of sex offenders to sign-up for a notification when the sex offender who violated them is in the vicinity of their home.
The bill is expected to go before the Senate Judiciary A committee Tuesday.
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