Jessica Pishko / The Appeal – On November 19, 2009, Brittany Passalacqua and her mother, Helen Buchel, were found brutally murdered, slashed multiple times with a boxcutter, in their Geneva, New York, home. Prosecutors charged John Brown, Buchel’s boyfriend at the time, with the two murders and won the case.
Buchel’s family members say they were unaware of Brown’s criminal history, which included a conviction for injuring his baby daughter in 2003. After their daughter’s murder, Buchel’s family began to organize for a new registry for New York State, one that would track people convicted of domestic violence-related felonies. Since 2011, the New York State Legislature has considered the proposal—called Brittany’s Law—and every year, including this one, it has failed to pass. Yet, Buchel’s family is undeterred.
While public sex offender registries are now required by federal law, other registries for people who have committed certain types of crimes—such as domestic violence or drug-related crimes—are on the rise. They are seen by some victims’ rights advocates as a way to protect the community. But, criminal justice advocates argue that the registries are just another way to assert control over people who have already served their time. With registries, the collateral consequences of incarceration can extend indefinitely.[Read at The Appeal]