Public Comments for 02/11/2022 Courts of Justice - Subcommittee #1
HB613 - Arrest/prosecution of individual experiencing mental health emerg.; assault against law enforcement.
Last Name: Schrad Organization: Va. Assn. Of Chiefs of Police Locality: Hanover

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police opposes HB 613. The diminished mental capacity of an assailant is not known at the time of an interaction with police. The officer must take control of the incident for the safety of all individuals, including himself and the assailant, which may result in an arrest. The court has the capacity to identify mitigating factors and reduce charges based on the mental capacity of the individual in question. There is no harm to be corrected by this legislation, and it is not necessary.

Last Name: Cruser Organization: Mental Health America of Virginia Locality: Richmond

HB 613 is an important and targeted effort to improve how our criminal justice system responds to Virginians in a serious mental health crisis. Mental Health America of Virginia supports efforts to apply current knowledge of brain chemistry and mental illness in ways that encourage, rather than discourage people to seek help for themselves or their loved ones. Well-trained law enforcement officers and citizens both are more likely to find successful outcomes when the felony charge against someone known to be acting from their illness is removed in the limited application of this bill.

Last Name: Segal Organization: Hanover County Sheriff's Office Locality: Hanover County

Manipulative behavior can be masked and the officer(s) responding may not believe the person meets the common law McNaughton rule. But this is a determination that should not be left to officers in the field or even first line mental health workers, who may dissolve the order and the crisis-like behavior has subsided and the person is released. If an officer has been assaulted, or even murdered, there are affirmative defenses available at trial or in motions; by examining expert witnesses under oath. The intent of the law is humane for the truly mentally ill. But the practice, if enacted, can be license to expose officers to extreme danger, without relief.

Last Name: Parker Locality: Churchville

I am writing in support of HB 613. I have practiced as a Public Defender in Albemarle County/Charlottesville for the last 16 years. During that time, I have defended numerous people charged with A&B on LEO. I strongly support removing this charge as an option in the circumstances described in the bill. The majority of cases I see involving this charge are for situations of mental health crisis (or intoxication). The person charged with the offense is usually remorseful once they have been stabilized but in their moment of crisis was desperate for help and understanding. Their family members or loved ones have called the police to assist with an ongoing crisis and are devastated when their actions unintentionally result in a felony charge that carries a mandatory minimum sentence. Our communities should encourage family and loved ones to reach out for help in times of a mental health crisis rather than chilling that impulse with the risk of seeing their beloved child, sister, brother, friend, or partner go to jail and branded a felon. Thank you for your consideration of this bill.

HB1015 - Protective orders; workplace violence.
Last Name: Lawson Organization: H.E.A.L. of Virginia Locality: Grayson

I would appreciate if you take in consideration my thoughts on these bulls especially 1080. This would harm innocent children and families their are 13,000 children on sex offender registries in Virginia...What do you plan to do with them their parents can go in a shelter but a child is excluded. Also a single parent who has a requirement to register stays outside and children are took inside unattended. Please consider this bill as not a wise choice

Last Name: Lawson Organization: H.E.A.L. Locality: Independence

I oppose multiple bills that have made it to the house the one bill regarding Emergency Sex Offenders is the most absurd bill I have ever heard in my life. No one is going to be worried about sexual offending in a State of Emergency number one. For example Dad is on a registry and he has three children who are accepted inside without supervision while dad is kept outside in the storm or natural catastrophe. When you pass bills like this your punishing innocent children and families. What about people who committed murder or child abusers are they treated the same? You Senators and delegates got this wrong and this is harmful to innocent families and children. Now let's talk about the 13,000 children on Sex Offender Registries in Virginia some as young as 7 years of age so Mom , Dad and entire family is allowed in but the child is made to stand outside during a castophre alone and sacred while his or her family are allowed inside these laws are based off fear and gives a false sense of security to the general public. Sex Offense is to broad, urination in public is a registable offense as a Violent Sex Offender, Reprorting a Sex Crime will land you on a Violent Sex Offender Registry such is my sistuation. Please reconsider the harm the harm of this bill

Last Name: Achin Organization: Father's Rights Locality: Woodbridge

This should be linked with HB 572 as well. I am a father who has been taken advantage of by the system for the sole reason that he left the mother. No amicable resolution was possible, and no had to force me to support my child; I did so voluntarily and thoroughly, paying well over $1,000 a month on a schoolteacher's salary. Did the court force the mother to respect the visitation and custody arrangement she had agreed to? No. They enabled her, made excuses for her, and consistently prioritized her needs over the child's. I fought both the ex and the court so my daughter could see me. The court consistently gave more visitation hours, only to refuse to enforce them, effectively depriving me of all visitation. Years later, in 2018, I was accused of and wrongly convicted of a felony and was unable to pay. Boy, did the law come down on me! I had to liquidate retirement to pay back child support, with interest. Even when the formula changed in 2014, they came back at me, and I paid. I paid for all autism treatments prior to that. I had to work 5 jobs, while my ex worked 5-10 hours per week. In 2020, the court decided that it didn't matter that I can't find employment due to my felony, or that I was underemployed. I had to create a miracle somehow. Now, you are about to hand them another cudgel with which to beat fathers like me. There should be no interest whatsoever; this serves not to compensate the child, but a particularly vicious brand of mother. The interest cessation should be retroactive in some fashion.

Last Name: Fox Organization: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Locality: Albemarle County

I'm a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and I support this bill.

End of Comments