Proposed Bill To Protect Stalking Victims | WBNS-10TV, Central ...

There are 12 comments on the 10TV WBNS story from Jan 21, 2010, titled Proposed Bill To Protect Stalking Victims | WBNS-10TV, Central .... In it, 10TV WBNS reports that:

The Action Ohio Coalition for Battered Women made a push to lawmakers Thursday, about a bill that could help protect stalking victims, 10TV's Cara Connelly reported.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at 10TV WBNS.

Since: Sep 09

Galloway, OH

#1 Jan 21, 2010
Do we need more laws? Or do we need to enforce existing laws, including restraining orders? Where are this woman's friends or brothers, who when I was a kid, would have warned this prick in no uncertain certain terms that if he ever came near her again --- well, he wouldn't be bothering anyone else in the future.
Jaycor

Lewis Center, OH

#2 Jan 22, 2010
I'm right here! In some cases, these stalkers don't understand reasoning and in this situation, the delusion of a relationship existed with this stalker and he wasn’t going to be talked out of what he thought was real. To aggressively confront him could have made the situation dangerous. This stalking is much more complicated than we think.
Jaycor

Lewis Center, OH

#3 Jan 22, 2010
And your first reaction was my first and fiftieth reaction! But, I would have been on the wrong side of the law and been arrested while he still had the freedom to stalk
Iva Franks Singer

Sherman Oaks, CA

#4 Jan 23, 2010
You cannot treat an illogical person with logical circumstances. You ask if we need more laws or just to enforce existing laws. The answer is "both". I'm in California and a victims rights advocate as well as a victim of stalking. Calif has the strongest laws in the "world". I've researched stalking laws in other countries in with the hopes of finding better laws for the state in which I reside. Sadly, we have the strongest yet unenforced laws in the world. However, the protection of the victim needs to be amplified by ten thousand. Everything is out there working against the victim. Our constitutional rights are being violated on a daily basis... there aren't enough people who understand the psychology of this heinous crime until they become a victim themselves. The media sensationalized the perspective of the stalker yet pays little attention to what psychological, physical and emotional damage it does to the victim for the rest of their lives. And if that victim survives, what it does to the family is never presented. I don't expect anyone to understand until they actually live it...but we are making efforts to present what it is to be the victim and the isolation, trauma and horrific effects it has on your life for the rest of your life.
sally

Leeds, UK

#5 Jan 23, 2010
An extract on stalking, just another radical feminist attck on civil liberties in the same way the hostile enviorment sexual harsssment was, a bit out of date now, sure things have got worse and more illiberal since Part I:
Another area of feminist legal activism where good motives have been marred by an attempt to cast too wide a net has been the "stalking" legislation that has proliferated in recent years. While stalking is not exclusively a male offense against women (an Illinois police chief says that many men who are stalked are too embarrassed to get the police involved), it is often portrayed as such by advocates and by the media.
The first stalking law was enacted in California in 1990; similar statutes are now on the books in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Their purpose, essentially, is to take a preemptive strike against a likely offender. As the former U.S. Attorney Jay B. Stephens put it, "We should not have to wait until an overt act of violence occurs to take action." That seems to run counter to the principle that persons can only be punished for crimes they have already committed. To overcome that barrier, stalking--defined as a combination of threats, harassment, and surveillance--has itself been made a crime. In the past, such behavior was defined simply as harassment, a summary offense which carried no serious penalties.

In most states, stalking laws have been passed in response to a shocking crime that could have been prevented. In March 1992, 26-year-old Connie Chaney of Des Plaines, Illinois, was gunned down in her office by her estranged husband Wayne, who had repeatedly violated a protection order and had been released on bond after allegedly raping her at gunpoint. A law that made stalking a felony punishable by a maximum of three years' imprisonment and a $10,000 fine was passed by the state legislature in June of that year and signed by Gov. Jim Edgar. The law requires proof of a threat of harm followed by at least two instances of following or watching the victim.
Other states have passed laws that are far broader and more vague. The District of Columbia law covers not only harassment that puts a person "in reasonable fear of bodily injury or death," but also "conduct with the intent to cause emotional distress to another person"; the penalty on the first offense is a fine of up to $500, up to one year in jail, or both. The Pennsylvania stalking statute, signed into law in June 1993, likewise covers conduct demonstrating "an intent to cause substantial emotional distress." Some advocates even insist that there should be no need to prove intent to cause distress. In Virginia, a district judge found the state anti-stalking law unconstitutional because it "goes too far and attempts too much." In the case, the charge against the defendant was based on such actions as sending flowers to a woman and trying to attend her church and get a job at the place where she worked. The state claimed that those actions had caused the woman "great distress." In Georgia, a 63-year-old city councilman resigned after being arrested for stalking a woman who had broken off their relationship six weeks earlier. He was accused of repeatedly calling her at odd hours, leaving notes on her car saying, "I can't live without you," and, "Why did you turn on me?" and parking near her residence.
Sally

Leeds, UK

#6 Jan 23, 2010
Part II:
Such behavior is admittedly unpleasant, but one may question whether--unaccompanied by some expression of intent to cause harm--it warrants a charge that would result in one to five years of imprisonment on a second offense. The Georgia statute defines stalking as following or contacting a person in a way that "causes emotional distress by placing [the] person in reasonable fear of death or bodily harm," but adds that this "shall not be construed to require that an overt threat of death or bodily injury has been made." [206] The resulting application of the law, as the case of the city councilman demonstrates, obviously stretches the definition of "reasonable fear."

To reach the largest possible number of cases, anti-stalking-law advocates often want the statutes to be written as broadly as possible. In the District of Columbia, for instance, city attorneys argued that "defining stalking as just 'following and harassing' someone could unnecessarily limit stalking cases." [207] But for that very reason, stalking laws often run into the constitutional problem of vagueness and overbreadth.[208] In Florida, one county judge ruled that the state's stalking statute was unconstitutional. He said the law was so broad that a tenacious journalist could "run afoul" of it by following someone to obtain a comment.[209]

There are other aspects of anti-stalking statutes that civil libertarians and others find troubling. The challenged Florida law permits warrantless arrests on stalking charges. In Illinois in spring 1993, a state appeals court struck down a provision in an anti-stalking law that allowed stalking suspects to be denied bail.[210](Further appeals are pending.) There is also the issue of standards of proof, which often come down to he said-she said. In 1993, a Chicago man was convicted of stalking his ex-girlfriend, despite evidence that after their breakup and during the time when he was alleged to have terrorized her, they spent time together in a motel and she listed him on a hospital form as the person to contact in case of emergency.[211]
Sally

Leeds, UK

#7 Jan 23, 2010
Part III:

Because of notorious incidents of stalkers who turn violent, anti-stalking laws have broad public support. In egregious cases where there is clear evidence of violent intent, such laws can be valuable and can be drafted narrowly enough to avoid violating individual freedom of movement. But under the banner of protecting women, the legislation as it is being written can become a weapon for levying criminal penalties for behavior that is merely annoying--or for offenses one is suspected of intending to commit. There are concerns that the law pressures the courts to lock up vast numbers of petty offenders to catch the few who will go on to commit serious violence. As Judge Harold Sullivan of the Skokie branch of the Cook County (Illinois) Circuit Court put it, "We can't send all these people to the County Jail until trial." [212]

Violence by intimates, which disproportionately affects women, is a problem that deserves serious attention. But exaggerated claims of its dangers, uncritically picked up by the media, have created a climate of hysteria in which the rights of mostly male defendants are easily trampled.(In fact, only 6.5 percent of all murders and non-negligent manslaughters committed in the United States in 1990 involved men killing their wives or girlfriends while 3.4 percent involved women killing husbands or boyfriends.[213]) Elaine M. Epstein, past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, has written:

The recent media frenzy surrounding domestic violence has paralyzed us all. Police, prosecutors, judges and attorneys alike all seek to protect themselves from potential criticism.... The truth is that it has become impossible to effectively represent a man against whom any allegation of domestic violence has been made. In virtually all cases, no ... meaningful hearing or impartial weighing of the evidence is to be had.... In many [divorce] cases, allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage.[214]
Sally

Leeds, UK

#8 Jan 23, 2010
Part I:

Another area of feminist legal activism where good motives have been marred by an attempt to cast too wide a net has been the "stalking" legislation that has proliferated in recent years. While stalking is not exclusively a male offense against women (an Illinois police chief says that many men who are stalked are too embarrassed to get the police involved), it is often portrayed as such by advocates and by the media.[198]

The first stalking law was enacted in California in 1990; similar statutes are now on the books in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Their purpose, essentially, is to take a preemptive strike against a likely offender. As the former U.S. Attorney Jay B. Stephens put it, "We should not have to wait until an overt act of violence occurs to take action." [199] That seems to run counter to the principle that persons can only be punished for crimes they have already committed. To overcome that barrier, stalking--defined as a combination of threats, harassment, and surveillance--has itself been made a crime. In the past, such behavior was defined simply as harassment, a summary offense which carried no serious penalties.

In most states, stalking laws have been passed in response to a shocking crime that could have been prevented. In March 1992, 26-year-old Connie Chaney of Des Plaines, Illinois, was gunned down in her office by her estranged husband Wayne, who had repeatedly violated a protection order and had been released on bond after allegedly raping her at gunpoint.[200] A law that made stalking a felony punishable by a maximum of three years' imprisonment and a $10,000 fine was passed by the state legislature in June of that year and signed by Gov. Jim Edgar. The law requires proof of a threat of harm followed by at least two instances of following or watching the victim.[201]

Other states have passed laws that are far broader and more vague. The District of Columbia law covers not only harassment that puts a person "in reasonable fear of bodily injury or death," but also "conduct with the intent to cause emotional distress to another person"; the penalty on the first offense is a fine of up to $500, up to one year in jail, or both.[202] The Pennsylvania stalking statute, signed into law in June 1993, likewise covers conduct demonstrating "an intent to cause substantial emotional distress." [203] Some advocates even insist that there should be no need to prove intent to cause distress.[204] In Virginia, a district judge found the state anti-stalking law unconstitutional because it "goes too far and attempts too much." [205] In the case, the charge against the defendant was based on such actions as sending flowers to a woman and trying to attend her church and get a job at the place where she worked. The state claimed that those actions had caused the woman "great distress." In Georgia, a 63-year-old city councilman resigned after being arrested for stalking a woman who had broken off their relationship six weeks earlier. He was accused of repeatedly calling her at odd hours, leaving notes on her car saying, "I can't live without you," and, "Why did you turn on me?" and parking near her residence.

Such behavior is admittedly unpleasant, but one may question whether--unaccompanied by some expression of intent to cause harm--it warrants a charge that would result in one to five years of imprisonment on a second offense. The Georgia statute defines stalking as following or contacting a person in a way that "causes emotional distress by placing [the] person in reasonable fear of death or bodily harm," but adds that this "shall not be construed to require that an overt threat of death or bodily injury has been made." [206] The resulting application of the law, as the case of the city councilman demonstrates, obviously stretches the definition of "reasonable fear."
Angela Daffron

Las Vegas, NV

#9 Jan 23, 2010
I have worked to increase stalking laws since January 2007 when a close family friend, Jodi Sanderholm was murdered by her stalker. Laws have been successfully changed in Kansas and New Mexico to Jodi's Law. I assure you this is not casting "too wide of a net" and increased stalking laws are very neccessary in many states!

If Jodi's Law had been in effect to protect its namesake Jodi would still be alive today I have no doubt!

Stalking is a crime that will affect 1 in 12 women at some point in their lifetime and yes it affects men as well. While a startling statistic I am certain that it is severely under-reported.

This is a crime that is not sufficiently prosecuted at this time and will continue to have lasting effects on its victims for the remainder of the life.
stalking victim

Rome, NY

#11 Jan 23, 2010
Organized stalking is a devastating crime and is designed to be so. It is a sort of hell on earth -- it robs its victims of life (quite literally, in some cases.) Perhaps 2010 will be the year that it will be exposed and stopped.

Having said this, when organized stalking is conflated with "electronic torture", a lot of good people tune out (in my opinion)-- it just isn't something that most can even begin to fathom(Organized stalking, in and of itself, isn't believable to many.)

OS is something quite obvious, though -- it could be investigated and exposed in a heartbeat. The common threads are surreptitious home entries, defamation, interference with employment, on-going surveillance, vandalism and theft of personal property, and harassment in the community. Friends and family members are often victimized, as well.

I'm not saying that there aren't other things going on, but I believe that victims will never get this thing out in the open if they continue to close their eyes to the harsh reality that victims are "written off" when they state unequivocally that they are victims of electronic harassment. This is the cold, hard truth.

In general, though, we need to help stalking victims regain their lives and hold those who are terrorizing them accountable.
Citizens That Know

Pittsfield, ME

#12 Jan 23, 2010
We need Organized Stalking, a systematic abuse of human rights, to be on the books as crime.

Organized stalking is a massive operation that has been implemented worldwide. Only one man in US government, Rep. Jim Guest of Missouri, has openly recognized it. We need this systematic abuse of human rights, to be on the books as crime, and not accepted as 'Social Engineering'. Please visit our site Citizens That Know . Ning. com for additional information and links to other sites that keep the public informed about the social malignancy of Organized Stalking.
Marcia Patterson

Fallon, NV

#13 May 30, 2013
Your stalker is now a babbling idiot addicted to all kinds of shit and living on the streets of Long Beach CA. Mental Illness won out on her a long time ago......

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