State Rep. Lane Roberts, R-Joplin, has reintroduced a piece of legislation for the creation of a violent offender registry. Under the bill, those convicted of first- and second-degree murder would be placed on a list similar to the sex offender registry.
Click here to listen to his interview with Missourinet:
“The theory here grows out of a contact I had with a constituent actually before I was even elected,” according to Rep. Roberts. “I made a promise to this person at the time that I would file this every year until we either pass it or I termed out. Her sister was murdered in the Joplin area. She was murdered by somebody who came to Missouri via the interstate compact for parole and probation. He actually committed a murder in Tennessee. Like a lot of people who commit murders, the underlying conduct was clearly first degree, but he pled to second degree, which made him eligible for parole at some point. He did parole, came to Joplin and ultimately murdered this woman who hired him having no idea what his background was.”
If you have someone who moved in next-door or hired someone to do contractor work on your house, Roberts says it’s important to know whether or not that person is on parole for first- or second-degree murder. Roberts, who has a history in law enforcement, says those on this proposed violent offender registry would have an opportunity to be removed from the list once their parole is up.
“Bear in mind, we’re really talking about a pretty small segment,” adds Roberts. “The number of people who are on parole or probation in any given year probably number 100 or 200. The amount of effort that is required to maintain a list of say 200 people, you’d enter a new person once every other day. We’re not talking about an onerous of a responsibility or harming the state in some fashion. This is just a mechanism to allow people to know who they’re dealing with.”
The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee.
Click here for more information on the proposed legislation.