The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

April 9, 2014

Crime briefs

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The legislation was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives by an 88-4 vote on March 5. The state Senate voted in favor of the bill unanimously, 45-0, on March 31. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the law Monday.

Bill requiring updated photos of offenders becomes law

A bill requiring current photos of registered sex offenders in the state has been signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Senate Bill 1444, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. Elise Hall, will provide for updated photographs for Oklahoma’s online sex offender registry.

Under the provisions of SB 1444, when sex offenders check in with local law enforcement, which they are already required to do, their photo must be updated if it is more than a year old.

“Some sex offenders can remain on the sex offender registry for life, but there was no provision in law for their photo to be updated,” said Holt, R-Oklahoma City. “A constituent, Chantal Morris, brought this issue to my attention, and we introduced legislation to correct the problem.

“This is extremely important because the photograph is a key element of the registry. It is far less useful to the public if the offenders on it cannot be identified. Oklahoma families will be safer as a result of this legislation.”

SB 1444 received bipartisan approval in both chambers, with senators voting 45-0 for the legislation and the House approving the bill 90-1.

“The primary way that someone is going to identify a sex offender is by their appearance,” said Hall, R-Oklahoma City. “This legislation ensures that the information on the registry has a recent photo so that there is no way for sex offenders to hide from the public.”

SB 1444 will become effective Nov. 1.

— Transcript Staff

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