Leslie Carto, edited by Jason Vaughn, February 2, 2010
OLATHE, KAN - A proposed new Kansas law might mean tougher jail sentences for those convicted of domestic abuse as a bill being considered in a Kansas House committee would expand what the stae considers domestic violence crime.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe says that he welcomes the new laws. He says that his office is seeing more domestic violence cases, many of them with a higher degree of violence than before.
"We've seen some very serious cases and in fact the last three homicides you could say are domestic violence related homicides," said Howe.
SAFEHOME executive director Sharon Katz says that she is following the bill, Kansas House Bill 2517, closely as it makes it's way through the Kansas legislature. She says that by expanding the definition of domestic violence from only battery to include arson, theft and disorderly conduct as domestic abuse will help hold abusers accountable for their crimes.
"Domestic violence is a serious issue involving a pattern of behavior," said Katz. "It's controlling, coercing, punishing another person."
"I think it will assist the system to hold people accountable for a series of events, a series of crimes against their intimate partner," said Katz.
A string of domestic violence convictions would send up a red flag to a judge who might not otherwise see the pattern. Johnson County has used a similiar domestic violence "tagging" program since 1996.
"Not only does it allow us to have SAFEHOME and their resources early on to assist the victim by early identification, it also allows us to ID those cases and so conditions of bond, things the prosecutors and courts need to know, about are clearly defined," said Howe.
Howe says a state law mirroring Johnson County's program would provide an improvement in the level of protection for victims of domestic violence.
"It allows us to have some consistency through the court," said Howe.Prosecutors,Tougher,Kansas,Domestic,Violence,news,Leslie,Carto,Jason,Vaughn,February,OLATHE,House,committee,crime,Johnson,District,Attorney,Steve,Howe,office,cases,degree,fact,SAFEHOME,director,Sharon,Katz,Bill,legislature,definition,battery,theft,behavior,person,system,series,events,victim,courts,improvement,protection,victims,consistency,Read,comments,homicides,crimes,convictions
[blogger angelzfury] Jana's Campaign.