"It's the highest responsibility of government to protect its citizens-- from those that are most vulnerable from those that are most dangerous," said Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, R-Vermont.
Fresh on Brian Dubie's mind-- 12-year-old Brooke Bennett who was found murdered just twelve days ago. The investigation into her death has led to the arrest of her uncle Michael Jacques, a convicted sex offender who police now say was released from probation seven years early. He's been charged with kidnapping Brooke and sexually assaulting another young family member.
"The legislature-- in light of this terrible tragedy-- wants to act. I'm recommending that the governor call the legislature in session 30 days from today to pass these reforms," said Dubie.
Those reforms include chemical castration of repeat offenders, mandatory sentences for some violent crimes and the adoption of Jessica's Law-- which would set a 25-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for a first time child sex abuser. Dubie also wants to expand Vermont's Special Investigation Units.
Vermont's Speaker of the House and Democratic Candidate for Governor Gaye Symington says she'd like to know why current laws were not followed before passing new ones.
"It's the governor's job to decide to call a special session and if Governor Douglas calls for a special session I would certainly be there. As governor, however, I would call for an independent investigation of why it is that our current laws to prevent and deal with sex crimes do not seem to be being followed," said Symington.
Monday evening, the Governor's Press Secretary said Governor Douglas would call a one day special session if it appeared likely that a package of reforms would be passed... that there would be agreement ahead of time. At this point, that doesn't appear likely.
The leader of the Vermont Senate and the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold their own press conference Tuesday to outline their goals and to announce a series of public hearings to be held over the next three months. Those meetings are all designed to investigate how best to strengthen Vermont's sex crimes laws.
Sunday, December 8 2013 5:16 PM EST2013-12-08 22:16:48 GMT
"St. Johnsbury has enough to offer that you don't get too bored," says resident Riley Barter. She has a new appreciation for the place she calls home. "I guess I never realized how unique St. JohnsburyMore >>
Hundreds of St. Johnsbury Academy seniors take risks with their Capstone projects.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 2:00 PM EST2013-12-08 19:00:23 GMT
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over. The incident happened on Route 105 in Berkshire late Friday afternoon. AuthoritiesMore >>
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:42 PM EST2013-12-08 18:42:20 GMT
Police in New Hampshire are investigating an accident on Interstate 89 that claimed two lives. It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon. The initial investigation revealedMore >>
It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon, N.H. Saturday.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:30 PM EST2013-12-08 18:30:52 GMT
Police say a couple tried to use a baby to smuggle drugs into jail. Police say the baby arrived the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, with 27-year-old David Willette of Bennington, for a scheduledMore >>
Police say a couple tried to use a baby to smuggle drugs into jail.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:25 PM EST2013-12-08 18:25:45 GMT
A 28-year-old Coventry man is dead after a crash Saturday night in Irasburg. Police say at about 8:40 p.m. Gerald Begin rolled his car on Route 5 and was thrown out of the vehicle. He was taken toMore >>
A 28-year-old Coventry man is dead after a crash Saturday night in Irasburg.More >>