Not a single member of the state House voted against Amanda’s Bill on January 12th.
But since coming to the Senate two days later…there’s been three committee meetings… on whether House Bill 1 needs some tweaking.
On Thursday, Ernie Lewis, representing criminal lawyers, told lawmakers that requiring domestic violence violators to wear GPS monitoring ankle bracelets…and pay for them..won’t work.
“We cannot simply say, put it on the bad guy, because the bad guy simply doesn’t have the money, " Lewis, with the Ky. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, told legislators in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“What’s the cost of life?” countered Carol Jordan, after the meeting.
“I think you need to ask that question to a family that has lost a loved one because a protective device was not available,” said Jordan, with the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women. Jordan also testified before the committee.
If passed, some domestic violence violators deemed violent could be forced by a judge to wear the monitoring device. It’s named after Amanda Ross, allegedly killed by ex-fiancée Steve Nunn. He had also been accused of stalking her.
“We can estimate that 24 women every year will lose their life to domestic violence in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Jordan said in her testimony before the committee.
After about an hour of testimony, no vote was taken, but those pushing the bill are not afraid it’s in danger, given the late hour of the session.
“We’re very optimistic that in the end, they will see their way clear to pass it,” said Jordan.
The bill could come up for a vote when the Senate committee meets again.
Other concerns raised were if the GPS system will work in rural areas of the state, thus offering protections to all victims.