At a state Capitol press conference, President of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and Dauphin County DA, Ed Marsico, outlined the groups legislative priorities for the year.
One key initiative would close what Marsico characterized as loopholes in Megan’s Law.
“We are losing cases because of the loophole in the law,” Marsico said.
Marsico said that two recent court decisions ruled that out of state sex offenders moving to Pennsylvania and transient sex offenders face no penalties if they do not register as sex offenders.
“These loopholes, while unintended, are literally permitting groups of sex offenders across the Commonwealth to escape registration requirements,” Marsico said.
Additional initiatives as outlined by the association include: •
- Make Bath Salts and K2/Spice Illegal
Pennsylvania, like many other states, is witnessing a very dangerous trend - synthetic drugs that are legal, but dangerous and deadly. One such synthetic drug is bath salts, which are powerful synthetic stimulants designed to be comparable to cocaine or methamphetamine with similar risks.
- Controlling Corrections Costs and Improving Public Safety
Pennsylvania's district attorneys recognize the enormous strain that corrections costs place on our state budget. We believe that some measures can be implemented that will both control costs and improve public safety. We intend to work with the Governor, the General Assembly, Corrections Secretary designee John Wetzel, and Parole Board Chairman Catherine McVey to identify and implement such measures.
- Identify Criminals by Expanding DNA Technology
DNA technology ensures accuracy and fairness in the criminal justice system. Grounded in biology, statistics, and genetics, DNA evidence can be used to identify criminals, clear suspects, and even exonerate persons mistakenly accused or convicted of crimes.
- Update the Wiretap Act
Pennsylvania's criminals are often more technologically advanced than our law enforcement. That is because the last time the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act was updated was 1998. Since then, technology has made sweeping advances making it necessary to update the law in order to stay one step ahead of criminals who deal drugs, engage in organized crime, possess child pornography, and commit terrorist activity.