SB 7 requires courts to report certain information to local authorities if a person in their jurisdiction is found not guilty by reason of insanity or a similar charge. If this person has committed an offense of violence, then local authorities must make a record into the national law enforcement database. Depending on the conviction, information entered into the database will either remain for the length a court orders or until treatment has ended.
This bill is named in honor of Deputy Suzanne Hopper, who was killed in the line duty as she responded to call; unaware the individual was on conditional release and had violent interactions with the police previously.
LCS Legislation Status
Our Take on This Bill
The language in SB 7 is problematic because it could potentially encourage profiling of those with a mental illness and it gives no recourse if incorrect documentation is recorded into the law enforcement system. Reacting to this tragic event by creating another list is not the way to achieve safer communities. Rather, ensuring every officer is trained on how to properly interact and diffuse situations with individuals exhibiting mental illness symptoms would be a more effective way of protecting officers and the individuals with whom they interact.
Passed Senate 03/20/13
Signed by the governor on 06/04/2013
Criminal Justice (S)