2006 Regular Session

To: Judiciary, Division A; Corrections

By: Senator(s) Ross, Browning, Burton, Carmichael, Chaney, Clarke, Cuevas, Davis, Dearing, Doxey, Flowers, Gordon, Hewes, Hyde-Smith, King, Kirby, Lee (35th), Lee (47th), Little, Mettetal, Moffatt, Morgan, Nunnelee, Pickering, Robertson, White, Wilemon, Jackson (15th)

Senate Bill 2527

(As Passed the Senate)



     SECTION 1.  (1)  The Sex Offender Task Force is hereby created.  The purpose of the Sex Offender Task Force shall be to study and report to the Legislature on the feasibility, benefits and cost of geopositional monitoring for sex offenders who are released upon expiration of sentence.

     (2)  The conference shall consist of the following members:  the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections or his designee; the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety or his designee; the Director of the Administrative Office of Courts; the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration or his designee; the Director of the Legislative Budget Office or his designee; the Attorney General or his designee; a member of the Governor's staff appointed by the Governor who shall preside over meetings of the conference and exercise the authority to call meetings.

     (3)  The Sex Offender Task Force shall study the factors relating to sex offenders as required in subsection (1) and make a report of its findings to the Legislature.  The Department of Corrections, Department of Finance and Administration, Administrative Office of Courts, Department of Public Safety, Office of the Attorney General and the various district attorneys shall provide information deemed necessary for the study.  The final report shall be filed with the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate no later than November 1, 2006, at which time the Task Force shall be dissolved.

     SECTION 2.  Section 45-33-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     45-33-25.  (1)  Any person residing in this state who has been convicted of any sex offense or attempted sex offense or who has been acquitted by reason of insanity for any sex offense or attempted sex offense or twice adjudicated delinquent for any sex offense or attempted sex offense shall register with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.  Registration shall not be required for an offense that is not a registrable sex offense.  The department shall provide the initial registration information as well as every change of address to the sheriff of the county of the residence address of the registrant through either written notice, electronic or telephone transmissions, or online access to registration information.  Further, the department shall provide this information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Additionally, upon notification by the registrant that he intends to reside outside the State of Mississippi, the department shall notify the appropriate state law enforcement agency of any state to which a registrant is moving or has moved.

     (2)  Any person required to register under this chapter shall submit the following information at the time of registration:

          (a)  Name, including a former name which has been legally changed;

          (b)  Street address of any permanent residence and of any current temporary residence within state or out of state;

          (c)  Date and place of employment;

          (d)  Crime for which convicted;

          (e)  Date and place of conviction, adjudication or acquittal by reason of insanity;

          (f)  Aliases used;

          (g)  Social security number;

          (h)  Date and place of birth;

          (i)  Age, race, sex, height, weight, and hair and eye colors;

          (j)  A brief description of the offense or offenses for which the registration is required;

          (k)  Identifying factors;

          (l)  Anticipated future residence;

          (m)  If the registrant's residence is a motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home or manufactured home, the registrant shall also provide vehicle identification number, license tag number, registration number and a description, including color scheme, of the motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home or manufactured home; if the registrant's place of residence is a vessel or houseboat, the registrant shall also provide the hull identification number, manufacturer's serial number, name of the vessel or houseboat, registration number and a description, including color scheme, of the vessel or houseboat;

          (n)  Vehicle make, model, color and license tag number;

          (o)  Offense history;

          (p)  Photograph;

          (q)  Fingerprints;

          (r)  Documentation of any treatment received for any mental abnormality or personality disorder of the person;

          (s)  Biological sample;

          (t)  Name of any public or private educational institution, including any secondary school, trade or professional institution or institution of higher education at which the offender is employed, carries on a vocation (with or without compensation) or is enrolled as a student, and the registrant's status; * * *

          (u)  Copy of conviction or sentencing order for the sex offense for which registration is required; and

          (v)  Any other information deemed necessary.

     (3)  For purposes of this chapter, a person is considered to be residing in this state if he maintains a permanent or temporary residence as defined in Section 45-33-23, including students, temporary employees and military personnel on assignment.

     (4)  Any person required to register under this chapter who holds or applies for a driver's license, commercial driver's license, intermediate license, temporary driving permit or state identification card shall at the time of registering as a sex offender obtain a license, permit or identification card, if eligible, bearing an endorsement that the individual is a registered sex offender.

     SECTION 3.  Section 45-33-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     45-33-33.  (1)  (a)  The failure of an offender to personally appear at a Department of Public Safety Driver's License Station  or to provide any registration or other information, including, but not limited to, initial registration, reregistration or change of address information, or required notification to a volunteer organization, as required by this chapter, is a violation of the law.  Additionally, forgery of information or submission of information under false pretenses is also a violation of the law.

          (b)  A person commits a violation of this chapter who:

              (i)  Knowingly harbors, or knowingly attempts to harbor, or knowingly assists another person in harboring or attempting to harbor a sex offender who is in violation of this chapter; or

              (ii)  Knowingly assists a sex offender in eluding a law enforcement agency that is seeking to find the sex offender to question the sex offender about, or to arrest the sex offender for, noncompliance with the requirements of this chapter; or

              (iii)  Provides information to a law enforcement agency regarding a sex offender which the person knows to be false.

     (2)  Unless otherwise specified, a violation of this chapter shall be considered a felony and shall be punishable by a fine not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for not more than five (5) years, or both fine and imprisonment.

     (3)  Whenever it appears that an offender has failed to comply with the duty to register or reregister, the department shall promptly notify the sheriff of the county of the last known address of the offender.  Upon notification, the sheriff shall attempt to locate the offender at his last known address.

          (a)  If the sheriff locates the offender, he shall enforce the provisions of this chapter.  The sheriff shall then notify the department with the current information regarding the offender.

          (b)  If the sheriff is unable to locate the offender, the sheriff shall promptly notify the department and initiate a criminal prosecution against the offender for the failure to register or reregister.  The sheriff shall make the appropriate transactions into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's wanted-person database.

     (4)  A first violation of this chapter may result in the arrest of the offender.  Upon any second or subsequent violation of this chapter, the offender shall be arrested for the violation.

     (5)  Any prosecution for a violation of this section shall be brought by a prosecutor in the county of the violation.

     (6)  A person required to register under this chapter who commits any act or omission in violation of this chapter may be prosecuted for the act or omission in the county in which the act or omission was committed, the county of the last registered address of the sex offender, the county in which the conviction occurred for the offense or offenses that meet the criteria requiring the person to register, or in the county in which he was designated a sex offender.

     (7)  The Commissioner of Public Safety or his authorized agent shall suspend the driver's license or driving privilege of any offender failing to comply with the duty to report, register or reregister.

     SECTION 4.  Section 45-33-47, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     45-33-47.  (1)  A sex offender with a duty to register under Section 45-33-25 shall only be relieved of the duty under subsection (2) of this section.

     (2)  A person having a duty to register under Section 45-33-25 may petition the circuit court of the sentencing jurisdiction, or for a person whose duty to register arose in another jurisdiction, the county in which the registrant resides, to be relieved of that duty under the following conditions:

          (a)  The offender has maintained his registration in Mississippi for not less than ten (10) years from the most recent date of occurrence of at least one (1) of the following:  release from prison, placement on parole, supervised release or probation.  Incarceration for any offense will restart the ten-year minimum registration requirement.  Registration in any other jurisdiction or state does not reduce the ten-year time requirement for maintaining registration in Mississippi.

          (b)  If the offender has been convicted of one (1) of the following offenses, the offender is subject to lifetime registration and shall not be relieved of the duty to register:

              (i)  Section 97-3-65 relating to rape;

              (ii)  Section 97-3-71 relating to rape and assault with intent to ravish;

              (iii)  Section 97-3-95 relating to sexual battery;

              (iv)  Subsection (1) or (2) of Section 97-5-33 relating to the exploitation of children;

              (v)  Section 97-5-41 relating to the carnal knowledge of a stepchild, adopted child or child of a cohabiting partner; or

              (vi)  Any conviction for violation of a similar law of another jurisdiction or designation as a sexual predator in another jurisdiction.

          (c)  An offender who has two (2) separate convictions for any of the offenses described in Section 45-33-23 is subject to lifetime registration and shall not be eligible to petition to be relieved of the duty to register as long as at least one (1) of the convictions was entered on or after July 1, 1995.

          (d)  An offender, twenty-one (21) years of age or older, who is convicted of any sex offense where the victim was fourteen (14) years of age or younger shall be subject to lifetime registration and shall not be * * * relieved of the duty to register.

          (e)  An offender twice adjudicated delinquent in a youth court for the crime of rape pursuant to Section 96-3-65 or sexual battery pursuant to Section 97-3-95 is subject to lifetime registration and shall not be eligible to petition to be relieved of the duty to register.

          (f)  Registration following arrest or arraignment for failure to register is not a defense and does not relieve the sex offender of criminal liability for failure to register.

          (g)  The department shall continue to list in the registry the name and registration information of all registrants who no longer work, reside or attend school in this state even after the registrant moves to another jurisdiction and registers in the new jurisdiction as required by law.  The registry shall note that the registrant moved out of state.

     (3)  In determining whether to release an offender from the obligation to register, the court shall consider the nature of the registrable offense committed and the criminal and relevant noncriminal behavior of the petitioner both before and after conviction.  The court may relieve the offender of the duty to register only if the petitioner shows, by clear and convincing evidence, that the registrant properly maintained his registration as required by law and that future registration of the petitioner will not serve the purposes of this chapter and the court is otherwise satisfied that the petitioner is not a current or potential threat to public safetyThe district attorney in the circuit in which the petition is filed must be given notice of the petition at least three (3) weeks before the hearing on the matter.  The district attorney may present evidence in opposition to the requested relief or may otherwise demonstrate the reasons why the petition should be denied.  If the court denies the petition, the court may set a future date at which the sex offender may again petition the court for relief, subject to the standards set forth in this section.

     (4)  The offender will be required to continue registration for any sex offense conviction unless the conviction is set aside in any post-conviction proceeding, the offender receives a pardon, * * * the charge is dismissed or the offender has received a court order pursuant to this section relieving him of the duty to register.  Upon submission of the appropriate documentation to the department of one (1) of these occurrences, registration duties will be discontinued.

     SECTION 5.  Section 47-7-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     47-7-35.  (1)  The courts referred to in Section 47-7-33 or 47-7-34 shall determine the terms and conditions of probation or post-release supervision and may alter or modify, at any time during the period of probation or post-release supervision the conditions and may include among them the following or any other:

     That the, offender shall:

          (a)  Commit no offense against the laws of this or any other state of the United States, or of the United States;

          (b)  Avoid injurious or vicious habits;

          (c)  Avoid persons or places of disreputable or harmful character;

          (d)  Report to the probation and parole officer as directed;

          (e)  Permit the probation and parole officer to visit him at home or elsewhere;

          (f)  Work faithfully at suitable employment so far as possible;

          (g)  Remain within a specified area;

          (h)  Pay his fine in one (1) or several sums;

          (i)  Support his dependents;

          (j)  Submit, as provided in Section 47-5-601, to any type of breath, saliva or urine chemical analysis test, the purpose of which is to detect the possible presence of alcohol or a substance prohibited or controlled by any law of the State of Mississippi or the United States.

     (2)  When any court places a defendant on misdemeanor probation, the court must cause to be conducted a search of the probationer's name or other identifying information against the registration information regarding sex offenders maintained under Title 45, Chapter 33.  The search may be conducted using the Internet site maintained by the Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry.

     SECTION 6.  Section 47-7-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     47-7-37.  The period of probation shall be fixed by the court, and may at any time be extended or terminated by the court, or judge in vacation.  Such period with any extension thereof shall not exceed five (5) years, except that in cases of desertion and/or failure to support minor children, the period of probation may be fixed and/or extended by the court for so long as the duty to support such minor children exists.

     At any time during the period of probation the court, or judge in vacation, may issue a warrant for violating any of the conditions of probation or suspension of sentence and cause the probationer to be arrested.  Any probation and parole officer may arrest a probationer without a warrant, or may deputize any other officer with power of arrest to do so by giving him a written statement setting forth that the probationer has, in the judgment of the probation and parole officer, violated the conditions of probation.  Such written statement delivered with the probationer by the arresting officer to the official in charge of a county jail or other place of detention shall be sufficient warrant for the detention of the probationer.

     If a probationer or offender is subject to registration as a sex offender, the court must make a finding that the probationer or offender is not a danger to the public prior to release with or without bail.  In determining the danger posed by the release of the offender or probationer, the court may consider the nature and circumstances of the violation and any new offenses charged; the offender or probationer's past and present conduct, including convictions of crimes and any record of arrests without conviction for crimes involving violence or sex crimes; any other evidence of allegations of unlawful sexual conduct or the use of violence by the offender or probationer; the offender or probationer's family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history and mental condition; the offender or probationer's history and conduct during the probation or other supervised release and any other previous supervisions, including disciplinary records of previous incarcerations; the likelihood that the offender or probationer will engage again in a criminal course of conduct; the weight of the evidence against the offender or probationer; and any other facts the court considers relevant.

     The probation and parole officer after making an arrest shall present to the detaining authorities a similar statement of the circumstances of violation.  The probation and parole officer shall at once notify the court of the arrest and detention of the probationer and shall submit a report in writing showing in what manner the probationer has violated the conditions of probation. Thereupon, or upon an arrest by warrant as herein provided, the court, in termtime or vacation, shall cause the probationer to be brought before it and may continue or revoke all or any part of the probation or the suspension of sentence, and may cause the sentence imposed to be executed or may impose any part of the sentence which might have been imposed at the time of conviction.

     If the probationer is arrested in a circuit court district in the State of Mississippi other than that in which he was convicted, the probation and parole officer, upon the written request of the sentencing judge, shall furnish to the circuit court or the county court of the county in which the arrest is made, or to the judge of such court, a report concerning the probationer, and such court or the judge in vacation shall have authority, after a hearing, to continue or revoke all or any part of probation or all or any part of the suspension of sentence, and may in case of revocation proceed to deal with the case as if there had been no probation.  In such case, the clerk of the court in which the order of revocation is issued shall forward a transcript of such order to the clerk of the court of original jurisdiction, and the clerk of that court shall proceed as if the order of revocation had been issued by the court of original jurisdiction.  Upon the revocation of probation or suspension of sentence of any offender, such offender shall be placed in the legal custody of the State Department of Corrections and shall be subject to the requirements thereof.

     Any probationer who removes himself from the State of Mississippi without permission of the court placing him on probation, or the court to which jurisdiction has been transferred, shall be deemed and considered a fugitive from justice and shall be subject to extradition as now provided by law.  No part of the time that one is on probation shall be considered as any part of the time that he shall be sentenced to serve.

     The arresting officer, except when a probation and parole officer, shall be allowed the same fees as now provided by law for arrest on warrant, and such fees shall be taxed against the probationer and paid as now provided by law.

     The arrest, revocation and recommitment procedures of this section also apply to persons who are serving a period of post-release supervision imposed by the court.

     SECTION 7.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.