Posts Tagged ‘accountability’

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Washington State needs an update to its stalking laws.

To date I can’t get any state legislator I’ve contacted to respond. I first reached out about this in October of 2021.

As I’ve told the legislative committee that should take this forward, this is a non-partisan issue and the RCW is in desperate need of a logical, compassionate update. 

In my original email (with one minor edit), I said:

You are already familiar with RCW 9A.46.110, which addresses the crime of stalking. It specifically requires that a person be placed in fear and feels fear:

(b) The person being harassed or followed is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of the person or of another person. The feeling of fear must be one that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under all the circumstances; and

(c) The stalker either:

(i) Intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person; or

(ii) Knows or reasonably should know that the person is afraid, intimidated, or harassed even if the stalker did not intend to place the person in fear or intimidate or harass the person.

As a woman who has faced several different stalking situations, I can attest to how life-disrupting and alarming this can be. But not everyone feels fear. In time fear can also turn to other emotions like frustration and anger.

Stalking should be illegal, period. Its legal definition in the RCW should not include “placed in fear.” That is archaic, myopic, and discriminatory even if it means well. As Jennifer Gatewood Owens said in A Gender-Biased Definition: Unintended Impacts of the Fear Requirement in Stalking Victimization, “Arguably, the fear requirement present in most states’ definitions of stalking is inherently gender-biased and should be removed, as no other type of crime is defined by an emotional response.” It’s also bizarre that the RCW places such an emphasis on the reaction of the victim instead of the offender’s behavior.

I am asking that you sponsor legislation to eliminate the condition of “fear” as other states have done. It’s time to modernize this. It needs to be more inclusive and equitable.

What are you willing to do in order to see our state laws updated? Please start by signing the Update Washington State’s Stalking Law petition. Critics say these petitions are just a feel good gesture, but when you have enough signatures, your cause starts receiving the attention it needs to create powerful change. Thank you!

©2022 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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This week Law.com featured a brilliant website called MapLight, http://maplight.org/.

Don’t let the fact that this came out of Berkeley scare you. MapLight follows the money trails from organizations and corporations to legislators and legislation. In other words, you can see where political contributions are coming from and what they’re intended for.

Click around on the various tabs and you can learn detailed information on each legislator, such as who their contributions are coming from and geographic information on which area finances them. You can find out which industries are the top contributors to which legislators. There are news stories and information on bills in the works. Both information junkies and citizens who just plain care what goes on in government will enjoy how this website connects the dots. (more…)

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Jackson County, Oregon Courthouse. From Wikipedia.

Jackson County, Oregon Courthouse. From Wikipedia.

There is new information available about the Jacob Franklin case. Franklin is a former Jackson County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office deputy who was fired from his job after arresting a friend of his superiors. My previous post on this topic is https://wildninja.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/vindication/.

A court order has been signed prohibiting Jackson County from releasing the internal investigation ever again. These records have allegedly cost Franklin employment at more than 20 other law enforcement agencies. Verbiage copied directly from the court order signed December 1st is below: (more…)

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Justice 3

At long last a former Oregon sheriff’s deputy has seen justice for the smear tactics that cost him his job and ability to work as a law enforcement officer. Whether he will ever see the monetary award is an unknown, especially if the sheriff’s office appeals, but at least, technically, he’s won.

This article does not detail the hardship this has caused for the deputy and his family, but the situation has been intense. This is a case of an officer who got in trouble for doing his job and who refused to participate in a cover-up to help out his bosses’ buddy. (more…)

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