In an incredible act of political cowardice, a fine Governor bows to pressure to veto a new law that would have made it possible for convicted sex offenders to choose a state certified program without the interference of the Colorado Probation Departments that supervise these cases…
From the Denver Post Online:
Gov. Bill Ritter on Friday vetoed a bill that would have reauthorized a sex-offender management program because of an amendment attached near the end of the legislative session and intended by its author to punish a lone therapy provider.
“On an issue that is this critical to public safety and the overall success of the sex-offender treatment program, this failure of adequate vetting and thorough debate constitutes a fatal flaw with the bill,” Ritter said.
The veto thwarts the effort of state Sen. Joyce Foster, D-Denver, who said a treatment agency she thinks mistreated her brother-in-law should be barred from working for the state.
Her amendment, which required sex offenders to be given a choice by their probation officer of three providers, rather than being told where to go, was approved on a voice vote. The bill later passed easily.
H. Michael’s Take:
The decision of which sex offender therapist or agency to work with — is critical to success in a Colorado Sex Offender Program… As long as the Colorado Sex Offender Program is state certified and meets the criteria set out by Colorado Sex Offender Law – that decision should be made by the person on probaion – -often facing a life sentence for failure to successfully complete treatment.
The legislature saw that issue and made the right call. The Governor could not face up to the political pressure to sustain that law and vetoed it..
This writer is hopeful that another bill — will make it to the next governor’s desk and he/she will have the strenght to do the right thing — and sign it into law..