Mechanicsville , VA - Today, Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) announces a great step forward for Virginia and commends Attorney General Bob McDonnell for his leadership in overhauling the state's response to the increasingly alarming trend of incidents of sex crimes. Along with the Virginia State Police today the Attorney General unveiled dramatic changes to the registry system. During the 2006 General Assembly session, Delegate Peace sponsored legislation as part of the Attorney General's Safe Kids Initiative which implemented improvements based on 2005 Virginia Crime Commission reviews. Delegate Peace asserted, "As the representative for the 97 th district I will continue to partner with the Attorney General and other community and government leaders to ensure the protection of the our most vulnerable citizens. It is scary to think that approximately one in three sexual predators will be convicted of a new offense within five years and the actual risk of re-offense could approach 100 percent. In the end, we are a community of laws and they must be strong and respected."
As a member of the House Courts of Justice committee, Delegate Peace plays an active role in advancement of legislation that serves to protect victims of sexual predators and to exact tougher penalties on those that victimize. Peace co-sponsored legislation proposed by General McDonnell to dramatically strengthen and overhaul the state's violent sexual predator laws with: (1) a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years of imprisonment for a first violent sexual offense against a child, (2) mandatory active global positioning system (GPS) tracking upon release for up to life, and (3) mandatory life sentence for the commission of a second offense. Peace is also proud of his long standing efforts to protect children from predators on the internet through filters on public library computers.
Attorney General McDonnell and Delegate Peace share a good working relationship. On January 19th, Attorney General Bob McDonnell held a press conference with then candidate Chris Peace announcing their intention to work together to combat sexually violent predators with tougher penalties. The Attorney General stated "We need Chris Peace in the General Assembly as we fight to protect our children from sexually violent predators." "Chris Peace will be there with me as a strong leader in the legislature to ensure that Virginia's children grow up safe and secure as we put convicted sexual predators behind bars for a very long time," McDonnell continued.
The Crime Commission review found numerous instances in which Registry records contained incomplete or inaccurate information; Virginia adds about 1,100 new sex offenders to the Registry each year. Legislation, signed into law April 24, 2006, sets forth additional Registry offenses, prohibits certain offenders from living within 500 feet of a school or day care center, instructs school divisions to develop policies to provide information to parents regarding the availability of information on the Registry, and makes a second or subsequent conviction for failing to register a Class 6 felony.
Peace is on the forefront of protecting children and families. He is a board member of Hanover Safe Place, which is an organization formed to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. During the session he was awarded the Virginia State Police Legislative Rookie of the Year 2006 and enjoys the support of Sheriff's offices around the district. Beginning this fall, Peace will be teaching an Introduction to Legal Studies course at Virginia Commonwealth University where students will examine the role of law in the functioning of both the criminal and civil justice systems. Delegate Peace received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Richmond in 2002.
To see the new site, go to http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov/sor/html/search.htm .
Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates on January 24, 2006 in a Special Election where he carried four of the seven jurisdictions and over 65% of the precincts. As the representative for the 97th District, Delegate Peace serves parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County. Peace now sits on the prominent House Courts of Justice, Health Welfare and Institutions, and Science and Technology Committees. For further information on Delegate Peace, please visit www.chrispeace.com.