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State Rep. Brian Mannal Sparks Debate With Sex Offender Legislation

New law would allow for indigent sex offenders to have notice of paid counsel during reclassification and early termination hearings.

Freshman State Rep. Brian Mannal (D. Barnstable) has run up against criticism for filing two pieces of legislation that affect sex offenders.

One, a petition to House Bill 1491 would allow for indigent sex offenders to have paid counsel during reclassification and early termination hearings, while a second, a petition to House Bill 1490, would loosen the requirements for global positioning devices for sex offenders who are paroled or on probation. Judges would decide if a GPS was required and when it would be worn.

Indigent sex offenders already have the right to paid counsel, said Mannal. "This [House Bill 1491] makes it clear. There is push back that sexual offenders should not have the right."

"It's more about giving notice than paying for counsel," said Mannal. "... It's sort of a Miranda Warning." 

However, when it comes to notifying sex offenders of their right to counsel, not everyone thinks the public should cover the cost.

"It is unacceptable that a single penny goes toward helping sex offenders clear their names from registries designed to protect the public," Massachusetts Republican Party Chairwoman Kirsten Hughes told the Cape Cod Times.

Laurie Myers, President of Community Voices told the Boston Herald. “This is an administrative hearing. If you get a traffic ticket, no one gives you a free lawyer.”

Regional editor's note: Barnstable-Hyannis Patch Local Editor Sara Mannal is married to State Rep. Brian Mannal.

Fam February 27, 2013 at 10:54 PM
These r big problems sex offenders are the worst in the system and look at the lawyers always getting them the best deals I don't hate the system but dislike it to the fullest.
Fam February 27, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Keep them in jail! Until proven innocent that means no bail no personals and no damn parole or probation that's a good start I don't understand we need some real morals in this state.
Sex Offender Issues February 28, 2013 at 06:17 AM
Good for this man! Everybody is entitled to legal counsel, and ex-sex offenders are no different. What I don't understand is, ex-sex offenders have one of the lowest recidivism rates of all other criminals, who aren't persecuted like ex-sex offenders, yet they are the ones being punished over and over! And the media continues to say they have high recidivism, which is false, and there are many, many studies out there to prove it, if you look! But the media and politicians expect you to be ignorant and not investigate for yourself. Remember, question everything, especially if it comes from the media or politicians. http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/p/studies.html

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