Everyone is familiar with the sex offender registry--a database which records identifying information about convicted sex offenders, including their physical description, a description of the crime(s), and their address. Such a database is mandated by both state and federal law. However, Oklahoma has a registry which may be lesser known, but which serves a similar purpose to the sex offender registry. The Oklahoma Violent Offender Registry is intended to let people know if someone living in their vicinity has been convicted of a violent felony.
The database is established under the Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act (57 O.S. § 591 – 599.1), which was named for an elderly woman who was strangled to death by a neighbor with prior violent felony convictions for manslaughter and felony possession of a firearm.
The idea behind the act is that registration would offer some protection of public safety if people were aware that those around them may have a violent criminal past.
Under the provisions of the act, anyone convicted or receiving a deferred sentence for any of the following crimes on or after November 1, 2004, must register as a violent offender:
- 21 O.S. § 701.7, Murder in the First Degree;
- 21 O.S. § 701.8, Murder in the Second Degree;
- 21 O.S. § 711, Manslaughter in the First Degree;
- 21 O.S. 652, Shooting with Intent to Kill; Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon; Use of a Vehicle to Facilitate Use of a Firearm, Crossbow or other Weapon;
- 21 O.S. § 653, Assault with Intent to Kill; and
- 21 O.S. § 1767.1, Bombing and Explosives Violations.
Additionally, people convicted of certain abuse crimes may be required to register if a judge specifically orders violent offender registration:
- 10 O.S. § 7115, Abuse or Neglect of Child/Child Beating;
- 21 O.S. § 843.1, Caretaker Abuse or Neglect;
- 21 O.S. § 843.2, Verbal Abuse by a Caretaker (misdemeanor);
- 21 O.S. §852, Omission to Provide for a Child; and
- 21 O.S. § 852.1, Child Endangerment.
The Notice of Duty to Register with the Oklahoma violent offender registry lists several requirements and restrictions:
- Must register within 3 days of receiving probation, being released from prison, or entering the state
- Must notify law enforcement at least 3 days prior to changing address
- Must register annually for 10 years, unless designated a habitual offender, in which case registration is every 90 days for life
- Must not work with children, provide services to children, or work on school premises
- Must submit a DNA sample to law enforcement
If required to register as a violent offender, failure to do so is a felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.
Image credit: U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs
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