The attorney general and most of the state’s prosecutors are in favor of
changes that would make it easier to prosecute sex crimes. Some of the
reforms they are requesting include full funding of sex offender
investigative units, the elimination of pretrial depositions of victims,
the ability to collect DNA samples from all people charged with a
felony, greater supervision of convicted sex offenders, and allowing a
defendant’s prior conviction for a sex crime to be admissible in court.
But civil rights advocates have reservations about the proposal, and
other critics say it should include mandatory minimum sentences. We’ll
talk with Attorney General Bill Sorrell and Bennington County State’s
Attorney Erica Marthage about why they support these reforms, and hear
from Allen Gilbert of the Vermont ACLU about his concerns.
Also in the program, VPR reporter Ross Sneyd analyzes how the
gubernatorial candidates are approaching the issue of sex crimes, and
how the state will deal with a budget shortfall. And we’ll listen back
to some of the voices in the news this week.