STATE COLLEGE, Pa (WTAJ) — A Centre County State Representative is proposing legislation that would allow electronic monitoring of domestic abusers.
Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre) has proposed legislation to help those who have protection orders filed by requiring the abuser to be monitored. Conklin said this legislation comes from a murder of a family friend in 2013.
“Nearly half of the United States already permit the electronic monitoring of abusers in cases of domestic violence, but Pennsylvania isn’t one of those states,” Conklin said. “I believe that if this was the law in Pennsylvania, it very well could have saved the life of a close family friend of mine and the lives of other victims who are suffering at the hands of abusers.”
In 2013, Traci Ann Raymond Miscavish was shot to death by her estranged husband after he repeatedly threatened to take her life, even though there was a PFA against him.
“In 2018 we passed Act 79, which requires a person subject to a PFA to relinquish their firearms. While that was a great first step in protecting victims, the law does not reduce the threat of additional violence toward the victim,” Conklin said.
Further, recent federal court decisions, including a circuit court ruling that declared unconstitutional a federal law making it a crime for people under domestic violence restraining orders to own firearms, appear to be eroding the existing protections for domestic violence victims. Decisions like the court’s, Conklin said, only underline the need for the state legislature to act on his proposed legislation.
“Nothing we do will bring back my family friend, but we may be able to save the life of someone else,” Conklin sad. “I believe that if Traci’s husband had been ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device when the PFA order became final on Feb. 5, 2013, Traci may be alive today.
Conklin said he plans to reintroduce the legislation not just for Traci but for all victims of domestic violence who may be living under the constant threat and fear of violence, whether they have a PFA or not.