It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
Governor Jay Nixon stopped by the Springfield Highway Patrol crime lab Thursday to sign five bills aimed at promoting public safety and strengthening law enforcement. KSMU’s Katie Easley was there to cover the ceremonial signing.
According to Nixon, the five bills are all related to one another.
“These five bills approved on a bipartisan basis make it clear that Missourians will continue to adapt to fight crime aggressively using the best technology available we will protect all victims particularly the most vulnerable ones, our children,” says Nixon.
The Child Witness Protection Act was among the bills signed today. This act allows a judge to limit the amount of time a child can be on the witness stand. It also allows a child who testifies to hold a comfort item like a teddy bear, have a support person nearby, and lastly, it prevents attorneys or defendants from harassing the child.
Several Springfield community organizations such as the Child Advocacy Center, The Junior League of Springfield, The Mayor’s Commission for Children, and the Green County Prosecutor’s office began work on this bill nearly three years ago.
“These are children who have been victims of unspeakable crimes. But often without the Childs testimony a violent offender can go free house bill 863 is a practical and compassionate attempt to ease the Burdon on our youngest and most vulnerable witnesses,” says Nixon.
This bill was sponsored by representative Bob Dixon of Springfield.
The governor also signed a bill that requires DNA be taken from people age 17 and older who are arrested on suspicion of violent felonies, sex offenses or burglary. Other bills involved highway patrol search warrants for DWI’s, adding a Crime Laboratory Review Commission, and raising the punishment for people who commit crimes against children.
For KSMU News, I’m Katie Easley.