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Domestic Violence Law Inspired by Toms River Murder is Delayed

Law would start offender monitoring pilot program in Ocean County

Letizia Zindell (Photo: Lisa's Light Foundation/ Facebook)
Letizia Zindell (Photo: Lisa's Light Foundation/ Facebook)
A law that would allow New Jersey courts to order electronic monitoring of certain offenders in domestic violence cases has been conditionally vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie to allow the state legislature to conduct a study into how it would be implemented.

Named "Lisa's Law" by its sponsor, Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), the bill was inspired by the 2009 murder of Toms River resident Letizia Zindell, who was killed by her ex-fiance a day after he got out of jail for violating a restraining order she had in place against him.

The ex-fiance, Frank Frisco, later killed himself.

Lisa's Law would create a four-year pilot program in Ocean County for electronic monitoring of certain domestic violence offenders and notification to the victim when that offender is within a certain proximity. As part of the law, the state Attorney General would be required to submit a report to the governor and the legislature at the end of each year of the pilot program, evaluating the program and recommending whether it should be continued statewide.

A defendant ordered by the court to be placed on electronic monitoring may be ordered to pay the costs and expenses related to electronic monitoring and victim notification or a portion of the costs and expenses, based on the defendant’s ability to pay. In addition, the defendant would be assessed a monitoring fee of $250. The court could waive the fee in cases of extreme financial hardship.

Christie’s changes proposed in his conditional veto put the provisions of the bill on hold while the Attorney General conducts a thorough evaluation of the availability of the technology needed to create and implement the monitoring system and reports back in no more than 120 days, according to Singleton's office.

“I’m disappointed and a bit surprised at the governor’s delay in this bill given that roughly 15-18 other states have instituted similar laws,” said Singleton, in a statement Monday. “However, I’m committed to working together to build consensus so that we can see this law implemented as swiftly as possible. Letizia Zindell’s tragic death shows more must be done to protect victims of domestic abuse from a similar fate."
Sheryl Claus January 19, 2014 at 02:51 PM
The Attorney General doesn't have the information on the technology available to create and implement this yet? Then how in the world did the bill get this far? As a member of the volunteer organization D.O.V.E., which supports victims and their families as they deal with domestic violence issues before and after the fact, I would have thought those questions were addressed when it was sitting in Appropriations for the past year...

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