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Spokesman-Review: Bill Would Allow Electronic Bracelet for Stalkers

By Erica C. Barnett February 1, 2011

The Spokane Spokesman-Review reports on a new bill, sponsored by Roger Goodman, an Eastside lefty with a penchant for law-and-order bills, that would allow judges to require people who are charged with stalking to wear electronic monitoring devices. The bill is an attempt to respond to cases like that of that Jennifer Paulson, who was shot to death by a stalker at the Tacoma elementary school where she worked as a special education teacher.

According to the Spokesman-Review:
Waits was under a court order to stay away from Paulson and the school, but  had been arrested for violating it on Feb. 19, 2010 and was at the school entrance a week later when she arrived.

Waits shot her and fled. Paulson died at the school and Waits died later that day in shootout with Pierce County sheriff's deputies.

Stalkers should have to wear a monitoring device that would alert their victims when they are within a certain distance, Paulson's mother Nancy Heisler said. It may not have prevented her daughter's death “but it could have given her a chance.”

In response to the bill, the state Bar Association argued that the bill goes too far. "Rich Bartholomew, a representative for the state Bar Association, argued that monitors shouldn't be required when a protection order is first issued, because that's a civil proceeding and sometimes occurs without the defendant present. If a person violates a protective order, that's a criminal proceeding and the appropriate setting to order electronic monitoring, he said."
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