This weekend is the seventh anniversary of the death of Brittany Passalacqua and her mother Helen Buchel of Geneva.
The Domestic Violence Prevention Act, also know as Brittany’s Law, is named for Brittany who at the age of 12, was viciously murdered along with her mother in their own home. As New York State Senator, Brittany’s Law will be one of the first measures Senator-elect Pam Helming supports and cosponsors in the Senate.
The vicious killer was Helen’s boyfriend, John Edward Brown, a violent felon who had been released from prison early after serving only 2 ½ years for assaulting his infant daughter from a previous relationship. Brown had been put on parole just months before he committed the horrendous murders and Helen was unaware of his criminal history. For many years, retiring State Senator Michael Nozzolio has worked with Brittany’s Grandmother, Dale Driscoll in her effort to enact Brittany’s Law. Senator Cathy Young, a cosponsor of the measure for many years, will now be the prime sponsor.
Brittany’s Law would require all individuals convicted of a violent felony to register with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) upon release from prison. The registry would be accessible to the public, similar to the registry of sex offenders that the State currently has in place. The legislation also establishes annual registration requirements for offenders to allow local law enforcement agencies and the State to monitor the whereabouts of these individuals.
“On the anniversary of Brittany and Helen’s murders, and as a mother myself, I cannot begin to comprehend the grief that Dale has gone through at the hands of this convicted violent felon,” said Helming. “As Senator, I will co-sponsor and support Brittany’s law and do all possible to protect our families by ensuring this crucial legislation becomes law.”
“I have spoken with Pam Helming and am confident of her dedication to the people of our region and state,” said Dale Driscoll. “Pam has shown a depth of compassion that I greatly appreciate and I am confident she will assist the with efforts to continue our mission of enacting Brittany’s Law in New York State.
“Brittany’s mother was unaware of her boyfriend’s history of violent abuse. Had she known, she and Brittany might still be here today. By putting new practices into place to track violent offenders, similar to those tracking sex offenders, lives could be saved. This common sense legislation is long overdue,” concluded Helming.
Helming is the Senator-elect for the New York State Senate’s 54th district.