Alicia’s Law Creates Unexpected Controversy
March 24, 2016
Assembly Bill 666 (that’s really the name of the bill) more commonly known as “Alicia’s Law” was recently passed by state lawmakers. In short, this bill gives administrative subpoena power to the state Attorney General, and expands jailhouse strip searches. The bill focuses on subpoenas for internet records for those suspected of internet sex crimes. Basically, the state Attorney General’s office will have the ability to issue subpoenas without judicial oversight to internet providers. These subpoenas will be used to catch suspected online predators by tracking their online address. At first glance, this bill doesn’t seem to be so bad. Now the cops can catch the bad guys without jumping through so many hoops right? While that is true, several public defenders fear with no judicial oversight, prosecutorial mischief will begin to spread. Judicial oversight is there to make sure cops don’t get too eager and cut corners. Supports of the bill argue that 19 other states have a similar law in place and because these kinds of subpoenas have limited power, a lower level of oversight is acceptable. There’s also an amendment that restricts police from being able to search content without a warrant. The bill still has to be signed by Governor Walker for final approval, which should happen soon. Laws and bills like this one are made with the best of intentions, but it’s important to not have a knee jerk reaction and automatically assume it’s a good law. Everyone, no matter what they are accused of doing, is innocent until proven guilty and deserves a fair and just trial. At Huppertz & Powers our mission is to do just that, ensure that every single one of our clients gets the due process guaranteed to them in the constitution.