The man who murdered Sierah was a repeat violent offender who lived just miles from her home, but Sierah’s family never knew a predator lived so close. Following Sierah’s death, we worked tirelessly to educate Ohio lawmakers on the value of a violent offender database in providing community awareness and expediting the process of finding kidnapped individuals.
In December 2018, Sierah’s Law passed unanimously in the Ohio House, and it created a database that can now be used by law enforcement and everyday citizens to find out where violent offenders live in our communities. Justice for Sierah is committed to educating others and working toward the expansion of Sierah’s Law around the country, with a goal of its passage in all 50 states.
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Senate Bill 67
Thanks to the help of former Ohio Senators Randy Gardner and Cliff Hite, Sierah’s Law began moving forward as Senate Bill 67. Senator Gardner constructed the bill that would put in place a Violent Offender Database in Ohio. This database would primarily be for law enforcement, but citizens would have the ability to learn the residence of felons convicted of violent offenses at their County Sheriff’s office.
The violent offenses included are:
Senate Bill 231
Senator Gardner had worked closely with many of the interested parties on this issue, including the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Attorney General’s Office, Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, and consulted with prosecutors and judges.
Since the opponent hearing held in June of 2017, Senator Gardner spent months listening to those that opposed the bill. Nearly a dozen changes to the bill were made following either criticisms, concerns and requests made by those involved in re-entry programs. Senate Bill 67 then became Senate Bill 231 and was signed into law on December 19, 2018.
Read the full text of Ohio Senate Bill 231 on the Ohio Legislature website.
February 22, 2017
Senator Gardner and Senator Hite present the bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
March 29, 2017
Proponent Hearing: At this hearing, Sheila Vaculik, Howard Ice, and the Wood County Sheriff Wasylyshyn gave testimony on why a violent offender registry should be put in place and the benefits to not only law enforcement but also to the communities. Senators Gardner met with the committee members following this hearing to discuss the positives and negatives of the bill.
June 13, 2017
Opponent / Interested Party Hearing: Several re-entry programs gave testimony against S.B. 67. There were concerns on how vague the bill was written and public access to the violent offenders information.
October 14, 2017
While parties debate different aspects of the bill, hundreds of supporters and friends of Sierah gathered for the first annual Spirit of Sierah 5K race. The event rallies the community in support for Sierah’s Law and safer streets for our children, which they flooded with purple!
November 14th, 2017
Introduced to Senate as SB 231, many revisions were made to SB 67 and a new bill number was assigned.
November 28th, 2017
Proponent Hearing: Senator Randy Gardner gave sponsor testimony for now revised bill, S.B. 231.
February 27th, 2018
Opponent/ Interested Party Hearing
April 11th, 2018
Sierah’s Law PASSES in the Senate with 31 yeas and 2 nays
April 12th, 2018
SB 231 is introduced to the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee
November 13th, 2018
Proponent Hearing: Senator Randy Gardner, Sheila Vaculik and Wood County Sheriff Wasylyshyn gave testimony on why this bill should be put in place.
November 27th, 2018
Opponent/ Interested Party Hearing: A speaker from ACLU of Ohio, Toledoans for Prison Awareness and Ohio Rational Sexual Offense Laws spoke of their concerns with the bill.
December 5th, 2018
Sierah’s Law PASSES the Ohio House with a 92 yea and 0 nays.
December 6th, 2018
Sierah’s Law PASSES the Senate for concurrence vote with 24 yeas and 3 nays.
December 19th, 2018
Sierah’s Law is signed into Law by Governor John Kasich.