This bill is important because the current stalking law in Alabama only applies to threats against a life (a felony), and there are so many things a stalker does prior to turning violent that is currently "legal" in the state. Tracy's Law is desperately needed to define those activities as criminal and to allow victims some degree of legal recourse prior to falling prey to acts of violence. As written, the current law only applies when it is too late; i.e., after things have escalated out of control.
This law is named after Tracy Lynn Morris who was killed by her stalker - Jason Michael Sharp - on January 2, 1999. Mr. Sharp - believing he was "in love" with Tracy - had made several advances and attempts to get her to date him. He tormented her for nearly two years, and she consistently rejected his advances, and then he killed her for it. On a cold and gray Saturday afternoon, he met her at her back door, forced his way into her home and therein committed his first crimes - rape and murder.
Compounding the tragedy is the fact that none of his prior activities were "criminal" under the current law. Tracy's Law will change that. It defines a Class B Misdemeanor for the State of Alabama that clearly defines pre-violence stalking activities as criminal. If such a law had been in place in 1999, Tracy may very well be alive today.
Ultimately, Tracy's Law will save lives by creating a legal mechanism to stop stalkers before they turn violent.
As HB 238 it passed unanimously through the House in 2011 only to be stalled in the Senate where filibusters on other issues prevented Tracy's Law from ever reaching the Senate floor for a vote. Time ran out last year, and Alabama's stalking victims have paid the price for that shortcoming.
Please help bring this very important bill to the forefront of this year's legislative session in the State of Alabama.