"Tougher" stalking law maybe too soft - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

"Tougher" stalking law maybe too soft

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AMARILLO, TEXAS - A new Texas bill is supposed to crack down on a common crime, but some say it just provides false hope for victims. Lawmakers say by making it easier to prosecute stalking through this new Senate Bill 82, they can help prevent other serious crimes as well.

The Texas Council on Family Violence says 76 percent of women murdered were stalked at least once within the year before being killed. But local prosecutors say all too often stalking cases don't end in a conviction because evidence can be hard to collect. Bill 82 would allow juries to hear more information about the relationship between the possible stalker and the victim.

By presenting a documented history, it makes stalking prosecution less of a he-said, she-said situation.  The bill's author says those changes will help prosecutors prove stalking charges.  But many local experts have a different perspective. Most say it doesn't really change anything from the current law. It just rewords the bill.