published: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Student working to create 'Aaron Doty Law'
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING - Efforts are under way to create what could become a vital part of the legislation process in the state of Florida and possibly the nation.
Local criminal justice student Roxanne Judd has dove right into the world of legislation in her attempt to bring some closure and justice to the family of Aaron Doty, the 20-year-old man murdered last June. As Doty's one year death anniversary approaches, Judd has put her efforts into full gear with the help of some family members and friends.
The idea is called the "Aaron Doty Law" and if accepted it will be used to hold bystanders accountable for their in-action during a crime.
"After speaking with Sheriff Susan Benton, she explained to me that there is currently no law in place that makes it illegal for people to witness a felony and not report it," Judd said. "That is just unacceptable."
Since Doty's tragic murder, others have stepped up to the plate and began similar efforts to change the laws regarding bystanders and crimes.
"There was one girl who started doing this same thing several months ago, but I don't know what happened to her. I've had help from Blair Doty and Brenda Doty, his mom, Jackie Meabe and Debbie Johnson. They all have played big roles in making this law a possibility," Judd said.
Petitions have been signed by more than 5,500 individuals through an online petition Website headed by Meabe (change.org). Judd has established a second site, signon.org/, where individuals may choose to sign a petition for Aaron Doty's Law that will possibly become a part of the legislation.
"Basically this law, if it goes into play, will say 'If you see a felony happening and you don't do anything or report it, you can be held accountable'," Judd explained.
Judd has spoken to legislators in Tallahassee, including State Senator Denise Grimsely and her assistant Larry Ford, as well as reached out to State Representative Cary Pigman.
"Ford told me that it is too late to get it looked at in delegation now. The next date for legislation delegation is Oct. 1. I'm on a mission to get as many signed petitions as possible before I go up to face them again. I just need the community's help and involvement. If I have to start knocking on doors and going to businesses, I will. I just feel like God has called me to do this to help the Doty family have some type of peace and closure. They have been through so much," Judd said.
Doty, 20, was allegedly beaten into unconsciousness at a party in Sun 'n Lake by two men the morning of June 10, 2012. The men then loaded Doty into a truck and took him out to the woods, where they allegedly killed him.
There were several young people at the party who witnessed the beating and the two men loading Doty into the truck and driving away with him, but no one called 911, ever after Doty laid on the floor and had stopped moving.
Jonathan Ray Rodriguez, 22, and Kenneth Edward Felipe Jr., 19, face first degree felony capital murder charges and kidnapping (facilitate felony), a first degree felony, and tampering/fabricating with physical evidence, a third degree felony. Their next pre-trial conference is set for April 18.
Four others also face charges of lesser degree in the Doty case.
Anyone may sign a petition to back the creation of the "Aaron Doty Law". Judd has created a Facebook group that gives information on where to sign a petition and how to help and spread the word.
To sign the petition and help bring awareness to Doty's death and help create a new law to protect victims and possibly save a life, visit www.signon.org/
Tiredofthenannystate (by: Vicki - 3/14/2013)
You are quick to speak of basic knowledge.. yet you lack basic spelling fundAmentals. Nice.. Everything begins with a single thought.. others can add to it.. those who have more knowledge & experience... & maybe end up creating something that will hold water one day.. baby steps..
COPY AND PASTE ADDRESS I HAVE PUT IN THIS COMMENT (by: Matt - 3/13/2013)
The NewSun did a terrible job of just highlighting a part of the address, so when you click it, it is showing not available. If you copy and paste the following address in to your browser, it will get you right to the petition.
Aaron Dotty Law (by: Ana - 3/10/2013)
This is embarransing I went to the above links to sign the petition and neither one works
Signing petition (by: C Arndt - 3/10/2013)
Went to both sites and the pages weren't found.
Fundimental lack of knowledge (by: Tiredofthenannystate - 3/10/2013)
Roxanne, I truly hope one day you finish your degree. However I also hope the institution you attend withholds that degree in "criminal justice" until you have a basic knowledge of how our constitutional form of government, based on personal liberties, works. A requirement to report, for a plain citizen would never hold constitutional water. You can not require citizens to place themselves into a potentially dangerous situation. I understand the intention, the people you are motivated by are, in fact, deplorable humans but they are not criminals.
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