EMMY WINNING REPORT: Leaders urge lawmakers to adopt Mariam’s Law

‘Mariam’s Law’ would require sex offenders to be fitted with an ankle monitor, as well as an identification card with a specific symbol recognizable to law enforcement.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 8:22 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Atlanta leaders are urging state lawmakers to expand restrictions for Georgia sex offenders.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Atlanta City Council unanimously approved a resolution urging the Georgia General Assembly to adopt Mariam’s Law, which would expand restrictions for Georgia sex offenders.

SPECIAL REPORT: Mariam’s Law in Georgia

This comes after a recent CBS46 investigation exposed a loophole that allowed a repeat sex offender to get out of prison only to, prosecutors say, kidnap and kill 27-year-old Mariam Abdulrab, on her way home from work last summer.

“It’s unfortunate that tragedies have to occur for change to become a conversation,” Mariam’s brother, Ali Abdulrab, said during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s council meeting.

Mariam Abuldrab’s loved ones believe she might still be alive if her suspected killer’s previous convictions were handled differently.

That’s why they spoke during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s council meeting.

“We cannot, with good conscious, allow these sexually dangerous predators to be able to roam freely without being heavily monitored,” one friend said.

“This GPS requirement would help aid the community at large and those most subject to be victims of violent crimes,” another friend added.

“To think there could be another person capable of doing this roaming freely this second is why ‘Mariam’s Law’ is so important,” another friend said.

Brinkley’s history

CBS46 Investigates dug into DeMarcus Brinkley’s history and uncovered a schizophrenia diagnosis and a long record of violent crimes.

According to court records, Brinkley was accused of raping a 7-year-old girl in 2012. Then in 2013, he was found on top of a naked 6-year-old girl. In 2015, he plead guilty to child molestation, attempted rape, and cruelty to children.

The state recommended Brinkley serve 15 years in prison, followed by 15 years on probation. Instead, Brinkley was sentenced to 15 years total: seven in prison, followed by eight on probation. He’d also have to register as a sex offender.

But when Brinkley was released from prison in 2020, due to a statewide backlog, he never received a risk level assessment.

Mariam’s Law

That’s where friends and family say Mariam’s Law comes into the picture. It’s comprised of two policies.

  • Requiring sex offenders who have not received a risk level assessment to be fitted with an ankle monitor. Once they are assigned, Level 3 offenders would be required to wear the monitor for the duration of their sentence, while Level 1 and 2 sex offenders could have them removed.
  • Requiring sex offenders to carry an identification card with a specific symbol that is recognizable to law enforcement. A sex offender assigned Level 1 would have a red hexagon on the right side of their ID card. A sex offender assigned Level 2 would have two red hexagons on the right side of their ID card. And, a sexual offender assigned Level 3 would have three red hexagons on the right side of their ID card.

“There might be more DeMarcus Brinkley’s out there,” Ali said. “We don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”

Should it get sponsored, it’s likely ‘Mariam’s Law’ will face some legal challenges. In 2019, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down a law requiring lifetime ankle monitoring of high-risk sex offenders.

What happens next? ‘Mariam’s Law’ still needs a sponsor in the general assembly. Then, it needs to be pre-filed before session begins in January.

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