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Governor signs 'Jackie's Law' to prevent GPS stalking

Eileen Buckley

Governor Cuomo signed a series of laws Wednesday, that that aims to crack down on domestic violence offenders.

“Jackie’s Law” will prevent GPS stalking by updating New York State’s stalking statutes to allow law enforcement to pursue criminal charges against those who use GPS or other electronic devices to stalk their victims.

The law was prompted by the tragic death of Jackie Wisniewski, who was shot to death in a stairwell at ECMC in 2012, after being stalked by her ex-boyfriend Dr. Timothy Jorden. Several months before her death Wisniewski found that Jorden installed a GPS tracking device on her car, but the current law didn’t protect her. 

Senator Tim Kennedy helped author the legislation. He says strengthening domestic violence laws is crucial in keeping New Yorkers safe.

“We want to prevent the horrific instance that happened to Jackie Wisniewski from ever happening here in western New York of anywhere else in New York State,” said Kennedy. “Because of the courage of her family to step forward and tell her tragic story we were able to get it signed into law by the Governor and I’m absolutely certain we will save lives in our community and across the state.”

The governor also signed laws that strengthen aggravated harassment codes and crack down on public lewdness. Kennedy says he believes the new laws will be an important step forward in the ongoing effort to prevent domestic violence.

“There’s also the awareness component that will help to make sure that folks throughout our community, that are victims of stalking, that are victims of domestic violence, know that there’s opportunities and places to turn if in fact that abuse is happening,” said Kennedy.

According to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services in 2012, there were more than 6,300 domestic violence victims in Erie County and over 4,000 of those were women.