Domestic violence suspects in Maryland might soon be ordered to wear GPS trackers that alert survivors if they are in an area that has been restricted by a judge.
On Monday, the Maryland House of Representatives passed a law that would require domestic violence suspects to wear GPS devices as a condition of pretrial release or probation, NBC reports.
House Bill 1163, also known as Amber's Law, was named in honor of Amber Schinault, a 36-year-old woman who was killed by her abusive ex-boyfriend in 2012 despite having a protective order against him.
The GPS trackers, according to NBC, would be ankle bracelets that connect to an app on the survivor's smartphone. If the person wearing the GPS enters an area that a court has ordered them to stay away from, such as the survivor's home or workplace, the survivor will get an alert.
Schinault's mother, Angela Zarcone, told NBC that she was incredibly moved by the law, and was grateful that it would give survivors peace of mind.
"She can go about living her life and would know if the perpetrator became close to her, she has time to take care of her situation," she told NBC.
Aruna Miller, who sponsored the legislation, said that it gives survivors additional tools to protect themselves.
"Amber and her family did everything that they were supposed to do," she told local station WBAL-TV. "They got a protective order. They changed the locks on their home. They sat outside of their home keeping careful vigilance and, in fact, the police department was right around the corner from their home. Despite all of this, on July 22, 2012, Amber Shinault was brutally murdered by her attacker. He slashed her throat."
The bill will now go to Maryland governor Larry Horgan's desk, where he has the option of signing it, vetoing it, or letting it become law without his signature.
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