New System Notifies Victim Of Change In Inmate's Status
OKLAHOMA CITY - Keeping tabs on convicted criminals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Victim Information and Notification Everyday, or VINE system, gives almost instant alerts to a change in an inmate's status.
It's free and victim right advocates say the notification can be the difference between life and death.
LaDonna Heintzelman agrees. Three men were convicted for of kidnapping, beating and brutally murdering her son, Taylor Heintzelman.
Michael Emami, Jerome Blake Booth, William Nelson are in Oklahoma prisons for his murder.
Taylor's mother says VINE keeps her safe.
"To know they are out on the street. I want to know where my other children are. I want them to know that he's out and to beware," Heintzelman said.
Defense attorney David Slane said victims aren't the only ones who should have rights, especially after a sentence is served.
"Somehow that going to change things? I don't think so. I think that will give people a false sense of security," Slane said.
Seventeen-year-old Taylor was murdered in May 2005. His mother said the system works.
"It's terrifying. I was in a dressing room at JC Penney, trying something on and my cell phone went off and the call was the VINE system letting me know one of them had bonded out," she said.
She quickly dressed and notified her family.
All three men remain in state custody, but defense attorney David Slane said victims aren't the only ones who should have rights, especially after a sentence is served.
"I think you should be free. I don't think Uncle Sam should have a constant tag on you. The next step is putting a chip in your brain I think it's going too far," Slane said.
The VINE system transfers data every 15 minutes and once you get the automated call, you can call an operator to ask follow up questions.