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Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2012

Keeping track

As a recent report highlights, it’s time for a national registry for sex offenders and a uniform reporting system.

May 10, 2012

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When a sex offender in Kansas moves from the state and doesn’t register his new address, he becomes the concern of the U.S. Marshals Service, which enforces sex-offender laws across state lines.

It’s common for sex offenders to not re-register when they move, as a Journal-World investigation last September found. According to the report, more than 160 Kansas sex offenders did not register in their new state, and, depending on the state, that could be a federal or state crime.

The Journal-World provided the Marshals Service with the list it had compiled for Kansas, and over the past several months agents have been tracking down the sex offenders who have failed to register in their new state.

The Marshals Service found some of the offenders had died or moved to states with different registration laws that did not require them to register.

What is left is a list of 22 cases, four of which have led to arrests for other offenses, and the suspects could face additional failure-to-register charges. Two others are serving in the U.S. Army, which, according to the Marshals Service, is aware of both men’s sex-offender status.

The Marshals Service is searching for several other offenders who have failed to register.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, which is responsible for the Kansas Sex Offender Registry, sends letters to states notifying them that a registered sex offender is entering their state. But after that, it’s up to the other state and the offender to make sure they comply with the new state’s law. If there isn’t any communication, neither the state nor the Marshals Service would be aware of the sex offender’s status.

As Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center, a nonprofit organization that advocates for more accountability in sex offender registries nationwide, says, “We’ve established a law that requires society’s most cunning of criminals to register on an honor system.”

The Marshals Service spent valuable time tracking down the 160 names on the Journal-World’s list, basically picking up the states’s slack. The service should be commended for its work.

Now it’s time for a national sex offender registry and a unified reporting system. Inconsistent laws among states make keeping track of sex offenders too complicated, which, in turn, endangers an uninformed public.

Comments

Kendall Simmons 1 year, 11 months ago

And this call for a national registry on the part of this particular editorial writer is actually pretty much based simply on the failure of a J-W reporter to locate 160 (actually 161) folks who were supposed to be updated on the Kansas registry...if they still lived in Kansas.

However...when the US Marshalls got involved, it turns out that only 20 of those 161 folks...12.5%...were not registering appropriately.

After all, if you're dead, how are you supposed to keep your registration up-to-date? (Too bad the reporter didn't check the Social Security Death Index.) And if you move to another state where registration isn't required, quess what? Kansas law no longer applies.

And that is what the editorial writer is mad about. That other states cannot be forced to register sex offenders according to Kansas rules.

Whether the editor likes it or not, the fact is that these registries do not protect anyone. If you don't look at them, how does that protect anyone? If they are used to create an environment when people can't find jobs or housing, how does that protect anyone?

And, like it or not, if someone is on the sex registry because he actually molested or raped someone, why on earth would you think that being on the registry would keep him from molesting or raping again?????

Nor do these registries distinguish between child molesters/rapists...and any other kind of "sex offender". Good grief...why on earth should getting busted for taking a leak in public or kids 'sexting' or consensual sex between teenagers require registering as a sex offender??? Yet that is how the laws in many states...including Kansas...are currently set up!

Jeez, how about the fact that you need an address to register? (And it's not free to register.)
Read the NY Times story of Larry W. Moore, Jr. in Georgia. I'm not suggesting any sympathy for what he did...but the Georgia law in 2007 was ridiculous! Google "Homelessness Could Mean Life in Prison for Offender".

Or how about the story of Anthony Mann...who exposed himself to a couple of under-aged girls. He got 5 years probation...and had to register as a sex offender for life! Do folks not see a wee bit of overkill in that?

Then, when a daycare opened within 1,000 feet of his home and another opened near his BBQ restaurant, he was told he had to leave them both because he could not live or work within 1,000 feet of a day care center..neither of which existed when he bought his home and bought his restaurant!

We do not "need" a national registry. Even had we had one, Adam Walsh would still be dead. Megan Kanka would still be dead. That's because these registries do NOT protect anyone.

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kawrivercrow 1 year, 11 months ago

Note the distortedly narcissistic sense of self-entitlement displayed by the typical sex predator.

And yes, Rudy, If I catch you in the act of committing a sex crime and you do anything else but put your hands on your head and wait for the police to confess your crimes, you will die right there on the spot...so don't even ever think of re-offending. Don't even fantasize about it.

Until you choose to re-offend, you don't have anything to worry about, except for being repentant for your prior actions.

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Rudy101 1 year, 11 months ago

There is no evidence that the sex offender registry, as applied to specific individuals will protect the public. In fact, all the evidence shows that with or without the registry the offense rates are the same.

But it goes beyond that. The registry strips a person of safety and/or security. It does that through unlimited community notification. People have no compunction on a public forum for making death threats against individuals on a registry. Certain members of the public feels that having registry information is permission to harass and threaten.

You people allowed a legislature to set up a registry, define exactly who is on it, set up all the parameters and regulations and you all believe you are protecting the public through this system.

Limited government is about protecting freedom. When the State wants to regulate beyond a sentence passed by a court of law, they still must use a court of law. This is done to prohibit arbitrary labeling and regulation and to ensure the regulations are doing when they are intended.

But you don't want that. You want to be able to go to a legislature, make the most emotional argument you can come up with and apply that argument to whomever you want to.

Being an individual before the law is the most definitive aspect of a free country. Passing broad laws and regulations on a group the State fails to differentiate is, by definition, totalitarianism.

Totalitarian regimes have no credibility and nor do their laws. You really believe you can pass laws, (and sees it as the only alternative) that has the ONLY outcome of violence, banishment and harassment.

See, you can keep your registry, your violence, your harassment and all the laws associated with the registry.

Just don't ask anyone to actually follow it.

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