Sex Offender Registration - Sex Offender Registration By Country - United States

United States

The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld sex offender registration laws twice, in two respects. Two challenges to state laws (in Hawaii and Missouri) have succeeded, however.

In 1947, California became the first state in the United States to have a sex offender registration program. Community notification of the release of sex offenders from incarceration did not occur until almost 50 years later. In 1994, a federal statute called the Jacob Wetterling Act required all states to pass legislation requiring sex offenders to register with state sex offender registries. Then again in 1996, based on a set of New Jersey laws called "Megan's Laws," the federal government required states to pass legislation mandating public notification of personal information for certain sex offenders. In Connecticut Dept. of Public Safety v. Doe (2002) the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed this public disclosure.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act became law in 2007. This law implements new uniform requirements for sex offender registration across the states (however, these laws can differ in each state). Highlights of the law are a new national sex offender registry, standardized registration requirements for the states, and new and enhanced criminal offenses related to sex offenders. Since its enactment, the Adam Walsh Act (AWA) has come under intense grassroots scrutiny for its far-reaching scope and breadth. Even before any state adopted AWA, several sex offenders were prosecuted under its regulations. This has resulted in one life sentence for failure to register, due to the offender being homeless and unable to register a physical address.

Because of the act, all 50 states have now passed laws requiring sex offenders (especially child sex offenders) to register with police.In most states, once accused, the person accused of a sexual offense is registered by the court and if convicted, the court will register the guilty, in terms of the sentence and severity of the charge. Accordingly, the law requires offenders to report where they take up residence upon leaving prison or being convicted of any crime.

In 2006, California voters passed Proposition 83, which will enforce "lifetime monitoring of convicted sexual predators and the creation of predator free zones." This proposition was challenged the next day in federal court on grounds relating to ex post facto. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Sacramento, found that Proposition 83 did not apply retroactively. Patty Wetterling, the mother of Jacob Wetterling and a major proponent of the Jacob Wetterling Act, has openly criticized the evolution of sex offender registration and management laws in the United States since the Jacob Wetterling Act was passed, saying that the laws are often applied to too many offenses and that the severity of the laws often makes it difficult to rehabilitate offenders.

Read more about this topic:  Sex Offender Registration, Sex Offender Registration By Country

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Famous quotes related to united states:

    You are, I am sure, aware that genuine popular support in the United States is required to carry out any Government policy, foreign or domestic. The American people make up their own minds and no governmental action can change it.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945)

    I incline to think that the people will not now sustain the policy of upholding a State Government against a rival government, by the use of the forces of the United States. If this leads to the overthrow of the de jure government in a State, the de facto government must be recognized.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893)

    The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth. A Galileo could no more be elected President of the United States than he could be elected Pope of Rome. Both posts are reserved for men favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of soft illusion.
    —H.L. (Henry Lewis)

    We can beat all Europe with United States soldiers. Give me a thousand Tennesseans, and I’ll whip any other thousand men on the globe!
    Andrew Jackson (1767–1845)

    It was evident that, both on account of the feudal system and the aristocratic government, a private man was not worth so much in Canada as in the United States; and, if your wealth in any measure consists in manliness, in originality and independence, you had better stay here. How could a peaceable, freethinking man live neighbor to the Forty-ninth Regiment? A New-Englander would naturally be a bad citizen, probably a rebel, there,—certainly if he were already a rebel at home.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)