Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MO - Ridgeway Murder Shows Problems with Sex Offender Tracking Laws

Original Article

No amount of laws, nor an online registry will ever prevent crimes like this.

And they are saying that this is why there are problems with the Missouri sex offender laws, when the crime occurred in Colorado? Come on, it has not been proven, yet, that the person(s) who killed this child are sex offenders, or even if sexual abuse was part of the crime, yet they are using this case as means to justify passing more unconstitutional laws? The police do not know who did this. Talk about knee-jerk reactions! This is a murder, not a sex crime, at least not yet, so stop jumping to conclusions!


By John Pepitone (Facebook) and Jason M. Vaughn

PLATTE CITY - The murder of 10-year-old Colorado girl Jessica Ridgeway has focused new attention on a federal law that requires states to register and track sex offenders, but which nearly three-dozen states have failed to join.

The 6-year-old federal law was supposed to make it easier for law enforcement to track sex offenders across the nation. But only 10 states currently meet the federal standards. Both Kansas and Missouri are on that short list of states currently complying with federal law.

But in Missouri, some lawmakers have said obeying the federal rules are too expensive and onerous.

I think what a lot of states have done is chosen to say, ‘Look, we’re going to follow our own laws and we’re not going to worry too much about what the federal government has said,’” said Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd.
- It's bribery, and laws based on emotions and not facts!

Jackson County Sheriff deputies went door-to-door earlier this year checking to make sure the addresses listed by registered sex offenders were accurate. It’s a manpower-intensive operation that required the sheriff to ask other police agencies to help out, removing officers from other duties. It’s an example of why some say federal sex offender requirements are too costly.

At the end of the day I think what folks need to know and be assured of is that we have the right people on the sex offender registry,” said Zahnd. “And that law enforcement is tracking those folks and making sure they are registered.”
- The people need to stop buying into the hysteria spread by the media (like this story), and others who run businesses to make money using fear.  And I doubt everyone on the registry are "the right people!"

Some lawmakers in Missouri say because of federal requirements, the state sex offender list has swelled to more than 12,000 names. Those who want to break away from the federal system say there may be hundreds who do not deserve to be on the list and can’t get jobs as a result.
- I'm willing to bet it's more than hundreds.

In Kansas, there also has been talk of backing out of the federal sex offender system. But in Johnson County, the sheriff’s department says it’s committed to continuing to track sex offenders.

The only thing I can really speak to is how important it is for us,” said Deputy Tom Erickson of the Johnson County Sheriff’s office. “And we’ve taken that stance for many, many years that it’s very important for us to let our neighbors know what’s happening in their neighborhood. That duty wholly relies on us. We take it very serious.”
- If that is indeed true, then where is the online registry for all the other criminals who put everyone in danger?

Missouri has already removed so-called Romeo-and-Juliet cases from the sex offender registry. Zahnd says those who had inappropriate sexual relationships as teens probably don’t pose a risk to society.
- And a vast majority of those on the registry also do not pose any further risk, based on facts.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s department says it already is planning another big sex offender sweep at the end of the month, on Halloween.
- Not a single child has ever been harmed by a known or unknown sex offender on Halloween.  It's just another moral panic like the old poisoned candy scare.

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pachrismith said...

There are several reasons the Adam Walsh Act, also known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006 is a bad idea. Most egregious to some experts is that it mandates a risk assessment criteria based on the type of crime. Experience based studies have long discredited this method and developed a far more reliable means to identify risk levels. As to the charge that states have failed to join the effort to register and track sex offenders; every state in the union, indian tribes and territory produces an internet based public registry of sex offenders and they all provide that information to the US Department of Justice Dru Sjoden National Sex Offender Public Website. A primary reason states are not "signing on" is, indeed, the cost. Most reporters, legislators and law enforcement will tell you that the state will lose federal money if they don't adopt the federal law. That's true, Missouri would have lost more than $400,000 in 2009 if they hadn't adopted it. What they didn't tell you is that it was projected to cost more than $9.5 million to implement. Actual figures have not been made available. (Figures from Justice Policy Institute)
Separate long term studies from University at Albany in New York and the California Sex Offender Management Board found that more than 95% of those arrested for sex crimes had no prior sex crime convictions. No conviction? Not on registry. The registry misses more than 90% who commit sex crimes! A July 2000 USDOJ study also reported that 93% of children who were sexually assaulted were victimized by family members (34%) or acquaintances (59%). Those statistics hardly justify adopting an extremely expensive program that has been demonstrated as a regressive failure in sex offender management techniques.

Lynne Presley said...

Note to lawmakers, the laws you are passing are not protecting anyone or anything except your jobs. Get a backphone and make laws that make sense.