• Sex assault focuses attention on sex registries

    the big story

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When ex-Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner became a registered sex offender for life last Tuesday, he joined a nationwide list of registered sex criminals that has grown dramatically in recent years to more than 800,000.

    Even some who have denounced Turner’s six-month jail sentence as too lenient for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman question whether he should spend his life with the stigma and onerous restrictions of a registered sex offender.

    They join a growing number of defense attorneys, advocates and judges who are questioning the fairness of applying lifetime, blanket restrictions to expanding definitions of sex crimes that frequently treat first-time offenders the same as serial rapists.

    In California, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama it’s impossible for people convicted of any sex crime to be removed from the online registries showing their pictures, addresses, convictions and probation details. Offenders have been turned into victims themselves when they are targeted in vigilante attacks or can’t find jobs or places to live, critics say.

    This is an Assoc. Press story by Paul Elias. due to copyright consideration, please visit Paul’s blog, Bigstory, to read the full article. And do not forget to share and tweet from his social widget on the page.


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    Federal officials have been trying with mixed success for a decade to get all 50 states to adopt uniform registration requirements as part of a single national database they say would make the system uniform and improve tracking of sex offenders who move from state to state. But only 17 states have substantially compiled so far.

    The federally registry has helped investigators quickly identify potential sex crimes suspects and capture offenders who have fled their home states, said Luis deBacca, the U.S. Justice Department official in charge of the federal sex offender registration and tracking office.

    “We really do see this as making a difference in the community,” deBacca said.

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