TAILIEUCHUNG - Gale Encyclopedia Of American Law 3Rd Edition Volume 9 P18

Gale Encyclopedia of American Law Volume 9 P18 fully illuminates today's leading cases, major statutes, legal terms and concepts, notable persons involved with the law, important documents and more. Legal issues are fully discussed in easy-to-understand language, including such high-profile topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, capital punishment, domestic violence, gay and lesbian rights, physician-assisted suicide and thousands more. | 158 SEX OFFENSES DO OFFENDER LAWS PROTECT PUBLIC Safety or Invade Privacy The enactment of state and federal sex offender notification and registration laws came at a fast pace in the 1990s and has continued through the first decade of the 2000s. Legislators and their constituents have endorsed notification and registration as simple but effective ways of protecting public safety. Even though support for such laws has been overwhelming concerns have been raised by some legal commentators that these laws invade the privacy of released sex offenders and make it difficult for them to rebuild their lives. Defenders of these laws note that requiring released offenders to register with the police is an easy way for police to keep tabs on potentially dangerous persons. With the release of large numbers of sex offenders into the general population public safety demands that the police know where these potentially dangerous persons live. In the event of a new sex offense the police have the ability to round up possible suspects quickly. Registration also gives police in nearby towns and cities the opportunity to share information on suspects and to help find suspects for questioning. The law s proponents believe however that notification is the most important element. Prior to the passage of Megan s Law in New Jersey as well as similar laws throughout the United States citizens did not know when a released sex offender moved in next door or down the block. Because certain sex offenders are likely to commit criminal acts again no notification means that offenders can use their anonymity to help conceal their criminal activity. Community notification laws rob the released offender of anonymity by letting neighbors know the offender s criminal history and his place of residence. Public safety is enhanced and armed with this information neighbors can be on guard and assist in the monitoring of the released offender s activities. Communities also use notification to prevent a .

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