Democrats for stronger sex offender laws
by Sam Loomis, Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 02:48:16 PM EST
Did Jessica Lunsford have to die?
A recent USA Today article documented a distubing trend among Florida and several other states:
"Prompted by an Associated Press investigation that revealed California had lost track of at least 33,000 sex offenders, Parents for Megan's Law contacted all 50 states by telephone to ask about the accuracy of their registries.
It found that states on average were unable to account for 24% of sex offenders supposed to be in the databases. And 19 states, including Texas and New York, said they were unable to track how many sex offenders were failing to register, or simply did not know.
Federal law requires the addresses of convicted sex offenders to be verified at least once a year."
This is an appaling gross neglect and you can bet that this is due to not only human error, but to poor funding and lack of attention to the matter. It doesn't have to be this way, and for a party that faces poor poll numbers in the family values category, this would seem like a perfect (and noble) cause for any democratic candidate to seize upon.
If I were a democratic candidate for office, I'd propose more funding for the enforcement of Megan's law, more oversight and bimonthly reviews of the sex offender databases, and for more stringent punishment for offenders who abscond from supervision or neglect to maintain regular therapy. The oversight would promote enforcement, the funding would help pay for it, and most studies I have read show that though offenders may not be "cured permanently", the reoffending rate can be seriously cut by the implementation of ongoing sex offender therapy.
All of these would promote accountability and might help to create an environment that would better protect young girls like Jessica.
But once again, where are our democratic leaders on this? I don't know any progressive or liberal that would object to better tracking of convicted rapists and child molesters. Present it the right way and it would also help put another crack in the lie that democrats don't care about family values.
Oh, and it's apparently a pretty serious problem in the Red States, too:
"The survey said Oklahoma and Tennessee had the highest rates of noncompliance, both at 50%."
What do you think?
Tags: (all tags)