Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Under duress, Georgia scales back sex offender law

Long-time blog subscribers may recall the case of Janet Allison, who became a homeless, jobless leper because she allowed her pregnant daughter's boyfriend to move into the family home. The state of Georgia has now scaled back that residency restriction law in an effort to prevent the courts from overturning it altogether.

Georgia had lost a series of legal challenges brought by human rights activists over the nation’s most draconian sex offender law. Attorney Sarah Geraghty of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which has been on the forefront of efforts to stem the tide of "fear-based" laws, gave a keynote speech about the law's inhumanity at the annual meeting of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers back in 2008.

About 13,000 -- or 70 percent -- of the men and women on Georgia’s sex offender registry will now be able to "live and work wherever they want," according to a report by Greg Bluestein of the Associated Press in yesterday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Residency restrictions will still apply to about 5,000 sex offenders who committed their offenses after 2003, but they will vary in scope. Among the changes, elderly and disabled offenders may also be exempted from residency requirements.

Iowa has also scaled back some of its restrictions under pressure from courageous prosecutors in that Midwestern state. As I blogged about back in 2007, Iowa prosecutors lobbied for repeal of residency restrictions because of their negative unintended consequences of encouraging sex offenders to disappear, making them more dangerous. "Most legislators know in their hearts that the law is no good and a waste of time, but they’re afraid of the politics of it," a spokesman for the Iowa prosecutors' association said at the time.

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5 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 20, 2010

    Karen Franklin. What a great author. In your face with a boat load of truth as usual. Out standing and two thumbs up on all your blogs. I am a fan. Thank you so very much.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aw, shucks. But, Anonymous, you didn't say whether you liked the graphic. My grandma, on a tobacco farm in North Carolina, was plumb crazy about George Belle peaches.

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  3. AnonymousJuly 21, 2010

    I'm thrilled about this and hope it continues. The laws are so ineffective. I wish we'd get to fact-based laws and teach children "right touch wrong touch" and that families are usually the cause of abuse. What bothers me most is the fact that everyone thinks all "sex offenders" are interested in CHILDREN! Not so! Many, like my son, only chatted online and never even TRIED to meet the person. I know a guy that got 17.5 years for that exact thing. Ruined his career in the Navy (18 years in already) - and is now in federal prison for chatting with a 42 year old COP pretending to be a teen and trying SO HARD to entice him to meet "her" -- he never did! 17.5 years now...sick!

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  4. AnonymousJuly 21, 2010

    It seems that the general public in most states are not even aware of the countless myths and misconceptions (and that includes California where most of the myths and miscoceptions have come from in the first place)that have caused for so many sex offender laws that were inacted due to and caused by hast and fear caused by these myths and misconceptions.
    I truly believe that once all the states populations are properly advised of such (and the sooner the better ) of all the myths and misconceptions regarding sex offenders and advised of the truth such as: (the major majority of sex crimes are not committed by some unknown registered sex offender but committed by a person well known to the victim such as a family member ( NOT!committed by some stranger jumping out of the bushes)there just might be much better laws made due to not being made in hast and out of fear and made through speculation but by the use of true science relating to persons with true personality sexual disorders and not by thoes that were committed many years ago by not using their better judgement etc.

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  5. The laws are so ineffective. I wish we'd get to fact-based laws and teach children "right touch wrong touch" and that families are usually the cause of abuse. What bothers me most is the fact that everyone thinks all "sex offenders" are interested in CHILDREN! Not so! Many, like my son, only chatted online and never even TRIED to meet the person.

    ReplyDelete

 
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