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Sex Crime Laws Essay

1917 words - 8 pages

Introduction
There are certain crimes today, which invoke a strong personal reaction. What is your first mental image and what emotion do you first notice when you hear the term, “sex offender?” Do you picture a scary looking male stranger? Is your first emotion, anger or maybe fear? Now, what is your initial reaction when someone says that the post-sentencing laws for these offenders may be doing more harm then good in regard to current legislation passed after high profile cases. Are sexual crimes all equally heinous, justifying opinions that the offender did the crime so they should accept the consequences? I believe that these laws were created with the best of intentions. Yet, these ...view middle of the document...

Also in 1994, a 7-year-old girl named, Megan Kanka, was raped and murdered by her neighbor who was a registered sex offender (The Plain Dealer, 2010). At the time, neither Megan’s parents nor other neighbors knew that this man was previously convicted of aggravated assault and attempted sexual abuse on a child (Yoder, 2011). Megan’s murderer lured her to her death by offering to show her a puppy. To this day Megan’s parents believed, that had they known of this man’s past they could have protected their daughter by warning her that she should not go over there alone (Yoder, 2011). Originating in New Jersey, this crime initiated the earliest version of Megan’s Law, which required notification of a sex offender’s residence to be available to the public (Yoder, 2011). A few years later in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order creating a National Sex Offender Registry and Congress federalized Megan’s Law as an amendment to the Jacob Wetterling Act (The Plain Dealer, 2010).
In 2006, another federal law was imposed called the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. This statute included more restrictions for offenders, more specific sentencing guidelines, and new requirements for registration in its language (Yung, 2011). This law would also attempt to standardize how sex offenders should be categorized, according to the seriousness of the offense, and the length of registration and specific requirements of each throughout the country (The Plain Dealer, 2010).
Recently, there is another big push for states to adopt what is being named, Jessica’s Law. Jessica Lunsford was assaulted and murdered by a convicted sex offender who failed to register his current location (Bruono, n.d.). Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night. Upon reporting her disappearance in the morning to authorities, law enforcement initiated a manhunt. When a child is reported missing, many law enforcement agencies start checking on sex offenders. When the police went to check the residence of John Couey, it was found that Couey was no longer living at the address to which he registered (Bruono, n.d.). Detectives then found out that Couey was living with his half-sister, who lived only a short distance from Jessica’s house (Bruono, n.d.). When the police went to this location, Couey was not there and the people within the house, at the time, said that he did not live there (Bruono, n.d.). The police still did a brief search of the house looking for Jessica; however, they did not search the closet in one of the bedrooms where Jessica was being held (Bruono, n.d.). Couey, fearing that the police were going to find out what he had done, decided his best bet was to get rid of Jessica by burying her alive (Bruono, n.d.). This devastating case moved the Florida State Legislature to enact a law, in 2005, requiring increased prison sentences for multiple offenders and the electronic tracking of convicted sex offenders (Bruno,...

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