New Law Means EVERY Sex Offender Must Move Out Of County

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by GotZoom, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    Smart County.

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    All 67 registered sex offenders living in Forsyth County must change residences by July 1 as a new state law goes into effect, and they may find there is nowhere in the county they can live that is in compliance with strict new requirements.

    The new law forbids registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop, public pool, community park or church. As a result, nearly every residential area of the county is off-limits for sex offenders, officials confirmed. There are at least 1,200 school bus stops in Forsyth County, school officials said.

    Sheriff's and probation officials say they have been swamped with calls from sex offenders about the change in the law.

    "We've got some that say they've got places they can go," said Forsyth Sheriff's Investigator Ken Haney, who along with county probation officer Tyler Sexton is charged with keeping tabs on the county's registered sex offenders. "The majority of them are a little upset. There's a lot of them saying they've got nowhere to go."

    Authorities are hand-delivering letters next week notifying offenders of the change and giving them until July 1 to move. After that, they are subject to arrest.

    "We're going to enforce the law come July 1 if they're not in compliance," sheriff's Lt. Col. Gene Moss said.

    Legal challenges to the constitutionality of the law already are being predicted.

    Oliver Hunter, deputy general counsel for the Georgia Sheriffs Association, said some of the less-clear aspects of the law, including how long an offender has to move, might not be clarified for a while.

    "We're going to see some lawsuits come down the pike," Hunter said. "Until the courts have a crack at it, we're not going to have any finality to it."

    Some sheriffs are worried that the law will effectively drive sex offenders out of urban, metro areas and into rural locations where they can stay within the requirements.

    And rural sheriffs are less prepared for the task of keeping up with sex offenders and where they live, Hunter said.

    "It's going to require more manpower and resources," he said. "The metro areas are for the most part well-staffed. If anyone would comply, it would be in the metro areas rather than the rural areas."

    One major fear, Hunter said, is that the new law will simply drive sex offenders underground.

    "They're going to move and not register at all," Hunter said. "I can't say it's going to run them out of Georgia -- we're just not going to be able to find them."

    Lt. Matt Allen of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office notes that those who fail to register under the new law face a stiff penalty. Any sex offender who doesn't register each year within three days of his or her birthday faces 10 to 30 years in prison if convicted.

    Forsyth Schools Transportation Director Garry Puetz said his department is providing the sheriff's office with the location of each bus stop and will notify authorities as new bus stops are added during the school year.

    "We'll be working very closely with them to share information," Puetz said.

    Officials are developing a computer program that will show the location of each bus stop and calculate its proximity to individual homes, Allen said.

    Eventually, sheriff's officials should be able to tell a sex offender if a new residence he wants to move into is within 1,000 feet of a bus stop.

    But for now, "it's the responsibility of the sex offender to find out if where they live is in compliance," Haney said. Sheriff's officials will check after an offender has moved in to ensure it isn't within 1,000 feet of bus stops or other areas where children congregate.

    State Rep. Jack Murphy (R-Cumming), a co-sponsor of the new law, said he's gotten a handful of e-mails from relatives of sex offenders complaining about the onerous new requirements.

    "I realized it was going to cause them a lot of problems in trying to get in compliance, but we wanted a stringent law passed," Murphy said. "We knew it was going to be tough. But (sex offenders) need to realize that if they hadn't commited the acts they did, they wouldn't be in this trouble."

    Murphy, who said the law will withstand legal challenges, said it "draws a line in the sand."

    "We wanted to send the message to sex offenders that if you come to Georgia, you're coming to a state that has one of the toughest laws in the United States."

    http://www.forsythnews.com/news/stories/20060618/localnews/103911.shtml
     
  2. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    here is my question on all this....if these folks are all still this dangerous....why the hell are they not still in jail?
     
  3. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    The conviction that keeps on punishing....quite appropriate...since the crime keeps on punishing the victim by affecting him/her throughout life...

    Good for Georgia....however, I think all states should throw child rapists into JAIL and then just throw away the key. Recidivism will then be STOPPED COLD. No more worries about how many feet from this or that. :wtf:
     
  4. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    I hate that law - there are probably MANY 'sex offenders' who are NOT dangerous. These days looking at woman the wrong way can be a 'sex offense'.

    :(
     
  5. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Indeed... at what point do we say that someone has paid his penalty for his crime? Like manu said, if these people are all so dangerous, why aren't they still in jail?
     
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  6. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    No question there's some misuse. The problem is that there are limits as to how long you're allowed to hold an offender in jail, but for some reason sex offenders, particularly pedophiles, are recidavist and can't be rehabilitated Personally, I think they should just be chemically castrated and be done with it.
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Then the answer is to raise the prison sentences for those offenders, not to punish all sex offenders who have already been released from prison.
     
  8. MissileMan
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    MissileMan Senior Member

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    Sex offender does not automatically mean pedophile. What sense does it make to restrict a rapist who prefers old ladies from living near a school. That's the problem with this kind of legislation, it usually winds up not doing what is intended. Protecting children should be a priority...keeping pedophiles locked up is the only way to ensure that. AND, what possible purpose is there in forbidding them from living near a church?
     
  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Keeping true rapists and pedophiles out of community would be a good thing. Problem now is that the laws are fuked up. 18 year old having consensual sex with 16 year old is 'rape.' Same with being branded a 'sex offender' for two kids being prosecuted. It's warped.

    Hit the real pervs, call the rest something else.
     
  10. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I, personally, am appalled by this law. Right now, we have a failing prison system. The U.S. has several times more prisoners per capita than any other place in the world, and the criminals aren't the only ones who suffer from their incarceration. Families must make do without them, relatives walk around in shame, and friends must cope with the fact that one of them is behind bars.

    Then, there's recidivism. Right now, prisons do absolutely nothing to prepare prisoners for the outside world. They simply lock them up and try to avoid lawsuits and escapes. No effort is made to turn them into productive members of society, only to contain them until the sentence is up. It's not inability to rehabilitate that keeps recidivism high, it's the lack of an attempt to rehabilitate. Because of this, criminals who are released are ill equipped to handle the outside world and probably haven't made any progress towards resolving whatever made them commit the crime in the first place. As a result, they turn back to crime and wind up right back in jail. Now, the prisoner, of course, bears the responsibility of the choice and should be punished. However, the state has not made it any easier for them. In fact, a few church-run, volunteer only faith-based prison ministries have been the only ones successful in keeping recidivism rates in their sector below 50% with a rigorous, disciplinary routine that gives them the drive needed to suceed. Now, they are being driven out of the prisons through lawsuits via Americans United for the Seperation of Church and State, leaving most prisoners nothing but a steep uphill battle to look forward to if they even think they may die outside of a prison.

    Now, given all of these failings, we do not try to reform prisons to reduce the recidivism rate. Instead, we pass on all of the failings of the prison system to those we have told have already paid their debt to society. Given the penchant of convicts to go back to jail, being an ex-con carries with it a horrible stigma that makes it hard to obtain a job or get any of the other things that make life worth living outside prison walls. Now, the state makes it even harder by placing strict restrictions on all prisoners after they are released, extending that stigma so deeply that life in prison is more favorable than life as an ex-con.

    And sex criminals get it the worst. Granted, their victims are the most sympathetic, as they're traumatized for life and are still alive to tell about it, but what about the sex offenders themselves. Some of them went through some horrible psychological mess, often starting with a pornography addiction that led to more extreme stuff until they began carrying out the fantasies they saw on their favorite hardcore sites. If anyone truly made a concerted effort to help these people, I bet you'd see the recidivism rate drop tremendously, but as it is, these people are screwed. Once they've fallen down the hole of pedophilia, there's nobody to turn to for help. Even most church-goers will turn them away in disgust, believing they are beyond the help of even God. This just drives them to hide their illness and dig deeper until they are caught. With no serious treatment available, most never overcome this sickness, but instead of attempting to treat the sickness, we simply are satisfied to quaranteen the sick, ruining their lives and the lives of everyone they know. Society turns its back on those that need our help the most and continue to crack down every day more and more, diving away every hope of a viable cure.

    Now, I'm all for cracking down on criminals, but we as a society will never reduce crime unless every crime carries a life sentence (prohibitively expensive for the taxpayers) or we make a concerted effort to help, not just punish, those that have hurt us. All of you are so quick to condemn, claiming they're uncurable, so we must simply do away with them for the good of society. Well, AIDS is currently the most baffling disease known to man, cancer kills millions, and ebola plagues Africa beyond what we can imagine, but we don't simply do away with those people because 'there is no cure.' Instead, we spend millions trying to find a cure. How can you know pedophilia and desire to rape are uncurable? We have yet to even try.
     

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