August 18, 2011

Sex Offender Registry Enters its Fifth Year

8-18-2011 West Virginia:

As states pass the deadline for implementation, a strong debate is still stirring over whether the registry makes a difference.

OAK HILL -- Five years ago, President Bush signed into law legislation making it the law of the land to keep tabs on sex offenders.

The registry was touted as a critical tool for law enforcement to ensure public safety.

It's critics; however, argue that it has made it nearly impossible for offenders to find jobs, homes, and communities, and that it may actually make their situation worse.

John Doe, a registered sex offender in Fayette County, was imprisoned for six months in 1986 for indecency with a minor, a charge which was later upgraded to assault.

When he was released, though, his personal imprisonment continued.

“If I go to McDonald’s, nobody sits by me, speaks to me. I see guys talking, sitting together…they don’t want to sit with me. Nobody comes over and says “how’s it going?” They won’t speak to me because I’m poison,” said Doe.

For the rest of his life, he will have to check in every 90 days with law enforcement to confirm his home address and employer.

“You can’t find a place to live. I’ve been kicked out of places four times. You can’t get into an apartment. Every place I’ve ever been, I’ve been kicked out because of this. I’ve had a stroke from all this stress. You can’t just live by yourself,” said Doe.

While some sex offenders argue it stigmatizes them beyond rehabilitation, law enforcement in Fayette County believe it’s critical to public safety.

“It’s a very good tool. If someone’s around there committing serial sex crimes, it offers us a chance to go after that person before they get another victim,” said Trooper S.A. Murphy, with the West Virginia State Police.

More than requiring states to go public with their database, the legislation expanded the categories of crimes eligible for registration; a move which some say made it more difficult for states to track the worst of the worst.

“It definitely puts a strain on our manpower. It takes away from other things. But overall, I believe the time is well spent, if it can protect a child,” said Murphy. ..Source.. by Anne Moore

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder wether officer Murphy has encountered even a solitary "SERIAL SEX OFFENDER CASE" in his entire Trooper career?? Could be a "Great Tool"...... Maybe,..... Someday???