October 13, 2011

Which sex offenders are safe?

Expediency is not grounds for waiving rights, as suggested by Col. David Sankey.
10-13-2011 Nebraska:

LINCOLN — Nebraska's sex-offender registry doesn't differentiate between those who are likely to reoffend and those who pose little risk, State Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha said.

The state needs to come up with a better system for public reporting of sex offenders, said Ashford, chairman of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee.

To that end, the committee held a hearing Tuesday the 11th on the state registry, which was changed in 2009 in an effort to comply with federal law.

The changes required the display of names, addresses and photos of all convicted sex offenders — even low-risk ones.

Before 2009, only felony offenders deemed at highest risk of reoffending were publicly listed. Names of low-risk offenders weren't publicly disclosed, but such offenders were required to report their addresses to local law enforcement officials.

The scope of the registry was broadened to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act and to retain $167,000 in federal funds. However, even with the changes, the state isn't in compliance with that law.

Kyle Judevine, 23, of Omaha attended the hearing and his mother testified on his behalf. He's listed on the sex offender registry under the new rules.

In an interview, Judevine said that in 2007, when he was 18, he had consensual sex while drunk with an 18-year-old at a party.

He was charged with first-degree sexual assault but pleaded to a lesser count of first-degree false imprisonment. Judevine was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of probation in 2008.

He expected to be listed for 10 years on a site accessible only to authorities and agencies such as schools and day care facilities.

But after the changes in the law, Judevine's name was added to the public registry and will be listed there for 25 years.

"He feels like he has a black mark on his forehead," said his mother, Monica Judevine of Omaha.

Sex offenders also testified about not being able to get a job or being harassed by neighbors after their names were put on the list.

However, Col. David Sankey, superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, said the new system also has benefits.

With the old registry, each offender was individually assessed to determine a risk level, which meant it could take years for an offender's name to be listed. Now offenders are put on the registry immediately. ..Source.. by Kay Kemmet

No comments: