July 20, 2012

the Adam Walsh Re-authorization Act (AWRA) and Why It Should Not Become Law!

7-20-2012 National:

In my earlier Commentary I gave folks a chance to see the US House amendments that were proposed to be included in this Reauthorization of the Adam Walsh Act. There I didn't want to cloud folks thinking as to why AWRA should not become law.

There we saw Rep Bobby Scott's amendments that were passed, and they will chip away at the harmful effects of the Adam Walsh Act. Rep Scott knows all to well how harmful the Act really is. He is one of a handful of lawmakers trying to do something about this harmful law.

OK, so what does the underlying AWRA (HR 3796) actually want to do:


Section 126(d) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16926(d)) is amended to read as follows:

`(d) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General $20,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2013 through 2017, to be available only for--

`(1) the SOMA program; and
`(2) the Jessica Lunsford Address Verification Grant Program established under section 631.'.


Section 142(b) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16941(b)) is amended by striking `such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2007 through 2009' and inserting `$46,200,000 for each of the fiscal years 2013 through 2017'.


Subparagraph (B) of section 115(b)(2) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16915(b)(2)) is amended by striking `25 years' and inserting `15 years'.

Three things:
  • 1) Extend grants to states so they can enact SORNA;
  • 2) Extend grants to find folks who haven't properly registered;
  • 3) Change the term of registration for juveniles.
This is 2012, six years after the enactment of AWA/SORNA, only 15 states are in compliance. Isn't that enough of a signal that the majority of the states DO NOT want this law? Appropriating 20 million more, for the next five years, does not address why the states do not want to comply!

I'm going to jump to changing the term of registration for juveniles, from 25 years to 15 years. Putting juveniles on the registry has already ruined their lives and changing how long they have to register is not going to restore their lives. Assuming 18 + 15 = 32 years old, the better part of their lives are gone, their earning potential is destroyed on day one. The registry is a living hell for anyone, and psychologically affecting juveniles is cruel and unusual.

Now lets look at the 46.2 million per year to find folks who have not PROPERLY registered. Read Sec. 3 "REAUTHORIZATION OF FEDERAL ASSISTANCE WITH RESPECT TO VIOLATIONS OF REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS."
"Violations of Registration Requirements," it looks like Congress wants to send a Task Force out for any possible reason that violates registration laws, not just those who fail to register. Here we are talking about TECHNICAL VIOLATIONS, right?

Here is a typical address check in Georgia: "More than 40 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies hit the streets to track down 182 registered sex offenders. The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office does these big checks twice a year. ... "You want to make sure where they say they are living they are actually living there," Perkins said. "We verify the offenders five to six times a year and take a new picture and fingerprints once a year."
40 police officers rolling up to the front door of every registered offender. This has got to put the fear of God in the rest of his/her neighbors. Is this sane, all they want is an address, or to verify the address?

Excepting technical violations, which now seem to be included, the only way to violate SORNA or any state registry is, to fail to provide a proper address. Federal money, $46.2 million just for the Federal agents that go along on these address checks. This is unbelievable!

According to NCMEC National Sex Offender Map there are 747,408 registered former offenders. Congress, through this AWRA bill will be spending roughly $62.00 per registrant, per year, in Federal money alone, just to baby sit local police when they check an address. If ever there was a sign of insanity, this is it!

Please remember, U.S. Marshals or other Federal officials do not have jurisdiction to perform state address checks, and cannot act until there is a violation of law:

(a) IN GENERAL.—The Attorney General shall use the resources of Federal law enforcement, including the United States Marshals Service, to assist jurisdictions in locating and apprehending sex offenders who violate sex offender registration requirements. For the purposes of section 566(e)(1)(B) of title 28, United States Code, a sex offender who violates a sex offender registration requirement shall be deemed a fugitive.

(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2007 through 2009 to implement this section.
So, until local police tell them there is a violation of law, U.S. Marshals are expensive babysitters, or should be if they are following law! They are using taxpayer funds at a time when taxpayers need it just to live day by day.

Lets wrap this up, while I do feel the changes presented by Rep. Bobby Scott are needed, I do not feel the spending of money as shown above is warranted. Thats my opinion, and I would vote NO on this bill to reauthorize the Adam Walsh Act. It is a failed law, and harmful to society in general.

Its time for folks to have their voices heard, contact your folks in Washington.

For now have a great day and a better tomorrow.

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