Monday, August 20, 2007

New Florida Law Will Expand Sex Offender Registry To Include Children As Young As 14

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA Public defenders plan to challenge a new law that expands Florida’s sex offender registry to include teens as young as 14 who have been convicted in the secrecy of juvenile court.

The law that went into effect July 1 will list those juvenile offenders, their addresses and other information on the same Web site as adults convicted as pedophiles and sexual predators. The designation will follow them and their families when they enter schools, move and apply for college and jobs.

Juveniles are not adult offenders, said Gordon Weekes, an assistant public defender based in Fort Lauderdale. There are all kinds of successful efforts at rehabilitation.

Weekes and other public defenders say they will challenge the new law, which applies only to teens judged delinquent after July 1, when the first case comes up.

They argue it violates constitutional guarantees of due process because juvenile cases are decided by judges, not juries, to protect the childs identity and offer a better chance for rehabilitation.

The requirement applies to delinquents who have committed, attempted, solicited or conspired to commit sexual battery and some types of lewd battery or molestation when 14 or older.

The law, though, includes a provision that allows judges to remove them from the list if they are 17 or under and no more than four years older than the victim and meet certain conditions.

One of those is that the removal cannot conflict with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act that went into effect last year. It requires that teens 14 and older who engage in sexual contact with children younger than 12 be included in state community notification laws such as Florida’s sexual predator list.

To comply with the Walsh Act, named for a 6-year-old South Florida child who was abducted and murdered in 1981, an offender seeking removal from the list would have to prove the sexual activity was consensual. The provision is designed to exclude what are known as “Romeo and Juliet” cases.

“I don’t want some guy or girl involved in a romantic relationship on a public sex offender’s list,” said Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate.

Ring, though, has no problem with requiring nonconsensual offenders to go on the list. He said teens 14 and older should know right from wrong.

The law passed unanimously in the House and Senate, but at least one legislator is having second thoughts.

“We don’t want to put some juvenile who’s having a bad day on the list for something stupid, some lewd prank,” said Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Wilton Manors. “Depending on how this law is understood, we may have to revisit this in the next session.”

1 comment:

ZMan! said...

Check this out, you'll be shocked:

I just saw an interview with Mark Lunsford. He is such a hypocrite. He's been pushing for strong laws for ALL SEX OFFENDERS and now his son was accused of a sex crime and DOES NOT have to be on the sex offender registry, why? Because of who he is, period...

Also, his other son appears to be a criminal as well:

Mark Lunsford had child porn on his machine, why was he not prosecuted?

There is another man, who lost his daughter (CoralRose) and he had child porn on his machine, guess where he is now? In prison, so why isn't Mark Lunsford?

I am against abuse of any kind, but once someone is sentenced and does their time, they should be able to integrate into society and live a normal life, these sex offender registries do not allow that, they are punished for life, even for small crimes like urinating in public in a drunken stupor.

What about murderers, drug dealers/users, gang members, DUI offenders, thieves, etc? Why don't we just have one CRIMINAL registry with ALL criminals on it, regardless of their crime? It's only fair. Right now, it's discrimination. So we can tell if our neighbors are murders, drug dealers/users, gang members, etc?

You can read more of my thoughts (if you will) here:

And what about these people? I don't recall any news about them, why not? Especially the cops, seems like the whole police force are sex offenders.....

Why do we not see the FACTS in the news? To instill fear for ratings maybe?

Why do we not see all the above hypocrites on the news? These are the people who are suppose to be protecting us, from what? Them raping and molesting everyone?

These laws, IMO, are a pre-cursor to see what the government can get away with, how many rights they can wipe out. And the sheeple are asleep and not even seeing it. What class of people will be next? Maybe you? Then I'm sure you will say "You know, that ZMan was right!"