Florida Re-Evaluates Tough Restrictions On Sex Offenders


Florida officials worryed that two years of local crackdowns to register sex offenders and ban them from living in certain areas are proving so counterproductive that it’s getting tougher to find the convicted rapists and pedophiles in the first place, the Miami Herald reports. ”The fundamental question is: Is what we’re doing now, has it gotten us where we want to be?” said James McDonough, secretary of the state Department of Corrections. `”And the answer is, apparently not.”

Citing the sex offenders who have been living under a Miami causeway, legislators, the attorney general and Gov. Charlie Crist are reevaluating the hodgepodge of local laws passed after the 2005 rape and murder of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford. ”The misconception is that the tougher the ordinance, the less likely it is that sex offenders will live in a city,” said Sen. Dave Aronberg. “In reality, the tougher the ordinance, the much more likely it is for the sex offender to live underground. The sex offender will still live in the city. We just won’t know where they are.” Lawmakers warn that finding a solution could be difficult and legally complicated, which is why there probably won’t be changes until next year. An effort to repeal broad local curbs would face opposition from local leaders who want to keep sexual predators out. ”Personally, I don’t think 2,500 feet is enough for someone with a violent past,” said one mayor. “I don’t care if they don’t have any place to live in the state.”

Link: http://www.miamiherald.com/569/story/83331.html

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