Florida’s registered sexual predators have their photographs and addresses listed on the Internet and in a state database for public access. The Orlando Sentinel says the Florida Sheriffs Association wants them to stand out even more. The group will ask the state to require them to have identifiers on their drivers licenses marking them as predators. The group’s suggestion, said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, would allow police immediately to identify a predator in case a computer is down or the information isn’t quickly accessible. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement seems like to support the measure.
Critics say the drivers-license identifier could do more harm than good if written into law. Paul Sandman, a mental-health counselor who treats sex offenders, asks, “When is there going to be a bill so that they can print ‘sex offender’ on their forehead? It’s getting to that.” John Q. La Fond, a retired University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor, agreed the identifier would hurt people more than it would benefit law enforcement. “Most of us show our drivers license to use a credit card, to cash a check and what you call everyday commercial matters,” La Fond said. “The fact that one is a sex offender is absolutely irrelevant to the merchant.”