Georgia has erased 819 people from its sex offender registry since May 2010, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That's when a new law took effect revising a 2006 law, seen as one of the toughest in the nation. The new statute was intended to remove those who don't likely pose a threat to the public from the list and fend off a barrage of lawsuits filed by civil rights groups who claimed many of its provisions violated the state and federal constitutions.
There has been a general consensus among law enforcement and lawmakers that sheriff's departments across Georgia, which are tasked with monitoring the state's 20,676 registered sex offenders, were spending too much time and resources monitoring low-level offenders. The new law is giving law enforcement some relief while sparing those who are least likely to commit more crimes from the rigors of monitoring, said Sarah Geraghty of the Southern Center for Human Rights. The law allows people who committed misdemeanors, like a “Romeo and Juliet” statutory rape involving teenagers close in age, to be stricken from the registry automatically on completion of their sentence.