Strengthen laws against sex predators

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, April 07, 2005

My heart goes out to the family, friends and community of Jessica Lunsford, the Florida girl who was abducted and killed. I cannot hold back the tears as I write this letter, and ask how many more children will die before we say "enough."

It's time for the government to implement stronger laws against sexually violent predators. You say we already have laws. Beginning in 1994, Congress enacted three statutes that required states to establish or strengthen programs to keep track of sex offenders. The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act required states to register sex offenders to alert law enforcement of their presence in the community.

The federal version of "Megan's Law brief" and the Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act required states to implement programs designed to notify members of the public when convicted sex offenders are released into their communities. The Lychner Act required the creation of a national sex offender registry.

This legislation doesn't go far enough to protect the safety of the communities that sexually violent predators are released in. The term "sexually violent predator" means a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offenses. The term "mental abnormality" means a congenital or acquired condition of a person that affects the emotional or volitional capacity of the person in a manner that predisposes that person to the commission of criminal sexual acts to a degree that makes the person a menace to the health and safety of other persons. The term "predatory" means an act directed at a stranger or a person with whom a relationship has been established or promoted for the primary purpose of victimization.

When released, the sexually violent predator is required to register in his community. Registration does not help the abducted and dead. We can help by passing laws that lock sexually violent predators away for life with no chance of parole. I urge you to do something.

Write, call or e-mail members of the Senate, House of Representatives, lieutenant governor and governor. Let them know it's time to take a stand against the sexually violent predator. You can find all the addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses needed at http://www.state.ak.us.

Mikeil Adair

Juneau



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