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Megans Law is named after seven year old Megan Kanka a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved in across the street from the Kankas - without their knowledge Megans parents embarked on a national crusade to change federal and state laws to allow for community notification of released sex offenders This law is very controversial because some say it infringes on the rights of privacy guaranteed in the US Constitution The question is what is worth more potentially saving a child from experiences that could cause damage that would last all their lives or guaranteeing the privacy rights of convicted sex offenders Personally I feel that once someone violates the rights of others their own rights should be of less value However there are two sides to every story The Constitution states and the Supreme Court has upheld that everyone has the right to legal representation even poor people Thats why during police shows when someone makes an arrest they always say If you cant afford an attorney one will be appointed for you Also the Declaration of Independence says our inalienable rights include the rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happinessOccasionally people do things that make us believe that they dont deserve the rights the rest of us enjoy Critics of Megans Law believe that like it or not constitutionally these rights apply to everyone When we start to make exceptions no matter how worthy the cause we could be starting down the dangerous path of letting a majority of people pick and choose who has which rights Megans Law was passed in New Jersey last fall The law requires that residents be notified when a convicted sex offender is released from prison and moves into their neighborhood When the State Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law in July of 1996 it ordered that hearings be held
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