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Our Best Defense In May of 1997 President Bill Clinton signed the Jacob Wetteriing Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act This law arose from New Jerseys Megans Law that came about after seven-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and murdered by a twice-convicted sex offender who was living in her neighborhood This federal law mandates that released sex offenders must register as such with local law enforcement The state will be responsible for maintaining a data bank of the offenders annual re-registration and information regarding registered sex offenders will be released as deemed necessary to protect the public Sex offender registration and notification laws are necessary and just Relapsing into criminal behavior rates for sex offenders are alarmingly high Studies conducted in Washington State discovered that thirteen percent of adult offenders and twelve percent of juvenile offenders were rearrested for sex crimes within seven years Wurtele and Miller-Perrin 15 Likewise a California study showed that nearly twenty percent of adult offenders commit another sex crime within fifteen years Bernstein 24 Supporters of these laws feel that that alone is reason enough to have them enforced Opponents however do not give this point of view much merit They feel that it is wrong to continue punishment on all sex offenders when not all of them will repeat their crimes The problem is some of them will repeat and experts agree that there is no way one can be sure of who will recommit and who will not Don McQuay a cold-blooded convicted child molester stated just before his release I got away with molesting 240 children before getting caught for molesting just one little boy With all that I have cold heartedly learned while in prison there is no way that I will ever be caught again I am doomed to eventually rape and then murder my poor little victims to keep them from telling on me Will your children be my next victims
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