Friday, May 2, 2008

Maine, NH loosen sex offender laws : Concord: A state Senate panel voted to weaken proposals to crack down on convicted sex offenders. The changes would do away with current laws that compel out-of-state sex offenders who register with the state to identify their place of work. It would also lower some Sex Offender Registry requirements from life to 10 years for an adult. Foster said, "When you are talking about taking away people's liberties and rights as a citizen, you've got to make darn sure it's done properly." ( THINK about that quote ! - unbelievable) : A sex offender bill that would incorporate a tiered system into the state law is currently under going some major changes in the Senate.
The bill, HB1640, was drafted so the state would come into compliance with federal legislation known as the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act. The bill would create a state tier system, provide more information to the public and help prevent sex offenders from moving to the state.

Other possible changes include reducing the time a Tier I offender must register on the public list from 15 years to 10 years, repealing the current law that requires out-of-state offenders working in New Hampshire to register the address where they are employed, and removing all aspects of the bill that would require DNA samples from every registered sex offender. : Veto of Sex Offender Registration Reform. AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci on Wednesday vetoed a bill aimed regarding the state’s sex offender registry. Baldacci said his biggest concern is that the bill didn’t do enough to differentiate between sexually violent predators and those who are not a high risk to reoffend. "I have no doubt that there are people on the registry who shouldn’t be required to register because they no longer pose a risk to public safety," Baldacci said in the statement. "But until we have a better system to judge who those people are, we should continue with our current law."

Meanwhile, last fall the Maine Supreme Judicial Court said the state’s sex offender law could be unconstitutional because it increases criminal punishments retroactively for people who already have completed sentences. "We have not made any changes [since last fall], which means we’re still very vulnerable to having our registry being unconstitutional," he said.