Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rethinking Adam Walsh Act Law

CNN : Rethinking Adam’s Law.

NEW YORK — The fear that sexual predators are hiding under every rock and around every corner has led to a nationwide effort to hunt them down and keep track of them – in most cases for life.

Put aside for the moment the fact that most children are abused by a family member and that in child abductions and murders fewer than one percent of the perpetrators are strangers. The more immediate concern is this: Our national obsession with sexual predators is actually getting in the way of effective law enforcement.

Good intentions have been clouded by bad information perpetuated by those who would gain the most — not the victims, but television talk show hosts hungry for ratings. Don’t take my word for it. Ask the people who know best — the police. Across the country police are pushing back against a federal law that requires all states to adopt stricter sex offender laws.

Of course state officials agree with the intent. But, in many cases their state laws are more effective. In other cases, Adam’s Law isn’t specific enough to each state to be effective. In many cases, it contradicts tough laws already in place.