Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Are sex offenders subject to lifetime registration?

Posted on: June 3, 2007 at 12:47 p.m.

There are websites where detailed information about sex offenders is posted-where they live, what they were charged for, age, etc. I was looking at sex offenders in my hometown, and I noticed there was a rather old sex offender (80ish years old) just a few blocks away from me. Is a sex offender's information posted for a probationary period (a few years, perhaps) or indefinitely?

Sex Registration under California law requires a lifetime of registration, as the Legislature believes that these convicted felons must be tracked for life due to a high rate of recidivism. This information is published online and thus this is a "Scarlett Letter" for the person for life that tracks him.

Tagged as: sex crime accusations


dayna on June 30, 2007 at 6:02 p.m. wrote:

the man who molested my daughter is allowed to move in right next door to us how does his parole officer think thats fair to my child its not he severed 5 years in jail and my daughter was safe now what happens to her she is having a very hard time with this we live in virginia and i guess things like this dont matter to the right people

Law Blog on June 14, 2007 at 11:10 p.m. wrote:

The defendant is entitled to confront and cross-examine his accusers, in each and every case. There are limited exceptions to this in state and federal law, i.e. for young children giving testimony. The upshot is that the child still must testify but may be does not have to look at the defendant. A defense lawyer has the right to ask questions of all witnesses, including young kids. While there are many victims of sexual abuse, the Law Blog is aware of one high-profile case in 1980s (the McMartin Preschool case) where the defendants were all acquitted, and the alleged sex crimes victims recanted years later, as recently reported in the LA Times. It is possible for any witness to lie, including children. Thus cross-examination is an important constitutional right.

Rianne H on June 14, 2007 at 6:12 p.m. wrote:

I know that the 6th Amendment of the Constitution grants the accused the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him, but does this apply to sex offenders who victimize minors? I am guessing that this is not what 'the founding fathers intended when they wrote this amendment.' I have heard of cases though, where children- especially teenagers- have had to testify in front of their abuser. One case (Coy v. Iowa, 1988) would not allow for a young girl to sit behind a screen out of sight from the man charged with sexually assaulting her--even though she was sworn in and cross-examined. What laws protect these kids if they are not able to 'confront' the defendant?

Law Blog on June 13, 2007 at 12:40 a.m. wrote:

The three strikes law definitely applies to sex offenders, as most sex crime convictions which are felonies are 'serious' or 'violent' prior convictions knows as prior 'strikes.' Thus a sex offender with two prior strikes is eligible for a life sentence is he is convicted of any third felony (even if it is not a sex crime).

Rajan Trehan on June 9, 2007 at 4:33 p.m. wrote:

I think making this information public is of obvious value. A family should not have to move into a new neighborhood without knowing that the nice man next door is a sexual molester. An issue that has recently been receiving some attention is the fairly light sentencing that many of these criminals seem to receive. As far as I am concerned, if somebody takes advantage of an innocent child, they should pay for it. But more than that, it seems that so many of these perverts are repeat offenders. At a certain point, ca we just recognize that putting these people right back into our community so quickly is a recipe for disaster? I know in California we have three strikes, but have any other states enacted similar legislation tailored to sex offenders?

Mike Sweeney on June 7, 2007 at 6:47 p.m. wrote:

I just recently checked out the website, and was of course deeply disturbed to see the high number of sex offenders in my town (Simi Valley), and even more disturbed to see the high concentration surrounding my former elementary school and junior high. It seemed too creepy to be a coincidence. Are there such things as 'restraining orders' to keep registered sex offenders from living next door to schools or day-cares, or at least from working at these places? Also, as I clicked through the list of pictures (dozens and dozens of them), I couldn't help but notice a trend: males. Forty and older. And mostly caucasion. How is the touchy issue of profiling treated when it comes to preventing child molestation and other sex crimes?

Eric T. on June 5, 2007 at 8:47 p.m. wrote:

In my personal opinion the sex offenders should be registered for life. The crime they committed is something that unforgiveable and is supported by the following information. California's Megan's Law arms the public with certain information on the whereabouts of dangerous sex offenders so that local communities may protect themselves and their children. California for more than 50 years has required dangerous sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies. However, information on the whereabouts of these sex offenders was not available to the public until the implementation of the Child Molester Identification Line in July 1995. The information available was further expanded by California's Megan's Law in 1996 (Chapter 908, Stats. of 1996). Megan's 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 across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kanka's sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area. The law authorizes local law enforcement to notify the public about high-risk and serious sex offenders who reside in, are employed in, or frequent the community. The law is not intended to punish the offender and specifically prohibits using the information to harass or commit any crime against the offender. It recognizes that public safety is best served when registered sex offenders are not concealing their location to avoid harassment. *Note information taken from: http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=sex_offender_lookup&id=3398814

Olga Zaklis on June 5, 2007 at 12:46 a.m. wrote:

Without question, I would want to know! A friend let me know about the website (www.familywatchdog.us) just before I moved to westwood- and I saw that a sex offender lived in the apartment building right next to the one that I was planning on moving into. This definitely made my roommate and I re-evaluate where we would be living. Call me overly paranoid- but I'd rather be safe.

Sella Benyamin on June 4, 2007 at 12:44 a.m. wrote:

I think that's fair. If I was moving into a new neighborhood, I would definitely want to know if there are any sex offenders, ESPECIALLY if I have kids. I don't care how long ago it was. At one point or another they committed a crime. I would want to know.

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