New Stats Undercut Rationale for 'Meagan's Laws'
New crime statistics undercut support for the rash of Meagan's Laws enacted by states in recent years. The laws force sex offenders to register with the state and then provides their names and addresses to the public.
A recent Justice Department report suggests that state sex-offender laws may need revisiting. The study finds former sex offenders are much less likely to be rearrested than other former criminals after their release from prison.
The Justice report raises the question of whether these laws were overreactions to a few high-profile events, rather than reasoned legislation. At the least, the laws isolate and stigmatize those who have served time for a sex crime - a sort of excess punishment that may unfairly assume all sex offenders will tend toward the same behavior for life.
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