A Megan’s Law requirement that Level 1 and 2 convicted sexual predators in New York remain on the state Sex Offender Registry for 10 years after the start of their prison sentences is to end on January 21. By sunset on January 22, 168 Level 1 and 2 offenders will be taken off the registry; by year’s end, 3,579 predators will no longer have to register their location or movements.
In anticipation of these results, the Assembly minority conference today called on the Assembly majority to ensure – at a minimum – an extension of the Megan’s Law provision be a priority for passage during the 2006 legislative session.
“As a father, I know we need to make sure our families are kept safe,” stated Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua). “I truly believe that leaving these sexual predators off the registry will allow and possibly even encourage them to strike again.”
Assembly minority members gathered today to call for passage of effective legislation to reverse the statute’s expiration. Gov. George Pataki has proposed the state Legislature allow for lifetime registration of sex offenders, regardless of their classification by state officials. Level 3 offenders are considered the most dangerous of sexual predators and are deemed most likely to repeat their crimes.
Legislation based on Pataki’s proposal has passed the state Senate, but the Assembly majority has not taken action to extend the provision or pass new regulations.
“I hope we can put our differences aside and act before it is too late. We, the elected officials, need to do our jobs and make sure our laws protect the residents of New York,” said Kolb. “It’s simply common sense. People need to be aware of these criminals at all times. Nobody wants to unknowingly have a sexual predator living in their neighborhood.”
The bill favored by the Assembly minority, state Senate and the governor would force all convicted sex offenders to register indefinitely. The Sex Offender Registry has proven to be an important tool for parents and law enforcement officials in providing information and photographs of known, convicted sex offenders.
“We need to act as soon as possible,” continued Kolb. “Every person that drops off the list becomes a liability and a risk for our residents and their families. I truly believe all offenders should be required to register and continually update their information, and that the public should have constant access to the data.”