Assemblyman David G. McDonough (R,C,I-Merrick) called today’s passage of critical Megan’s Law Sex Offender Registry legislation a victory for the Assembly minority efforts to further protect New York’s families.
“The continuous efforts and pressure on Speaker Silver from the Assembly minority and New Yorkers brought about passage of a stronger sex offender law,” said McDonough. “Legislation proposed by the majority would have only extended the provisions of the registry until March 2007, at which time the Legislature would have had to revisit the same issue.”
“This legislation will secure the safety of individuals and communities that are at the greatest risk from sexually violent predators,” said McDonough, vice chair of the Assembly minority Task Force on Sex Crimes Against Children and Women. “As of January 17, the state Division of Criminal Justice Services reported 437 registered sex offenders in Nassau County, another 823 in Suffolk and a staggering 1,001 in Queens County. Knowing the location of all these criminals is critical to the safety of the communities they live in. This legislation will provide us and law enforcement personnel with the tools necessary to track their locations.”
The identities and locations of 168 convicted predators would have dropped from the registry during the first 24 hours after the January 21 expiration. By year’s end, information about more than 3,500 sex offenders would have disappeared from the registry if the law was not amended.
The new legislation will continue to require Level 3 offenders, classified as the most dangerous of sexual predators, to register for life. The new measure requires Level 2 offenders to register for 30 years, at which time they can petition judges for removal from the registry. Level 1 offenders will be required to register for 20 years. Under the old statute, Level 1 and 2 offenders were required to register for 10 years after their convictions, then their data was automatically dropped from the registry.
For more information on the registry, visit www.criminaljustice.state.ny.us.