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UT - Utah steps up sex-offender law, still short of federal compliance

Notice the quote below the lines? They is exactly what they are doing, and I find it hypocritical that a person making and passing these very unconstitutional (ex post facto) laws, say something like this. He knows what he is doing, but is just saving himself!

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News Article

Registered sex offenders will be listed longer and will be required to pay moderately higher fees under a proposed bill in the Legislature. The new requirements, however, are far less strict than a 2006 federal law demands.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 requires states to list juvenile sex offenders as young as 14 on the registry, to relist many offenders who have already fulfilled their obligations and to register people for crimes that were not previously registerable in their states.

States such as Ohio, which implemented many controversial elements of the Adam Walsh Act on Jan. 1, have already been challenged on constitutional grounds for the changes.

The deadline for compliance set by Congress is July 2009.

Utah Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, said his bill, which is not yet numbered, will improve Utah's sex-offender monitoring system by implementing elements of the Adam Walsh Act but will not fully comply with it.

"We decided we're not going to go into full compliance," Ray said. "We're going to look at it over the summer, because we've been told to expect some changes to Adam Walsh."

Utah could lose as much as $400,000 if the federal government's deadline is enforced. For failure to comply, the act says, states will lose 10 percent of their Byrne Justice Assistance grants that they would otherwise receive.

Utah received $4.4 million in 2004, but according to the National Sheriff's Association, the Byrne grant fund was reduced in the most recent budget from $520 million to just $170 million.

If Utah's grants decrease as a result of the budget cut, its penalty would decrease, too.

Utah's Legislature may not be alone this year in its resistance to Adam Walsh Act compliance. The National Conference of State Legislatures' official policy regarding the act calls the law "an unfunded mandate," "inflexible" and, "in some cases, not able to be implemented."

The conference put forth 11 suggested amendments, asking the federal government to allow states more flexibility.

Ray said he will introduce a bill that will extend parole periods for sex offenders, which will in turn extend their time on Utah's sex-offender registry. His bill will not, however, ask Utah to list juveniles on the registry. Offenders who have already fulfilled their registration period also will not be relisted.

"If they're off the registry, as far as we're concerned, they've met their requirements," he said. "We're not going to go back and punish them a second time."

- I think he means, if they are out of prison and off probation and/or parole. Most people are on the registry for 10, 25 or life. So if you are on the registry for life, then there won't be a second time. The laws are unconstitutional, period! The Constitution PLAINLY says "NO EX POST FACTO LAW SHALL BE PASSED!" It's in plain English, which they still don't seem to understand!

Offenders who are still in their 10-year registration period would be required to fulfill the new requirements, which may be longer than 10 years.

Ray said his bill will not add crimes to the list of registerable offenses.

Registered offenders' annual fee could increase from $75 to $100 per year.

Another Utah bill related to Adam Walsh directs the Division of Child and Family Services to eschew an estimated $500,000 in federal funds per year. The bill tells DCFS to place foster children with family during the time it takes to do a criminal background check.

The Adam Walsh Act instructs states to wait until the background check is complete before placing children with any foster parent, kin or otherwise.

Other laws regarding sex offenders that are not related to the Adam Walsh Act have been proposed in the Utah Legislature as well.

House Bill 265 asks for longer minimum sentencing options for three child sex crimes. Currently, violators of those laws can be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison, but that may jump to 25 years.

Utah currently has almost 7,000 registered sex offenders. More than half are no longer incarcerated, on probation or parole.

Added: Jul-20-2009 Occurred On: Jan-27-2008
By: SexOffenderIssues
Tags: sex, sexual, offender, issues, sex offender, sexual offender, utah, ex post facto, unconstitutional, double jeopardy,
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