Thursday, September 15, 2005
From MSNBC.com: Washington (AP)--On Wednesday, the US House approved the Children's Safety Act, "which, among its many provisions, creates a national Web site for child sex offenders and stipulates that sex felons face up to 20 years in prison for failing to comply with registration requirements...The sex offender bill...also requires felony offenders to register for life and authorizes the death penalty for sex crimes resulting in the killing of a child." House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., called the bill a response to a "'national crisis' in child sex offenses. He said that of some 550,000 convicted sex offenders in the nation, the whereabouts of 100,000 are unknown." Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., commented that 'We track library books better than we do sexual predators.'
In addition to tightened sex-offender monitoring, the bill also expands the "current hate crime law to include some crimes involving sexual orientation, gender and disability. Under current law, the federal government assists local and state authorities prosecuting limited types of crimes based on the victim’s race, religion or ethnic background." Sensenbrenner expects the bill to be approved by the Senate and signed into law by the end of the year. Story... [Mark Godsey]