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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Debate Over Publicly Listing Juvenile Sex Offenders

From USA Today.com: Laws meant to protect the public by listing sex offenders on Internet registries are colliding with laws intended to shield the identities of children who get into trouble.
                                                                                                                                                   
Amie Zyla, 18, of Waukesha, Wis., has successfully promoted the idea that the public's right to know of a sex offender living nearby trumps a juvenile's right to keep court records secret. Last year, she persuaded her state's legislators to let police notify neighbors about the presence of a juvenile sex offender they consider a public risk.

This year, she went national. Congress is finishing work on a bill she promoted that could include juveniles on a federal registry being created. It would make failure to register a felony. Changes like Wisconsin's are at odds with a longstanding practice of giving juvenile offenders a clean slate when they become adults. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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