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Megan's Law Gets New Teeth Under Bill Signed By Gov. Christie

Bill advanced by state Assembly Democrats signed by Christie Tuesday.

Penalties under Megan’s Law got a little stiffer under new law signed Tuesday by Gov. Chris Christie that makes sex offenders pay for part of their monitoring costs.

Under the new law, sponsored by Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Daniel R. Benson, both D-Mercer/Middlesex, newly convicted sex offenders will have to pay a $30 monthly fee – money that would go into a state fund to pay for offenders’ supervision. Some of the money also would pay for authorities to track offenders’ online activity.

The law also upgrades penalties for sexual assault if the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated. The crime is now a second degree offense, up from the former third degree offense. It carries a sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

It also increases the penalty for failure to register a new address with authorities from a fourth-degree to a third-degree crime and clarifies that a juvenile caught "sexting" with a cell phone would not have to register as a sex offender.

Under the new law low-level offenders whose conduct has been deemed "repetitive" and "compulsive" can be seen in publicly accessible online databases.  Formerly, only mid-level offenders were included.

The law provides money from the supervision fund to upgrade authorities’ computer equipment to monitor sex offenders’ online moves, and it prohibits parole officers from handling more than 40 sex offender cases.

“This tweaks Megan’s Law to help prevent innocent children from becoming victims,” DeAngelo said in a release. “Measures like ensuring that parole officers are not overwhelmed by large case loads and creating penalties that can help fund initiatives to aid in the surveillance of these offenders will all help ensure that these perpetrators do not become repeat offenders at the expense of our children.”

mary January 22, 2014 at 12:42 PM
This is a good move towards the punishment that is truly deserved. I still don't understand why these offenders are allowed to live with the general population. As far as I can see they gave up all rights when they decided to harm a child. It doesn't matter what their sob story is. They are a danger to the safety of their victims.
gjc January 22, 2014 at 01:27 PM
Not that I have any sympathy for these offenders, just where would you have these people live, Mary, if not in the general population? Build an island for them?
mary January 22, 2014 at 02:06 PM
Jail comes to mind . A long time ago we had asylums. This was to keep the inmate out of the public's way. It was much cheaper than the way we parole sex offenders today.
gjc January 22, 2014 at 02:31 PM
Not a bad idea but it would be illegal.
Mikey D January 22, 2014 at 05:20 PM
Graveyard comes to mind.
mary January 22, 2014 at 06:43 PM
Agreed Mikey D. And gjc, what part is illegal? Jail or asylum?
gjc January 22, 2014 at 07:46 PM
All crimes have sentencing guidelines. For instance, you can't send sometime to prison for life for shoplifting. Child molestation is a horrible crime. There are very stiff sentences and probation guidelines for those crimes. As terrible as those crimes are, you can't send every criminal to the executioner's block.
Metoo January 22, 2014 at 08:08 PM
Likewise to jail for lengthy jail terms. I believe I read that in the early 1960s, we had a population nearing 200 million with under 300,000 incarcerated people. We're now about 330 million and an incarcerated population of over 2.5 million.
Eli Lya January 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM
Okay, so a sex offender get's out of prison and the government makes sure they are publicly ostracized, makes it extremely hard for them to find work or to find a place to live and now makes them financially libel to pay money they don't have. The US Constitution is failing and if not stopped, the freedoms being lost will soon expand to effect all citizens. Look at the rise of incarceration in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States. Sex Offender Registration should end with parole, never include public identification and definitely not extend past 6 years. Even at the worst case recidivism rate for new sex offenses by RSOs, the rate rapidly decreases over time. Years from Release Worst Case Recidivism 10% from time of release thru end of life 7.71% after 1 year of no new sex crime thru end of life 5.95% after 2 years of no new sex crime thru end of life 4.59% after 3 years of no new sex crime thru end of life 3.53% after 4 years of no new sex crime thru end of life 2.72% after 5 years of no new sex crime thru end of life 2.10% after 6 years of no new sex crime thru end of life 1.62% after 7 years of no new sex crime thru end of life 1.25% after 8 years of no new sex crime thru end of life 0.96% after 9 years of no new sex crime thru end of life 0.74% after 10 years of no new sex crime thru end of life This is from the worst case, meaning the recidivism rate is almost certainly less than this. I have a pretty in depth analysis of sex offender recidivism for new sex crimes which can be seen at: http://childhood-destroyed-for-what.com/01-100-000-my-story/01-160-100-sex-offender-info/01-170-000-recidivism-of-sex-offenders.html. -Kat ^.^ http://www.youtube.com/user/ChildOfSexOffender/videos
The One January 25, 2014 at 04:02 PM
This is nothing more than a mere distraction from Gov. Fatboy's Bridgegate scandal. First off, most registered citizens cannot afford $30 a month. The registry is a bigger joke than the governor. Between him and the equally portly Maureen Kanka, there are certainly a lot of fat-cat pandering involve. Sex offender facts: http://www.oncefallen.com/

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