A Bill to Reform the Sex Offender Petition to Be Removed from the Registry

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Within the state of Georgia, the laws for sex offenders to petition to be removed from the registry have many gray areas. There are many laws in place that restrict the petition process; however, there are many ways one can be removed from the sex offender list. The petition process leaves judges with the task of having to make life changing decisions based off on blurry laws in which individuals convicted of the same crime are able to be released of their sex offender title while others are wrongfully left to hold onto their title.

In general, once an individual is deemed to be a sex offender, they are to hold that title for life. In the state of Georgia, there are laws in place where convicted sex offenders are able to petition to have that title removed of the state and federal data base. Ways in which convinced individuals are able to petition for the removal include completing prison and parole requirements as protected under Georgia Code 42-1-12 (Georgia Bureau of Investigations). Sex offenders are also able to petition for reasons such as living full time in a nursing home, disabilities and illness. This bill is to propose a reform on the structure of what is a reasonable and equal opportunity to have access to a petition. The bill will clarify and strengthen the guidelines for petition of removal of the Georgia state sex offender registry.

Currently, any individual eighteen years of age or older will be charged as an adult for any crime (Washington University). This becomes a difficult topic when it comes to sex offenders, “Twenty-three percent of… offenders were under [the] age [of] eighteen at the time of the offense” (Human Rights Watch, 2007). Due to the fact that these individuals were charged as an adult when the crime occurred, it is safe to believe this happened while in primary or secondary school. A portion of this bill is to protect those individuals charged as adults, while still in high school, to have the charged dropped to a juvenile offense. “By the age of sixteen, forty percent of both boys and girls reported having sexual interactions” (Human Rights Watch, 2007). These strict age requirements to be charged as an adult make it difficult to differentiate between a rape and a high school relationship that is consensual. By proposing this change, it will help those individuals who were charged under unfair circumstances such as high school relationships or any situation involving a minor and a sexual offense.

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The way in which the sex offender registry works today, provides several loop holes in which predators are able to be released from the list. This includes situations such as offenders that are physically or mentally incapacitated or living in full time nursing homes (Georgia Bureau of Investigations). This becomes a large issue when dangerous criminals are released from their crime and are now able to be around children and the general public without any guidance or knowledge to the public. Our bill will not allow offenders to petition for removal solely on the fact of living in a full-time nursing home or home for the elderly. This is because families and loved ones bringing their children will come and visit those in facilitated homes. By being removed from the sex offender registry and living in these conditions, it is putting those visiting the proximity in danger.

Being physically incapacitated should not be a reason for removal of the sex offender registry. Although under Georgia rights, an individual has the right to petition for shorter sentencing on any crime, due to physical or mental disabilities (Georgia Assembly). This bill is to protest and not allow mental or physical illness act as a factor for petition of removal of the sex offender registry. According to The Law Dictionary, physical incompetence is defined as a state where “a person is unable to perform sex[ual intercourse]” (The Law Dictionary, 2013). Just because an individual is unable to perform sexual intercourse, does not mean they are not a sexual predator. There are many “nonviolent crimes … [for instance] child pornography… [and] solicitation of a minor” (Shaw, 2019). Non-physical sexual abuse can be just as damaging as physical sexual abuse. None of these crimes just described require physical competence, which is why physical incompetence should not be a reason for petition of removal.

In some situations, individuals are legally obligated to register as a sex offender, even if they commit no such crime. Based on Georgia Code Section 42-1-12, anyone who was “convicted of kidnapping or false imprisonment involving a minor… [even though,] such offense did not… attempt to commit a sexual offense against… [the] minor” will be convicted as a sex offender (Georgia Bureau of Investigation). Within this bill, there will be a proposal to allow any individual who was charged under Code Section 42--1-12 the right to petition for removal. If no offense was made, no charge should be filed upon an individual. By allowing these offenders to petition for removal, it will find justice for those wrongly accused due to a current legal system where every case is treated the same, regardless of individual cases when it comes to dealing with a sexual offense.

Currently, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation receives roughly five million dollars annually in federal grant money while ten percent of it is going towards the sex offender registration program (Cook, 2018). The money that goes towards the program focuses efforts on assessing the risks of each resisted sex offender and determines whether or not that individuals may have intentions on committing similar crimes in the future. The offender’s lives and previous crimes are intensely analyzed and ranked according to their assigned threat level to society. “Federal law requires that each offender be classified as either level one, two or three, which is done in Georgia by a specially appointed Sex Offender Registration Review Board” (Cook, 2018). Due to the fact that this bill is a proposal to edit laws already in place, there will need to be no funding needed for this change.

Although no further funding will be necessary, one adaptation that will occur is an adjustment to how the spending of the budget will be used. Currently, the majority of the funding is going towards the online registry, keeping the website to the most current state possible (Cook, 2018). A portion of the money going towards the website be redistributed and used to hire new workers for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Not only will this create new jobs for state citizens, and help to accurately track and make sure the individual sex offenders are being treated on a case by case situation.

The state in which the current petition for removal of the sex offender registry needs to be changed. It is currently set up so every case is treated the same which makes an unfair outcome for the individuals currently holding the sex offender title. By making changes to the petition of removal, not only will it bring justice to those serving due to unfair circumstances, it will also be sure to clear up any areas for removal without proper justification. The purpose of this bill is to help those who have been misinterpreted by the government and crack down on individuals for petitioning for reasons such as permanent registry or physical disabilities. By making sure offenders cannot petition due to those reasons, the public will be safe and protected from serious offenders. Without any changes in state or federal funding, the bill to reform the sex offender petition to be removed from the registry should be a clear and reasonable bill to pass that will help keep citizens safe while helping those on the registry without a probable cause.

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A Bill to Reform the Sex Offender Petition to Be Removed from the Registry. (2020, December 14). WritingBros. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/a-bill-to-reform-the-sex-offender-petition-to-be-removed-from-the-registry/
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A Bill to Reform the Sex Offender Petition to Be Removed from the Registry. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/a-bill-to-reform-the-sex-offender-petition-to-be-removed-from-the-registry/> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
A Bill to Reform the Sex Offender Petition to Be Removed from the Registry [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Dec 14 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/a-bill-to-reform-the-sex-offender-petition-to-be-removed-from-the-registry/
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