SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The California State Senate is meeting Friday night to consider a bill that could remove thousands from the state’s sex offender registry.
The proposal would mean low-level offenders would no longer have to register for life and the legislation has the backing of law enforcement
They say the registry has become so large that it is no longer useful as a law enforcement tool.
Right now, California’s sex offender registry has 100,000 names on it. That’s due in part to the fact that California is one of only four states in the nation requiring lifetime registration for every convicted sex offender–but soon that could change
“This bill establishes a three-tiered registry for all sex offenders,” Assemblymember Evan Low said. “Proposed tiers are based on the seriousness of the crime, risk of the sexual reoffending, and criminal history.”
Under the new legislation, offenders would have to register for 10 years, 20 years, or life.
“This has protections and, in the long run, will protect our children more because those low-level sex offenders who should have never in this day and age been considered what they were doing as a crime that should be placed on the registry will be able to come off after 10 years which will alleviate law enforcement’s ability, or will really allow them, to focus on those who are the most harmful,” Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher said.
And while the State Assembly supports the measure, not all do.
“I think it’s a terrible piece of legislation,” said Marc Klaas, who is with the Klaas Kids Foundation.
Klaas says revamping the system going forward is fine, but it should not be retroactive.
“They’ve been sentenced, their victims have been told the parameters of those sentences, and that’s now being thrown completely out the window,” Klaas said.
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