The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 February 2003

Do you know where your pervs are?

Following up on a report that 33,000 sex offenders who are supposed to be in California's Megan's Law database aren't there at all, the national Parents for Megan's Law organization started checking the other 49 states and asking "And how are your databases?"

In Oklahoma, at least, they stink; according to PFML, half of the state's sex offenders aren't in the state database, a figure roughly twice the national average, promptly disputed by state officials. Brian Johnson at Corrections says there will be an audit of the database, but cautions against expecting too much from the list, or from Megan's Law itself:

"There's three reasons to have a sex offender registry. One is public protection, the second is it supports law enforcement investigations and it might prevent future acts of criminal behavior. I'm not aware of any research that says any of those things are accomplished."

And, in fact, the Supreme Court heard two cases last fall challenging Megan's Law. I've always been a little uneasy about this law myself — why is it, for instance, we don't register armed robbers or white-collar criminals or other people who present threats to the community? — but you know the drill: if it's for The Children™, it must be good.

(The Children™  is a trademark of Juan Gato.)

Posted at 10:43 AM to Soonerland