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General NewsNational

WY: Committee defeats banning sex offenders near child care sites

CHEYENNE — A Wyoming legislative committee on Monday defeated a bill that would have banned sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of child care facilities. The House Judiciary Committee voted 7-2 against the bill sponsored by Rep. John Eklund, R-Cheyenne.

“The intention of this bill is to have the same protection for under school aged children that we do for school children,” Eklund said. He said there have been instances were sex offenders have moved in next to established day care facilities. Steve Corsi, director of the Wyoming Department of Family Services, said his agency didn’t see any weaknesses with the bill.

However, Linda Burt, director of the ACLU in Wyoming, said that putting the bill’s proposed restrictions together with existing restrictions on sex offenders living near schools would drastically restrict where offenders could live in many communities. Full Article

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  1. MM

    If only ALL of California would come around and realize what other states/counties, etc. are realizing.

      • Jeff

        It would be ironic if that Lady posting all the fear mongering in that articles comment section had her son or daughter arrested for sexting. Then she could see their pictures on the site she is advertising. Ignorant people

      • Eric Knight

        Actually, HB is proposing a bandaid on an amputation with their approach. The net result of their “reform” is that the police department will be responsible for issuing waivers, which of course they will NOT do because of fear of lawsuits against the Scary Stranger In The Trenchcoat Abduction. (Rolls eyes)…in any case, they are in our sights just as much as if they didn’t do anything until they repeal the damn thing in its entirety.

  2. Bill (with a capital G)

    “Rep. Stephen Watt, R-Rock Springs, spoke against the bill. A former police officer, he has a problem with the state imposing continuing punishment on sex offenders after they’ve served their prison time.”

    He may still be a Republican, but he’s on the correct side of this one!

    • Joe

      While the good Representative should be commended for his rational approach to the subject, I wonder if there are any studies about how many people are required to register – but who were never sentenced to state prison. How many people committed crimes so ‘heinous’ that their direct sentence, as handed down by the judge who listened to the case, consisted of jail time and / or probation (only)? He is making it sound that everyone on the list has done something deserving of state prison time.

      THAT is a study I would be interested in…

      • J

        Most penalties for these offenses start with “Confinement in State Prison for a term of xxx”, then the probation conditions are listed, unless they are clearly misdemeanors, then the implications are not as serious. This is one of the ways the general public associates the term “State Prison Time” with the term “Serious Offenders” as listed on the web sites.

        Many people also use the terms prison and jail interchangeably without full knowledge of the differences. In many cases an actual prison sentence means harsher post release conditions. Jail and/or probation is usually granted in felony cases where there are either mitigating circumstances or the offender meets multiple criteria based on low-risk assessment that would lead to an easier societal re-integration. When CA enacted Megan’s law, it said that it would apply to persons “after their release from incarceration”. And as we all know, it applied in the literal sense in that any date after implementation was technically “after” release.

        What is lacking at least in California, is a risk-assessment rating on the web pages that would alleviate some of the panic and subsequently some of the mistreatment of registrants who have already completed their sentences.

        There does not appear to be any information disseminated about registrants who have completed rehabilitative treatment programs and have been returned or cleared to live with their families and raise their children.

        Either a risk assessment or relieving the registrant from the web site would go a long way towards helping the public manage the higher priority cases, which as sad as it is, there are some that need to be addressed.

        • Joe

          “Most penalties for these offenses start with “Confinement in State Prison for a term of xxx”” – not sure that statement is true just like that. Many punishments do not include that sentence and confinement in State Prison – even felonies.

          The question I would have would be what percentage of people convicted of 290 offenses never set foot in a State Prison? I dare say the percentage would be surprisingly high. Given that their crime is the one kind that is completely unforgivable.

        • J

          Those whose specific information is posted on Megans Law as typically listed as Serious Offenders. Here is part of the statute for Sodomy and as you can see, as it is in many “Serious” crimes, State Prison terms are often listed:
          *
          286. (a) Sodomy is sexual conduct consisting of contact between the
          penis of one person and the anus of another person. Any sexual
          penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime of
          sodomy.
          (b) (1) Except as provided in Section 288, any person who
          participates in an act of sodomy with another person who is under 18
          years of age shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison,
          or in a county jail for not more than one year.
          (2) Except as provided in Section 288, any person over the age of
          21 years who participates in an act of sodomy with another person who
          is under 16 years of age shall be guilty of a felony.
          (c) (1) Any person who participates in an act of sodomy with
          another person who is under 14 years of age and more than 10 years
          younger than he or she shall be punished by imprisonment in the state
          prison for three, six, or eight years.
          *
          There are of course many crimes that will cause registration but inclusion on the web site is often associated with crimes that suggest prison time is a primary option for sentencing.

  3. Bill (with a capital G)

    Any feint at rationalism in re RSO issues comes with tremendous political risk. In this case, we have a legislator with real police experience fronting the main issue: continues criminal control.
    There is no science, statistic nor legitimate reason for the States to persist in ‘continued criminal control’ over REGISTERED ex-offenders. We are bye-and-large non-criminals, living as much of a law-abiding life as is possible these days, who would no more abuse, assault or molest a child as would we violate our own wives.

    Progress is good.
    Anything we accomplish in the effort to combat the monster serves to protect all America. We are not evil people, just citizen soldiers called into a different war.

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