Dear Florida Action Committee Members and Advocates,
So much respect is deserved by Patty Wetterling. In 1989, Patty’s son Jacob was abducted and killed near their home in Minnesota. Three years after Jacob’s abduction, Minnesota enacted a registry in his memory and a couple years after that, the federal government did the same. In fact, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act was the federal law that proceeded the Adam Walsh Act and was the original federal law that required states to enact a sex offender registry. At the time, Patty was the driving force behind the push to enact these laws.
Today, Patty is behind another effort – to curb the very laws she encouraged congress to pass decades ago. Over time and with the help of a significant amount of education into the research and results, Patty realized that the registry isn’t working the way she had envisioned. As an article in today’s Minnesota Star Tribune pointed out, “now, Wetterling and others are pushing state lawmakers to take a closer look at the Predatory Offender Registry she helped establish, arguing it was expanded over the years when legislative panic over sexual predators was high but scientific research on reoffending was low. The list has grown and become so punitive that experts argue in some cases it could be counteracting the original goal — to keep children safe.”