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Megan’s Law Upheld by U.S. Appeals Court

A federal appeals court upheld New Jersey’s controversial Megan’s Law on Wednesday, August 20. The law requires local police to notify residents if a convicted sex offender is considered a threat to the community. The court, however, did specify that the process used to determine whether or not an individual poses a risk to the community must be reformed. Currently, authorities look at a number of factors, including the offender’s original offense, his/her record in prison, and whether or not s/he has a job or other ties to the community. The law was challenged on the grounds that requiring convicted sex offenders to register with authorities at the end of their stay in prison violates the “ex post facto” clause of the constitution. Both courts rejected this argument.

Sources:

Reuters - August 21, 1997

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