Crackdown needed for children’s sake

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Alabama lawmakers have a real chance to protect one of the state’s most vital resources in the upcoming special legislative session – our children.

It’s an opportunity that’s been pushed aside one too many times by our legislature, evidenced by their failure to replace the current Community Notification Act, which is full of loopholes and leniencies for convicted sex offenders.

The current bill requires sex offenders to notify changes in residence within 30 days. That’s just too much time. And the sad truth is offenders who fail to abide by current laws often go unpunished.

While current legislation was a good attempt to protect children from dangerous predators, it just wasn’t tough enough.

The new bill, which goes before legislators in the special session thanks to Gov. Bob Riley, would require sex offenders who commit Class A felony sex crimes against children under 12 to wear electronic monitoring devices for 10 years after their release from prison.

Offenders would also be required to notify authorities within seven days each time they decide to change their place of residence.

Attorney General Troy King, who helped draft the bill, has vowed to wear a monitoring device around his ankle until the bill is passed.

Getting that device off King and onto sex offenders is a good step toward protecting our most precious citizens by cracking down on some of our most despicable ones