Health Ethics Issue-Sex Offenders

Law enforcement agency representatives have generally

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Law enforcement agency representatives have generally said the  revised law would help them keep the most dangerous child  predators away from key areas where children are located. Currently,  a sex offender can spend time around places like schools but simply  cannot live in that location. The changes would give law enforcement  more authority to remove sex offenders from such areas and better  protect the public, advocates for the bill said. The bill, which some lawmakers have worked on for more than four  years, easily passed both the House and the Senate with votes from  both Democrats and Republicans.  About 70 law enforcement officials  and lawmakers from both parties joined Culver at the Capitol today to  sign the bill. “This was done to fix a loophole in the law, which  although limiting where offenders could live, it did not address other  dangers to public safety in terms of day-to-day behaviors of registered  sex offenders,” Culver said.
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As regular readers know, Iowa was a pioneer in the development of  residency restrictions and also was the locale for the first complaints  from law enforcement officials about administrative problems with  these laws.  It will be interesting to see if other jurisdictions transition  away from unduly broad residency restrictions and move toward this  new "exclusion zones" model. Cited:  http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2009/05/n ew-sex-offender-rules-and-regulations-become-law-in-iowa.html Sex offender law in documents Should Iowa's Sex Offender Law Be Amended? ADVERTISEMENT href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/wn.loc.wowt/news;tile=10;wnsz=10;sz =160x600;ord=8675309" target="_blank"><img src="http://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/wn.loc.wowt/news;tile=10;wnsz=10;sz=16
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0x600;ord=8675309" width="180" height="60" border="0" alt=""></a> A University of Iowa legal researcher suggests the Iowa legislature modify the state law that restricts where convicted sex offenders can visit before the whole law is thrown out as unconstitutional. Jacquelyn M. Meirick, a third-year student at the UI College of Law, said the 2009 law is overly broad, vague and interferes with the offenders' fundamental rights. The law prohibits sex offenders from visiting schools, parks, libraries or "any other place primarily intended for minors." "Without specific language detailing where sex offenders may and may not go, this new legislation could produce confusion for prosecutors and inconsistent results for offenders," Meirick writes in her article, "Through the Tiers," published in the March issue of the Iowa Law Review. She said the new exclusion-zone statute in the law imposes stricter and farther- reaching limits on some offenders, making it susceptible to legal challenge.
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