In response to the sexual assault and murder of 7-year old Megan Kanka by a convicted sex offender out on parole and the public uproar that ensued, the state of New Jersey enacted “Megan’s Law.” The law, as originally passed, required sex offenders, upon their release from prison, to register with New Jersey law enforcement authorities, who are to notify the public about their release.
The public was also to be provided with the offender’s name; a recent photograph; a physical description; a list of the offenses for which he or she was convicted; the offender’s current address and place of employment or school; and the offender’s automobile license plate number.
Currently, all 50 states and the federal government have Megan’s laws that require sex offenders released from prison to register with local law enforcement authorities. Megan’s laws are not uniform across states.
For example, not all states require active community notification; many of them (including the U.S. government) only make the information available to the public. Research your state’s Megan’s Law.
Based on the ideal characteristics of a criminal law (see pages 96-97 in the text), is Megan’s Law a “good” law? Discuss each characteristic as it relates to the statute. (respond with a minimum of 250 words)