This Article surveys the requirement of registration as a sex offender and ultimately concludes that the registry fails to protect children and society from individuals who commit sex-related crimes; furthermore, it concludes that the registry fails to prevent sex crimes from occurring. The author studies the legislative history of various acts related to sex crimes as well as statistics on sex crimes to surmise that Congress in large part relied on myths about sex offenders in enacting legislation like the Adam Walsh Act. As a result, the registry is incapable of preventing the commission of sex offenses. The author further resolves that the registry endorses and perpetuates hatred toward sex offenders by creating a stigma whereby sex offenders are unable to reintegrate into society and lead productive lives. The Article concludes by proposing that the registry is counterproductive as it causes great harm to individuals without offering a positive benefit to society as a whole.
From Innocent Boys to Dirty Old Men: Why the Sex Offender Registry FailsCriminal Law Bulletin
Citation InformationElizabeth B. Megale, From Innocent Boys to Dirty Old Men: Why the Sex Offender Registry Fails, 47 Crim. L. Bull. 1067 (2011).