Editor’s note:Senate Bill 421 is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow (11/11) in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.
A mom whose daughter was kidnapped, molested, and murdered is sounding a warning about a proposed California law that she claims would eventually “obliterate” the state sex offender registry.
Erin Runnion’s 5-year-old daughter, Samantha, was found tortured and murdered near California’s Lake Elsinore 15 years ago.
Afterward, Runnion established a nonprofit, called the Joyful Child Foundation, to advocate for children. She said this bill, Senate Bill 421, is dangerous for children.
California is one of four states that requires sex offenders to be on the sex registry for life. Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida are the other three.
The bill, which is supported by the Assn. of Deputy District Attorneys, calls for giving registered sex offenders the ability to lobby to get off the registry in 20 years and for more serious offenders to be considered less dangerous.
The L.A. Times reported that the plan puts sex offenders into “tiers”:
Tier 3: Violent sex predators would remain on the list for life. The crimes included are, “repeat felony child molestation, a second offense of a violent and serious sexual crime, kidnapping with intent to commit specific sexual crimes and those deemed “sexually violent predators.”
Tier 2: Serious or some violent offenses would remain on the list for 20 years. Those crimes include, “convicted of rape, forceable sodomy and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14.”
Tier 1: Misdemeanors or non-violent sex offenders would only have to register for ten years. Those crimes include “those convicted of misdemeanor indecent exposure, felony possession of child pornography with intent to distribute and misdemeanor sexual battery among other crimes.”
Runnion calls the plan a ruse.
She told KFI Radio’s “John and Ken Show” that the plan would actually “obliterate” the two sex registries in California — the public one and the law enforcement registry:
“[The bill is] going to instantly allow over 10,000 sex offenders to be removed from the registry permanently both for law enforcement – they can no longer track them – and the public. And at the same moment, over 44,000 Tier 1 offenders will be able to apply to have their information removed from the registry as well.
And the lawmaker who proposed the bill, Democratic State Senator Scott Wiener, told the L.A. Times that the current system is unfair:
“Whether you are a sexual predator or an 80-year-old gay man caught having sex in a park in 1958, you are treated the same. You are on that registry the rest of your life,” Wiener told his colleagues during the recent floor debate on his bill.
Full story at Independent Journal Review.