4 November 2014
“Sex Offenders” CQ Researcher
Throughout history, laws for sex offenders have gone through several cycles of change. “Jack the Ripper” crimes in the 1900s laws to be passed where anyone with certain characteristics of a sex offender could be arrested and imprisoned for life, even if a crime was not committed. During the 20’s, sex crimes laws were barely enforced.
In 1934, Albert Fish was convicted for raping, killing and eating 12 year old Grace Budd. Other crimes followed, pushing many stated to pass a law allowing offenders to be held for treatment, deeming them psychopaths. Sex crimes became less significant again in the 60’s and 70’s due to the emphasis on civil rights.
However, with the rise of the feminist movement in the 70’s and more sex crimes being reported, sex crime laws became important again. In 1974, Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act which provided more funds to states that would help identify children and prosecute their molesters. This made it easier for children to come out and testify against their abusers. Because of an increase in cases, the Supreme Court made clear that it would favor child protection over established constitutional assumptions about the rights of defendants.
Treatment was offered to the sex offenders which showed that they could not be helped. Studies were done with polygraphs which gave incite to the mind of the offenders, and became very popular. One popular case was the Mcmartin preschool case and other similar ones led to the popular term of “stranger danger.”
The Earl K. Shriner case in 1989 required dangerous sex offenders to register and in 1996, Megan’s Law was passed.
... middle of paper ...
...r idea to fix the problem.
“The AMBER Alert..”
The summer months of 2002 were coined as “the summer of abduction” by the media. The American people have heightened their awareness of abduction and have become much more fearful.
The history of the AMBER Alert Plan started with the kidnapping of Amber Hagerman. The plan’s acronym was named after Hagerman and stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The main point to implement this plan is the idea that as more time goes by, the harder it is to find the missing child. So providing as much information to the public to help find the missing child helps “beat the clock.”
Because the AMBER Alert Plan could not be a stand-alone bill, the Feeney Amendment was tacked on when the act was brought back under review in March 2003. The Feeney laws provided guidelines for sentencing sex offenders.
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