Most of us living in the United States are familiar with state sex offender registries: A tool to be used by families to determine if there is anyone in the neighborhood that they should be concerned about. However, it is important to remember there was nothing to stop a person from moving out of states they were convicted in, only to prey on individuals in other states.
Such a reality led to the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), which came about after a 22-year-old college student Dru Sjodin of Grand Forks, North Dakota, was kidnapped and murdered by a sex offender who was registered in Minnesota in 2003. Now no matter where a sex offender was convicted, Americans in any state can find out the sordid past of their neighbors.
While there are a number of mixed opinions about state sex offender databases, in regard to civil rights and the efficacy of such programs, for the most part it would seem that people think that such databases have value when it comes to protecting children and young women. When looking at how effective several state sex offender registries have been, some lawmakers believe that the same model could be used for other heinous crimes in this country, such as “hate crimes.” Offenses motivated by:
- Sexual Orientation
- Bigotry or Bias
Due to a recent spike in hate crimes across the State of California, Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-San Fernando Valley) introduced Assembly Bill 39 (AB 39) on the first day of the 2017-18 Legislative Session, OC Weekly reports. The bill would establish a California Hate Crimes Registry.
“We have witnessed an alarming spike in hate crimes in the days and weeks following the presidential election and a double-digit increase in hate crimes reported to California law enforcement in 2015,” Bocanegra explained. “These crimes divide communities, and it is imperative that California send a message that intolerance has no place in our communities.”
Department of Justice data indicates that in 2015:
- Hate crime incidents rose in California by 10.42 percent.
- Incidents involving a religious bias increased 49.6 percent.
- Incidents involving a Hispanic/Latino bias increased 35 percent.
- The number of victims of reported hate crime incidents increased 10.39 percent.
We will continue to follow California Assembly Bill 39(2017-2018). If you require the services of a criminal defense attorney, contact the Law Offices of Ronald G. Brower.