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What is the sex offender registry?

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In October 1989, Jacob Wetterling, 11, was abducted by on his way home from a convenience store. He has never been found. Out of this tragedy has come the sex offender registry and ostensibly the prevention of similar crimes against children.

In 1991, in Jacob’s home state of Minnesota, a database of sex offenders was initiated: the Minnesota Sex Offender Registration Act. In 1994 came the Jacob Wetterling Crimes against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Act, which required states to compile a list of sex offenders and established guidelines to track them. Authorities were mandated to verify offenders’residences annually for 10 years post-release, quarterly for the rest of their lives if convicted of violent crimes.

In 1996 Megan’s Law, an amendment to the Jacob Wetterling Act, was passed after the murder of seven-year old Megan Kanka by a convicted pedophile living in her neighborhood. It is the law most people associate with sex offender registry, and mandates the release of information to the community regarding sex offenders’ residences. For eight years this information was accessible only by visiting a police/sheriff station or calling a 900 number; in 2004 the information became available through public media.

Refinements to the Jacob Wetterling Act include the Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act (1996), the Jacob Wetterling Improvements Act (1997) and Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act (2000). In 2006 the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was passed to address prevention of child exploitation. Currently 500,000 offenders are registered nationally.

The FBI maintains a listing of each state’s registry, and also lists US territories and Native American tribes. Additionally, there is the National Sex Offender Registry, but this is accessible only to law enforcement. States vary in implementation of registry law. In Maine an offender must register within 5 days of release from prison and within 5 days of any move; in Alabama, he/she must notify within 3/30. Community notification, in which authorities notify the prospective neighborhood an offender is moving in, occurs at the discretion of local authorities. Only in Louisiana is an offender required to identify him/herself as such to neighbors.

It is illegal to take harassing action against an offender. Thus, it would be a violation of law to discriminate against an offender in the areas of employment or business dealings. However, if the job requires a background check due to inherent interaction with children, offender registry would appropriately prevent that person from employment.

The sex offender registry system, while developing progressively over the last 20 years since Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance, is still maturing into a centralized, tightly monitored entity; however, progress is made year by year to protect our children and communities.

Need more information about Sex Offender Sex Crimes? Contact the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, experts in Arizona Criminal Defense for Sexual Crimes and are also available for out of state consulting for sex crimes.

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Understanding litigation, mediation and arbitration

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Business litigation is also known as commercial litigation and it is actually a very broad term which is used in order to identify the business disputes that go beyond the boundaries of informal phase. People often talk about litigation, mediation and arbitration in a way like they are interchangeable. But it is important to know that these terms cannot be used in place of each other. The distinction between them is subtle yet important and it is important to discuss these differences.

Litigation

It refers to discovery, law & motion, pre-trial, settlement as well as trial phase of the business dispute when the complaint is filed with the court. Any document which is filed as the litigation becomes automatically, the part of the public record. These records are accessible by the general public like the press, your competitors as well as businesses and individuals. The result of the case remains binding on both the parties.

Arbitration

This is the matter where both the parties agree in advance to settle the matter out of the court and an arbiter acts as the private judge. The price of arbitration is borne by both the sides. Arbitration may or may not be binding. Documents in this process are not the public records and this process is nor too fast, neither too inexpensive.

Mediation

In this process, the parties agree to attempt for mediation or settlement before returning to the lawsuit. Mediator is not the judge in this case and also does not always posses special training for handling such cases. Mediator can be paid for by the parties involved in the dispute. In the process of mediation, the purpose is facilitation of the settlement by hearing what both sides have to say. This is a private approach of solving the disputes.