Adam Walsh Act Becomes Law
Part of this important legislation calls to honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other child crime victims.
On July 25, 2006, the House passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act. Just a week earlier the bill passed the Senate in a unanimous vote. On Thursday, President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law in a White House ceremony. At his side will be John and Reve Walsh and other parents of children who tragically, never made it home.
John Walsh said, "This may be the toughest piece of child protection legislation in 25 years and a great example of bipartisan politics."
Protecting The Innocent
The parents joining President Bush at the White House signing all have one tragic thing in common, the loss of a child. But that hasn't stopped these courageous people from fighting back and doing everything they can to not let other children fall victim to a predator. The Walshes have been a part of this fight since the abduction and murder of their son, Adam Walsh, 25 years ago. And of all the reform John Walsh has pushed for, he says "This may be the toughest piece of child protection legislation in 25 years and a great example of bipartisan politics." It's only fitting that the toughest legislation in 25 years is named in honor of Adam, whose parents have fought so hard for our nation's children.
Of the 550,000 registered sex offenders nationally, the whereabouts of about 100,000 are currently unknown. The Adam Walsh Act creates stricter requirements for sex offender registration -- to prevent offenders from slipping through the cracks and hurting our children.
One of the most important features of the bill is the creation of a national sex offender registry that will be available on the Internet. The legislation also calls for stricter prison sentences for offenders who fail to register and keep their information current. The offender will be assigned to one of three tiers; the worst offenders will have to check-in more frequently, and all offenders will have to register in person.
Some Highlights Of The Bill:
- Establishes a comprehensive national system for the registration of sex offenders.
- Establishes three tiers of sex offenders.
- Requires all jurisdictions to enact criminal penalties for sex offenders who fail to comply with registration requirements.
- Requires sex offenders to appear in person to verify their registration.
- Imposes a fine and/or term of imprisonment for up to 20 years on sex offenders who knowingly fail to register.
- Makes registration as a sex offender a mandatory condition of probation and supervised release.
- Eliminates the statute of limitations for prosecutions of child abduction and felony sex offenses against children.
- Directs the Attorney General to provide technical assistance to jurisdictions to help identify and locate sex offenders relocated due to a major disaster.
These children are among the victims remembered in this important legislation.
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The Adam Walsh Case »
We've needed a law for a long time. Too many children have suffered. Tragically, in the first months of 2005, Jessica Lunsford, Jetseta Gage, and Sarah Lunde were all murdered. In each case, a known sex offender was the accused killer.
It took some time, but lawmakers listened and now the nation will be a safer place for our children.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. R-Wis., who sponsored the legislation explained, "We intend to make one thing clear to sex offenders across this country -- you better register, and you better keep the information current, or you are going to jail."