Constitutionality Of Megan's Law

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On July 29, 1994, New Jersey resident Megan Kanka was lured into the home of Jesse Timmendequas, a convicted sex offender, with promises of seeing a puppy (Corrigan, 2006). Once she entered his house, she was raped twice, strangled with a belt, and suffocated with a bag (Corrigan, 2006). Timmendequas was arrested soon after and confessed to this crime (Corrigan, 2006). This event outraged Kanka's parents and the surrounding community (Corrigan, 2006). They used this tragic death to create Megan's Law as an addition to the Jacob Wetterling Crimes against Children Violent Offender Registration Act, which required sex offenders to register within their counties (Welchans, 2005). Megan's Law then added the requirement that the public be notified when a sex offender moves into the area (Levenson, 2007). While this law has support from many communities, it also has been under scrutiny by those questioning its constitutionality. The question is, does this law really protect communities or does it simply punish sex offenders after they are released? …show more content…

Bull that any law that "changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law annexed to the crime, when committed" is not allowed (Constitutional Law, 1998, p. 1357). When applied to Megan's Law, it is clear that the law has a negative effect, so the real question is if notification is a greater punishment than the one already imposed on the offenders (Constitutional Law, 1998). Having people know of past crimes is not as punitive as actually being locked away, so this law does not violate the Ex Post Facto clause. The fact of the matter is that Megan's Law was created and passed in order to protect communities and prevent what happened to Megan Kanka from ever happening again. If there are some adverse effects later on for sex offenders, it is unfortunate but protecting the community from sex offenders has to be a higher

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