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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-08-96

House Passes Bill to Notify Public About Sex Offenders

The House passed a bill Tuesday night (5-6) that would require states to inform the public when dangerous sex offenders are released from prison and move to their neighborhoods. The federal version of New Jerseyís "Meganís Law" would let states decide how much danger the offenders pose and how much public warning is appropriate. The bill is named for seven-year-old Megan Kanka who was raped and killed in 1994, allegedly by a convicted sex offender who lived across the street from her in Hamilton Township, NJ. Another measure, which passed 414-4, would enable federal prosecutors to ask for life sentences without parole for repeat sexual assault offenders. The House also passed a bill expanding federal anti-stalking provisions to include strangers crossing state lines to injure or harass another person.

In the California kidnapping and murder trial of Richard Allen Davis, Davis came close to admitting he raped 12-year-old Polly Klaas after abducting her from a slumber party. When presented with the possibility that evidence of semen had been found -- a lead that turned out to be false -- Davis replied, "Then, hey, then Iím guilty of it. Thatís all there is to it." Davis has maintained that he was intoxicated and does not remember the abduction nor sexual assault, but that he killed Polly in order to avoid being found out and sent back to prison.

Media Resources: The San Francisco Chronicle - May 7, 1996


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