Laws named after victims are bad ideas

Ted Frank, in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, argues that laws named after crime victims are not a good idea. Frank says laws – including Megan’s Law – are “the worst form of knee-jerk lawmaking,” designed more to win votes than solve a problem.

“Megan’s Law,” a federal law, required all states to create draconian registries of convicted sex-offenders and notify the community of sex offenders in their midst. But such registries don’t just affect offenders — they also expose and victimize their family members. Depending on how a state implements it, Megan’s Law can also punish indefinitely crimes that are technically “sex offenses,” but are exceedingly unlikely to pose a danger to the public, such as public urination or consensual sex acts or sexting between juveniles. Even the U.S. Department of Justice has noted that registration requirements are being implemented without empirical evidence that they reduce crime.

Read the full article here.

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