The board responsible for overseeing the sex offender registry in California recently recommended that a number of registered offenders be removed from the list. The board says that the list is currently too long and unwieldy, and that its sheer size makes it more difficult for police officers and members of the public to determine who is likely to reoffend and who is not.
As all experienced Long Beach criminal defense attorneys warn their clients, California requires anyone convicted of a sex offense to register for life, regardless of the type of offense or the circumstances under which it occurred.
This broad requirement has resulted in a list of almost 100,000 people in the state, including almost 900 people who have not been convicted of a crime in over 50 years and “who do not necessarily pose a risk to the community,” according to the California Sex Offender Management Board.
In order to deal with the overwhelming size of the list, the board is recommending a change in the law. Under the new guidelines, only “high-risk” offenders, including people convicted of kidnapping or sexual violence would be required to register for life. Others who face conviction for a sex-related offense would be required to register initially, but might have the option to have their names removed after 10 or 20 years of good behavior.
The California Legislature has so far shown a mixed reaction to the recommendation. While several Assembly members indicated that they understand the registry is difficult to use, they are also concerned that the public will not support a change that allows certain people convicted of sex offenses to avoid registry after a number of years.