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article imageHas the Florida law gone too far with the Sex Offender program?

By KJ Mullins     Mar 6, 2010 in Crime
Two teens make love. The girl is under the age of consent. The boy, 18, gets arrested. For the rest of his life the boy is labeled a sex offender just like a rapist is. That is the way the law works in Florida.
There is no question that Florida's sex offender registration program has helped to protect children. There are questions that it goes too far in some cases.
With a zero tolerance for sex offenses the state puts young lovers who don't wait until they are both of age in the same category as child molesters.
In Florida there are two different designations for those who have been convicted of crimes that mandate a person being registrated: Sexual predators and sexual offenders.
Sexual predators are the most vile of the two. They have been convicted of a capital, life or first degree felony sex crime or of a second degree felony sex crime at least twice. It's up to the court to issue in writing when a person is classified as a sexual predator.
Sexual predators are those who have kidnapped, falsely imprisoned, lured a child, committed sexual battery, had unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, paid for hookers under the age of 18, dealt in the human traffic racket of minors, committed lewd offenses to minors or the elderly, had porn on their computer, used their computer to transmit porn or committed sexual misconduct.
When a sex offender is released from incarceration they must register in person at the local sheriff's office within 48 hours of moving somewhere. Jails and prisons handle the registration of their inmates.
Those who have registered are made public on an on-line database. That information includes their picture.
In Florida offenders are not allowed within 1000 feet of a school, day care, playground, park or any other place that children gather.
Because of the strict rules at least one city has had to create a tent city for sex offenders. In Miami over 70 offenders live underneath the Julia Tuttle Causeway Bridge.
There is nothing wrong with protecting children and the public from those who commit horrible crimes. What is wrong is when young people caught up in a moment of passion that they are legally too young for fall into the same grouping.
As it is written in Florida judgments are unbiased when it comes to sex crimes. The child rapist is the same as the youthful lover.
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