STOP SEX OFFENDERS | NJ: DiFrancesco signs bill for online sex offender list
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NJ: DiFrancesco Signs Bill for Online Sex Offender List.

July 23, 2001

By Lori Hinnant

HAMILTON, N.J. - Standing in a memorial park built on the site of the house where Megan Kanka was raped and murdered, Acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco signed into law today a bill that will create an Internet registry of sex offenders in New Jersey.

DiFrancesco said the law will keep New Jersey's children safer from predators and will withstand court challenges.

Megan's mother, Maureen Kanka, who has crusaded on behalf of greater disclosure of information about sexual predators, said the law will help but nothing replaces education. She urged parents to warn their children about those who would prey on them.

In November, voters approved changing the state constitution to allow the Internet registry. Two weeks later, the Assembly voted to adopt its version of the bill. The Senate approved the measure June 28.

All New Jersey sex offenders are grouped into categories. The state plans to create a limited web site listing so potential employers and youth groups can check applicants' backgrounds.

A person's name and an identifying fact such as a birth date would be needed in order to gain access to the directory and learn if the person is listed there. Instead of listing all convicted sex offenders, the New Jersey measure allows exceptions for juveniles and incest crime.

Backers of the new law say they are confident it can withstand the kind of legal challenges that have been brought against similar initiatives in other states.

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Source: The Inquirer