CT: Police want court to restore access to sex offender list.
February 22, 2002
By Lindsay Faber
With news this week that state Attorney General
Richard Blumenthal has petitioned the U.S. Supreme
Court to overturn two lower court rulings that deny
public access to the state's sex offender registry,
local police officials are hopeful the high court will
restore public access to the list.
While convicted sex offenders are still required to
register their addresses and other information with the
state police, the registry has not been available to the
public since May 17, when a court ruled that the
state's system violated sex offenders' rights by failing
to distinguish between offenders who continued to be
dangerous and those who did not. A court of appeals
later upheld that decision.
In the past, a list of convicted sex offenders living in
the area was available at the Greenwich Police Department and anyone could
peruse it. The state later took over the registry and put it online, but that Web site
has since been shut down.
Now, the state maintains a computerized sex offender registry and shares
information with Greenwich police and other town departments, but those local
officials are not able to release any information to concerned neighbors or
Police Chief Peter Robbins said it was ironic that Internet-based sex offenses are
one of the most frequent crimes in Greenwich, but the public is not able to find
out about sex offenders over the Internet.
"It's strange that people can access child porn, and we can't tell the public about
sex offenders who live in their community," Robbins said.
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Source: © 2002 Greenwich Time