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California’s Sex Registry Overhaul A ‘Radioactive’ Issue

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Juvenile offenders would have an easier time putting their pasts behind them under bills working their way through the Legislature.

(Mark Miller/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — A state board wants to overhaul California’s sex offender registry, claiming it has grown too big, the San Francisco Chronicle has reported.

The report in Sunday’s Chronicle reports that the California Sex Offender Management Board is recommending that only high-risk offenders should be required to register for life. Others could be removed from the registry 10 to 20 years after the offense.

“It’s a radioactive issue to a lot of people. Understandably. But, this can’t be ignored,” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, who supports the changes, told the Chronicle.

Meanwhile, Republican state Sen. Jim Nielsen (Tehama County) said he thinks that all sexual offenders are dangerous but that he is willing to work “in a responsible way on legislation that builds in the highest level of protections for the public.”

The board says a list of almost 100,000 sex offenders is unwieldy because California requires all sex offenders to register for life.

The result, according to a board report last month, is that the list has many offenders, including nearly 900 whose last sex crime was over 55 years ago.

California is one of four states that require lifetime registration for sex offenders—regardless of the nature of the offense.

The board recommends a tiered system, similarly used by other states, in which the length of time a person appears on a registry is based on the crime and risk of re-offense.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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