Readers React

California's sex-offender registry shouldn't be one-size-fits-all

To the editor: It's time to apply logic to the registry of those convicted of sex offenses. ("State laws on sex offenders should not be crafted by emotion," editorial, March 29)

In 2013, then-Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) introduced AB 702, which would define a three-tiered sex offender registration system, ending a lifetime sentence for registrants who do not pose current harm to society.

It was estimated that the registry would increase public safety and save about $115 million annually.

As The Times' editorial board notes, most registered individuals will not re-offend. But the registry also includes those who pose a current significant harm to society. AB 702 would define tier level categorization using the State-Authorized Risk Assessment Tool for Sex Offenders, which is used to determine the risk an offender poses. Tiered registries exist in 46 states.

Unfortunately, however, nothing happened to AB702. I would encourage everyone to remove the "one label fits all" system in California and ask our legislators to revive AB 702.

Carole Urie, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: When I was about 7, a man exposed himself to me in an underground tunnel. I ran home terrified. I am now 76 and much more terrified at what is being done to lacerate and destroy the lives of nonviolent sex offenders.

I plead for treatment and for moral and clinical assessments, not incarceration. These people are in bondage to a compulsion.

California's version of Jessica's Law, which effectively blocked sex offenders from living in most urban areas, was one of the Draconian laws formed by non-illuminated people and the big ticket purveyors of sensation, the media.

Furthering the horror, prosecutors are sometimes less than honest, public defenders are overworked, and judges, not immune to pressure from our culture, sometimes make hasty decisions.

And, of course, as Anatole France said long ago, "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges."

Gail G. Moore, West Hollywood

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