One of the more disturbing provisions being considered by the Lege in adopting the Adam Walsh Act here in Connecticut (and this provisions mirrors one in the actual AWA, I’m told) requires…well read it for yourself:
(d) Any person who is a registered sexual offender under the laws of any other state who enters this state and fails to notify the Commissioner of Public Safety in writing not less than forty-eight hours prior to entering the state of the information required under this section or falsely reports such information shall be guilty of a class D felony.
Oh yes. There is nothing missing from that sentence. If you were looking (and correctly so) for a qualifying clause in that language that required an individual to establish a residence here before being subject to “registration” you didn’t find it because it’s not there. It’s in the proposed subsection (c).
Subsection (d), that I just quoted above, mandates that anyone entering the State, for whatever reason, notify Public Safety 48 hours in advance. This is so silly it’s scary. There are no exceptions for emergencies or unplanned trips or anything. At all.
So if you’re required to register in CA, and are driving through from Yankee Stadium to Fenway Park to see the Yankees sweep the Red Sox and you take I-95 or the Merritt or I-91 or I-84 (all of which pass through Connecticut), you have to call public safety.
If you’re travelling only in NY and the highway you’re on has been shut down due to a nuclear spill and mutants are running wild and you have to divert through CT briefly to avoid becoming a mutant yourself, you have just committed a felony.
In fact, an argument can be made that if you’re flying from NY to CA and the plane makes an emergency landing at Bradley international airport in Windsor Locks, you have just committed a felony.
The rationale, as I understand it, is that the previous “undue delay” requirement wasn’t enough and many sex offenders were slipping through the cracks, being found 6-9 months later. Okay, I understand that keeping tabs on sex offenders who move from state to state is difficult. But let’s parse this new provision for a moment and compare it to the currently existing law.
The current law states that anyone moving to CT, who is convicted of a crime whose essential elements are the same as any crime in CT that requires registration, or who is required to register elsewhere, shall without undue delay, register with public safety.
The questions there are: what is undue delay and what does reside mean?
Under the new statute, not only is the fellow who moves to CT subject to registration, but also the fellow who passes through.
Remember, though, that all this does is add an extra charge of failure to register! If, under the previous scheme, someone came to CT just long enough to commit a crime, CT would still have jurisdiction over him for the damn crime that he just f*cking committed!!!
So how, in [insert name of your higher power]‘s name, does this prevent anything? State troopers are not border patrol agents. No, what this does, and I guarantee this will happen, is that it provides police officers a “pretext” to pull over drivers with out of state licenses. They’ll run some check to see if they’re registered elsewhere and if they are, BAM!, arrested for a Class D felony.
And who is to be the arbiter of reason here? Are these folks to be left to the devices of our prosecutors and judges?
We are now burdening the sex offender, who has registered dutifully in his home state, with the requirement that he register in every state that he passes through, even though that transit may be wholly legal.
Yes, we do not want sex offenders to successfully reintegrate into society. Yes, we want to harass and poke and needle and annoy and insult them. Yes, we want to make things worse. Yes, we are thinking with our rears.
Folks. The message is clear. Don’t come to CT. If you’re a sex offender, your money is no good, despite the fact that we’re facing a budget deficit in the billions.