In the late 20th century, governments across the United States enacted laws intended to protect the public from sexual offenders, who were declared by legislators to be dangerous and likely to repeat their crimes. This study recounts the events leading up to the creation of these statutes, popularly known as "Megan's Law." Using primary and secondary sources, it argues that the laws were based on distorted statistics and little hard evidence and that they have not accomplished their intended goals. It also explores the media's role in creating a moral panic that has resulted in diminished civil liberties for a significant number of American citizens. Additionally, chapters are presented on (1) registration and notification, (2) civil commitment, (3) residency restrictions, and (4) age of consent laws.
|Advisor:||Donahoe, Myrna C.|
|School:||California State University, Dominguez Hills|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Law, Criminology, Public policy|
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