Online Sex Offender Registries

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A growing debate about online sex offender registries grew louder this week after the brutal slayings of two convicted sex offenders in Maine.

Police say it was a case of vigilante justice. The alleged killer, who later killed himself, was able retrieve the names and addresses of the two men on line, track them down and shoot them in cold blood.

All states have offender registries to let people know when convicted child molesters live near-by. Politicians and child welfare advocates say they're important tools to help families protect defenseless children. But scholars say there's little evidence that these registries actually deter repeat offenders. And civil libertarians ask what about the rights of those who commit the crime and do the time?

Hear the case for and against online sex offender registries.


Richard Wright, Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts

Carol Rose, Executive Director of the Massachusetts' ACLU

Tod Dahle, Lieutenant with the Fargo Police Department, manages the city's Sex Offender Program

Nancy Sabin, Executive Director of the Jacob Wetterling Foundation, a non profit organization in St. Paul which educates the public about problems of child sexual exploitation and abduction.

This program aired on April 21, 2006.


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