N.J. governor wants to post sex offender information on Internet

New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman sent a constitutional amendment to the

state legislature Monday that would allow the attorney general to post names,

addresses and photos of dangerous sex offenders on the Internet.

The move was made because Attorney General John Farmer Jr. advised Gov.

Whitman that pending legislation that would require a sex offender registry

on the Internet would be unconstitutional.

"Whether you are hiring a new baby-sitter, little league coach or camp counselor,

you will be able to use the Internet to confirm that the person is not a

convicted sex offender," Gov. Whitman said in a statement.

Farmer said more than 15 other states have Internet-accessible sex offender

registries.

Earlier this month, Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns signed new regulations requiring

the State Patrol to develop a three-tier system to evaluate convicted sex

offenders and to determine the level of community notification. Only information

on level three offenders, who are considered high risks to commit another

offense, is available on line.

Whitman said the bill and amendment would be an extension of the current

Megan's law that has police officers warn neighborhoods about potentially

dangerous sex offenders in their area.

The information that would be made available on the Internet includes:

* Offender's names and aliases.

* Any Megan's Law sex offenses committed.

* The date and description of the offenses.

* Whether the risk of another offense is low, moderate or high.

* A biography, including age, sex, date of birth, height, weight, and

hair and eye color.

* Photographs.

* The offender's address.

The way the information is displayed for the public depends on whether the offender is deemed likely to commit another offense. All likely offenders are listed in a file that anyone can check. But with unlikely offenders, people need to already know a name or address before they can check to see if that person is on the list.

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