Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that Governor Pataki has signed legislation (S.6409) he sponsored in the Senate to mandate lifetime registration for the most dangerous sex offenders. The bill will also keep sex offenders on the registry who would otherwise have been removed this week.
If not for this legislation 48 sex offenders would have been removed from the registry in Dutchess and Columbia Counties and possibly endangered local families.
On January 21, 2006, the 10th anniversary of the effective date of New York State’s sex offender registry, "Megan’s Law", 168 sex offenders were scheduled to be dropped from the registry because they have met the 10-year mandate to keep police posted of their whereabouts. Hundreds more were scheduled to drop off the sex offender registry each month thereafter, totaling over 3,500 offenders by the end of 2006.
"It would have been unconscionable not to take action to prevent the removal of sexual predators who are so often recidivists," said Senator Saland. "I am pleased that we have strengthened registration requirements to keep sex offenders under supervision for longer periods of time and in the most egregious cases life."
The legislation mandates lifetime registration for level two and level three offenders. Level two offenders will be allowed to petition for removal from the registry after a minimum of thirty years. Level one offenders will be required to register for twenty years and would be removed automatically after twenty years.
Senator Saland helped author the original Megan’s Law legislation as the then Chair of the Children and Families Committee. Prior to this new law most sex offenders were required to register for ten years.
The Senate passed the legislation today after agreement was announced yesterday by a joint legislative conference committee. The legislation becomes effective immediately.