Cary Police and a number of other departments in North Carolina are thrilled with the newsex offender databaseand its ability to track sex offenders.
But they are frustrated sometimes, because they say some people are able to fall through the cracks. The new sex offender database does not always work.
A New Jersey man released from prison 15 years ago on a rape and murder charge decided to move to Cary temporarily for a job. He does not have to register in the new sex offender database. The only reason Cary police know he is coming here is because of a courtesy call from Morris County, New Jersey.
"Looking at this on an individual basis, I'd like to be able to register this one," said Lt. Steve Lee of the Cary Police Department. "And I'm not going to go into any details as to why. I don't care when his conviction was or when the crime occurred. If we could today, I'd want this one registered."
This frustrates Cary police, because the database only tracks crimes to a certain date.
"His conviction and his release from prison were before January 1, 1996, which the North Carolina law would require him to register within ten days," said Lee.
But theAmerican Civil Liberties Unionpoints out you cannot just put everyone who has committed a sex crime in the sex offender database, noting a number of cases in other states where people had completely re-integrated into society.
"It threw their entire lives into disarray," said Debra Ross,NC-ACLUexecutive director. "So there is a pro and a con to trying to go backward. There have been court cases that say you can't go back, all the way back to a time way before we had these kinds of laws."
However, the New Jersey man who was going to come to Cary cancelled his 30 day reservation at a local hotel Tuesday.
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