Changes to GA Sex Offender Law

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 First at Five, Nov. 29, 2007

GEORGIA --- The Georgia Supreme Court's decision to change part of the state's sex offender law is facing some resistance. In a 16 page opinion, the court says a Georgia law restricting where sex offenders live isn't fair. Saying, an offender faces the possibility of being repeatedly uprooted and forced to abandon their homes.

Jessica McTier is upset. If she had kids and a sex offender lived near by..

"I wouldn't want my kids to go inside and play. I would probably keep them inside all the time," says Jessica.

And now the sex offender law in Georgia is changing. This after the Georgia Supreme Court said it's unconstitutional to prohibit a registered offender from living within a thousand feet of child care, churches, schools or other areas where minors come together. That decision made last week. News 12 talked to a registered offender. He's happy that part was overturned.

"Because then I can find a place to stay a lot faster," says a sex offender.

Before Georgia's Supreme Court changed the law, Richmond County Sheriff's Office used a GPS system to measure a thousand feet from say a child care facility to a sex offenders home. And now that the law has changed, it's still not really affecting anyone in the Sheriff's Office.

"It doesn't make my job any harder or any easier," says Investigator Ronald Sylvester.

For Jessica, the new law is a two way street.

"It hurts the public and helps them (the offenders) at the same time. It helps them because they can live anywhere. It hurts the public because they can live anywhere."

The Supreme Court's decision does not change one thing: registered offenders still can not work within a thousand feet of child care, churches, schools or other areas where minors come together.

"It makes me feel I just want to give up sometimes. But I know I can't," says a sex offender.

Late Thursday afternoon, Attorney General Thurbert Bakes asked the Supreme Court to reconsider and clarify the decision made in the case. That should be looked at by the Supreme Court within the next 30 days.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Yisrael Location: Ga on Mar 17, 2009 at 12:50 PM
    Our Father teaches us that we are to forgive those who do wrong to us, and likewise society. The offender has no end to his sentence. Therefore no goals can be set. This leads to uncaring. This leads to despair, unemployability and homelessness. This is all due to this injustice by what calls itself justice. This is not justice by the Father. You WILL be held accountable! If you want to banish all them, tell them where to go. You set a trap for both the offender, and the next child. All this for what avail?! Justice? Webster defines justice as: just treatment. If your goal is to force all those of this crime to live in one place, where is it? For all the injustice resulting from your justice, I wonder how a solution eludes the great minds of the justice world. How about this...instead of slowly geneciding these people by means of permanate social dishonorability, make it a capital offense and kill them quickly. Other would be,s are detored. But this would not profit your"justice" system
  • by SexOffenderIssues Location: GA on Sep 13, 2008 at 08:18 AM
    http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com When an ex-offender is forced to move from his/her home, thus having to sell it, cannot find another home within the law due to the residency "buffer" zones, get fired from their jobs due to being on the registry, cannot find a new job due to being on the registry, their husband/wife lose their jobs due to a significant other being on the registry, their children lose their friends and are harassed and bullied in school due to a family member being on the registry, thus destroying the children's lives, ex-offenders are forced into homelessness and to live under bridges, harassed by police, neighbors and probation/parole officers, have to wear "I'm a sex offender T-shirt" or have a neon green license plate on ALL their cars, have "sex offender" on their drivers license and forced to renew their licenses every year, forced from shelters during tornadoes or hurricanes, cannot give blood at some places due to being discriminated against for being on t
  • by Karen Location: georgia on Sep 12, 2008 at 05:33 PM
    I want to let people know one thing,my nephew is in prison right now because of a girl who was 14 and he was 17 when she gave him oral sex.We have been told that because his mom and grandparents live too close to a church he can't get out,so what can we do about it? Nothing because the law is crazy.They need to look closer at each case.My nephew has been accused of being a predator of children and that is so untrue.It's not like he is out there looking and lurking around churches and daycares and so forth trying to kidnap,sexual assault,rape,kill a child,but unfortunately poor people can't do anything.Somebody please help these men in similar cases.
  • by tayarda Location: atlanta,ga on Jun 7, 2008 at 04:16 PM
    i have kids and i understand that it is sexual predators out there, but once a person is convicted with that crime and been release they are still in prison. i believe thats why some of the crimes keep happening. instead of society helping them they scared for them to work with them, live by them, or let them feel comfortable in society period.so half of them the sick ones go out and commit the say crime or other crimes and be back where thet started. this is not only for sexual predators this is also for a people with felony charges. we as society should help them all.
  • by Quinnon Location: Richmond County on Dec 23, 2007 at 06:29 AM
    Here we go... The next step is to punish the victims and give an at-a-boy to anyone who scores a hit on our children. The erosion is incremental.. These things happen when the public stops being interested enough to fight the lawyers.
  • by ZMan Location: Georgia on Dec 2, 2007 at 07:01 PM
    http://www.petitiononline.com/NoHB1059/petition.html My blog: http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/
  • by Mike Location: small town on Nov 30, 2007 at 07:20 PM
    PLEASE SIGN: PETITION HB1059
  • by Rick Location: Small Town on Nov 30, 2007 at 02:22 AM
    Once a person has been out of prison and has served their probation and parole, done everything required of them, and adhered to what was signed on the "contract" when they accepted their sentence that should be it. Period! The state cannot tear up a contract like this, which they are basically doing, as it is unconstitutional. The courts are very aware of this, and that is why they made it retroactive; thus violating ex-post facto laws! Allow the citizen to integrate into society and attempt to be a productive citizen. I'm not saying for it to be removed from the record, but, the crime should be removed from public view. They should not have any more restrictions, shaming, banishment, etc. except if such actions were deemed by the courts at the time of their conviction. If someone commits another sex offender crime, they should face more severe punishment. The judge and the jury should be the only ones that hand out punishment. Track and focus on the "repeat offenders."
  • by Maxine Location: Hephzibah, GA on Nov 29, 2007 at 03:49 PM
    This is now the way it should be. No one has the right to judge and all sex offenders the same. A teenage boy having sex with a teenage girl with no force, no violence should not have the same laws as violent rapist or child molesters. I agree a child molester should not be able to live next to a daycare. Sex Offenders should be put into different catagories.Petition HB1059 is for anyone to sign that agrees.
  • by youto Location: somewhere out here on Nov 29, 2007 at 03:46 PM
    Jesus forgave you of your sins why come you all can't for give a sex offender of his first time? what if Jesus did not forgive you.Have you read your bible lately it said if you want forgive neither will i forgive you.think on that.
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