Course: Criminal Law
Megan’s Law refers to a group of state and federal laws in the United States that require law enforcement authorities to make certain information about registered sex offenders available to the public.
The laws are named after Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by a known sex offender who lived across the street from her family in New Jersey in 1994.
Megan’s Law requires convicted sex offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies and provide their names, addresses, and other personal information. This information is then made available to the public through various means, such as online registries, community notifications, and public meetings. The purpose of the law is to help protect the public from sex offenders who may pose a risk to society, particularly children.
Some versions of Megan’s Law also include provisions for increased penalties for certain sex crimes and mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders. The law has been controversial since its inception, with some arguing that it violates the rights of sex offenders and others arguing that it does not go far enough to protect children and other potential victims.
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Last Modified: 03/10/2023