The evolution of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006:
The initial act was HR-3132 `Children's Safety Act of 2005' which the House passed and sent to the Senate and died in the Senate. Then Rep. Sensenbrenner morphed HR-3132 into a new bill HR-4472 `Children's Safety and Violent Crime Reduction Act of 2006' which the House passed on 3-8-2006 and sent to the Senate. The Senate had serious concerns with HR-4472 and they developed their own version and passed it on 5-4-2006, it was called S-1086-ES `Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act' sending it to the House. A stalemate, the House did not pass the Senate version.
Both the House and the Senate knew they were at an impasse and that the President wanted something passed before election time. So off they went behind closed doors and not allowing the public to provide any input they created the HR-4472-ENR `Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006' which the Senate passed on 7-20-2006, then the House passed it on 7-25-2006, so that it could be signed by the President on 7-27-2006 the Anniversary of the murder of Adam Walsh (an unsolved crime to this date, so it is not known whether any sex offender was involved in his murder).
Now, the entire "Sec. 106" from the Senate S-1086-ES was brought forward to the Adam Walsh EXCEPT Sec 106(c) shown below.
So it begs two questions:
1) Why would Congress not want the public to know, how many registered sex offenders there are nationally?
2) Why would Congress not want to ensure that registered sex offenders (RSO) are not being double-counted?
Well, neither question is relevant but logically inferred by the withdrawn section 106(c), what they do not want revealed is, that what politicians the media and oodles of other folks have been touting "there are over 500,000 sex offenders nationally" is most certainly incorrect. Revealing such a fact, just before elections, would cause chaos and many might not be re-elected, hence section 106(c) was deleted from the Adam Walsh Act.
Throughout the Internet and in the media the sources of these figures has been Parents for Megan's Law and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, neither of which do I believe has done anything wrong. The real source of the problem is in the way states account for RSOs. A few examples, some noted by the article "Ghosts in the Machine," are:
A) It is a well known fact that many RSOs move around frequently, the registry causes that but most will not admit that. When they register in the new jurisdiction then they are registered in two places, then several states enacted laws to require RSOs to report to both jurisdictions to correct the records. First, no one took care of what had happened up to that point (California was missing 33,000 and somehow that was cleared up, by quietly correcting the double postings when they realized what was going on [see: 4-5-2003 California].). Second, some offenders moved state to state looking for a better life, again double counted by being in both registries (to show from and to). Another is an even bigger problem, college RSOs who move (technically) for a semester then back at the end of the semester, double counted. There are numerous other ways that this occurs. Congress recognized these circumstances and inserted into the Adam Walsh Act Sec. 119(b) "Electronic Forwarding," computerized notification of all jurisdictions of any change to a RSOs record.
B) The requirement to register where a person resides, works, and goes to school; that could be up to 3 jurisdictions, up to triple counting. Then some jurisdictions require registration if a person is only going to be there "temporarily," couple that with residence, work, and school, up to quadruple counting. There have been many news reports of local jurisdictions (with their own registry) showing one number of registered offenders and that disagreeing with what the state shows. Nothing in the Adam Walsh act seems to resolve these conflicts.
C) The research done by the journalist in "Ghosts in the Machine" was stunning, proof that the dead cannot get up out of their grave to provide the state with a death certificate to have their name removed (Florida requires that death certificate for removal of a name). Also proving that those who are incarcerated, after registering, cannot leave incarceration to correct the local jurisdiction's records. Nothing in the Adam Walsh act seems to resolve these conflicts.
There is no doubt in this writer's mind that, the -failure to include- Sec. 106(c) of the Adam Walsh Act, is proof that they do not want the public to know the truth, one could even infer it was a cover-up, PR damage control, or to permit the sound bites to continue to garner votes at election time. Are there over 100,000 missing sex offenders -OR- are there over 100,000 "Ghost Numbers?" Remember the states receive federal grant money -annually- based upon the number of registered offenders they have (Title 42 Section 14071(i)(2)(B)). What do you think?
S-1086-ES SEC. 106. PARTICIPATING STATE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRIES.
(c) Publication of Number of Offenders Registered-
(1) IN GENERAL- Every 6 months, the Attorney General shall collect from each State information on the total number of covered individuals included in the registry maintained by that State.
(2) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY AND CONTENTS- The Attorney General shall--
(A) release information under paragraph (1) to the public in a manner consistent with this title; and
(B) include in such a release the number of individuals within each tier and the number of individuals who are in compliance with this title within each tier.
(3) DOUBLE-COUNTING- In reporting information collected under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that offenders are not being double-counted.