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Every State legislature, as well as the District of Columbia and the Federal Government, have enacted "Megan's Law" statutes in an attempt to provide people with information about convicted sex offenders in their communities. These laws are called "Megan's Laws" because the first such law was passed by the State of New Jersey in response to outrage over the death of Megan Kanka, a 7-year old girl who was abducted, raped, and murdered in 1994 by a man who lived across the street from Megan's family. Prior to the murder no one - neither Megan, her family, members of the community, nor local police - was aware that the murderer had twice previously been convicted of sex offenses against young girls, nor was anyone aware that he was living with two other men who also had been convicted of sex offenses. The crime gave impetus to laws for mandatory registration of sex offenders and corresponding community notification.

Date of Authorship for this Version

June 2003


Megan's Law, Sex Offenders