Court Limits Sex Offender List
Boone County's lengthy list of sex offenders could get shorter, because of Friday's ruling. It said offenders convicted before 1995 should have their names removed. The high court said it would be unconstitutional to publish offenders' names who were convicted before the law took effect.
"You can't make an informed decision about maybe buying a house in a neighborhood or where your kids go to school," said Amanda Dart, a concerned parent.
Eight registered sex offenders live within a mile of Grant Elementary School and the Columbia Library across the street, two places where children gather daily.
In Cole County, Prosecuting Attorney Bill Tackett wants the law to require different classifications.
"This cuts both ways," he explained. "If someone has sexual misconduct as a mistake, as a 19-year-old, maybe with a 14-year-old in a strange capacity, that's different than 'Should I let my eight-year-old go outside because I'm afraid of a sex offender?'"
Tackett said such a distinction will separate the most serious offenders from the rest of those on the list. Despite Friday's state Supreme Court ruling, all violent sexual predators still will be listed, regardless of when they were convicted.
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