Ga. Sex Registry Pulls Non-Offenders Onto List

Those who committed no sex offense are subject to harsh rules
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2009 11:50 AM CDT
Omar Howard poses on the porch with his mother at her house where he planned to live while serving out his parole in Atlanta. Sex offender regulations have forced him to look elsewhere.   (AP Photo/John Amis)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Georgia’s sex offender registry includes rapists, child molesters, and, in a controversial move, a growing number of people who never committed a sexual offense, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Under the state's broadly written law, anyone convicted of kidnapping or false imprisonment of a minor goes on the list, too, regardless of whether a sexual crime occurred.

The registry imposes a kind of life sentence, restricting where offenders can live and work. About 90 people are on the list for kidnapping, another 90 for false imprisonment; records indicate just 33 actually committed a sexual offense. “Doesn’t it sound screwy what’s going on here?” asked one judge. Legislation is pending to amend the rules.