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John Walsh rips New Jersey on sex offender laws

Though the once-popular TV show "America's Most Wanted" has been canceled, host John Walsh still seeks public forums in which to air his views.

Last weekend, Walsh visited New Jersey to talk about child safety and to criticize the state for not being fully in compliance with the sex offender registry guidelines in the Adam Walsh Act.

The Walsh Act was named after John Walsh's son, Adam, who was abducted and murdered in 1981.

"New Jersey has not deemed it important enough to pass the legislation," he said. "What the hell is New Jersey waiting for?"

The Adam Walsh Act was made law in 2006. It requires a national sex offender registry that ranks offenders. Offenders in the highest of the three ranks would be required to provide their address to law enforcement officials every three months for life.

Those in the middle tier would have to provide an address every six months for 25 years. Those ranked as least dangerous would have to update their information annually for 15 years.

Depending on the offense, some New Jersey sex offenders are already required to verify their addresses every three months. Others must only do it once per year.

Regardless, the Adam Walsh Act requires states to enact specific legislation before it can be implemented. According to Patch.com, only seven states are in compliance with the law's requirements.

The law would also require states to take DNA swabs whenever someone is arrested. The information would then be entered into a national DNA database.

Walsh said about half of all states have implemented that portion of the Walsh Act; New Jersey is not among them.

Many civil liberties advocates oppose implementation of the Walsh Act, saying it will infringe upon privacy rights and liberties.

Source: Patch.com: "'America's Most Wanted' Host Calls for New State Laws During Union County Speech" by John Celock: May 17, 2011

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