U.S. Congress Hearing – Witness Testimony

March 10, 2009

Posting Update from:
U.S. Congress to hear testimony regarding the Adam Walsh Act

Read Witness Submissions

Witness List

Emma J. Devillier
Asst. Attorney General
Criminal Division
Office of the Attorney General of LA
Chief Sexual Predator Unit
Baton Rouge, LA

Madeline Carter
Center for Sex Offender Management
Center for Effective Public Policy
Silver Spring, MD

Ernie Allen
President & Chief Executive Officer
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Alexandria, VA

Mark Lunsford
Father of Jessica Lunsford
the Victim of a Sex Offense
Homasassa, FL

Det. Robert Shilling
Seattle Police Department, Sex and Kidnapping Offender Detail
Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit
Seattle, WA

Amy Borror
Public Information Officer
Office of the Ohio Public Defender
Columbus, OH

Amy Borror arguably made the most comprehensive and convincing arguments in her testimony.

Rep. Scott questioned whether Congress should extend the July 27 deadline to give states more time to comply with the law.

Emma Devillier, a Louisiana assistant attorney general, said she supports an extension, and the creation of a task force “to examine the practical effects of the Act on public safety and possible reform to address the concerns raised here and those recommended by the task force.”

Among the changes that might help, Devillier said, is a mechanism for the electronic transfer of state data to the federal registry. “No provisions in the act address this essential element,” she said. “Louisiana has addressed this by imposing a fee on all felony probationers which is paid into a technology fund to support the implementation of a Web-based program for the collection, storage and transfer of this data to our central registry at no cost to the tax payer.”

Det. Robert Shilling with the Seattle Police Department’s sex and kidnapping offender detail, also pushed for a task force. “There are also some things that really need some re-working,” he said.

Shilling recommended “a panel of experts to help you fix this so that it is workable, so we can protect our children the best way possible.”

Rep. Scott questioned whether an expensive registry would help reduce crime.

“I don’t think there’d be much question in the minds of the states [about implementation] if they were convinced that it would have a significant impact on crime,” he said.

“I do think it will help reduce crime,” said Ernie Allen, president and CEO for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “The system in place today in most states … just doesn’t work, and there needs to be a commitment, whether it’s with federal dollars or state dollars, to do a meaningful follow up. Right now it’s not being done.”

**If any reader has a copy of the hearing broadcast, please forward to us at constitutionalfights@yahoo.com so that we may post it here.  Thank you.**

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