March 17, 2007 12:38 PM by Joe Reality
John Walsh, the host of FOX’s America’s Most Wanted and a crusading
advocate for America’s children, is warning that a new law designed to
protect our children from sexual predators isn’t working the way it was
intended to. And he should know – he was instrumental in persuading
Congress to pass the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, named
in honor of his son, who was abducted and murdered in 1981.
In an editorial published on the America’s Most Wanted website (www.amw.com), Walsh says that the law strengthening the National Sex Offender Registry and making it harder for predators to slip through the cracks isn’t yet being implemented across the country. The legislation gives states three years to comply with its provisions – three years, Walsh points out, for the leaky patchwork of state offender registry laws to remain in effect, allowing tens of thousands of unregistered sex offenders to roam free without anyone knowing where they are. “Even worse,” Walsh adds, “many top law enforcement officials tell me three years isn’t enough for them to come up to speed on the new law.”
The problem, he says, is that while Congress may have passed the law, and President Bush signed it, no money has been provided to help states implement it.
Walsh is calling on state officials to cut through the red tape – and on Congress to provide the necessary funding – to quickly put the Adam Walsh Law into effect. This week’s broadcast of America’s Most Wanted (Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/PT, 8 p.m. CT on FOX) will include excerpts from Walsh’s appearance before a meeting of the nation’s attorneys general, in which he implored them to act. “This is the country that sent a man to the moon, the nation that put a space station into orbit,” Walsh told the top law officers. “We implemented that, but we can’t keep track of sex offenders?”