Expiring law will let 1,300 sex offenders off registry

Lawmakers in Albany did not approve a bill that would have extended the supervision of Level 1 sex offenders by another decade, so more than 1,300 such convicts are set to come off the state's registry.

Assemblyman Dean Murray from East Patchogue sponsored the bipartisan bill. He says the sex offenders should not be removed from the registry. He claims many of them who are considered low-level should be ranked higher based on the severity of their crimes. 

"Sometimes you have cases where a Level 2 will be plead down to a Level 1," Murray says. "These are the ones that are being released, and that are coming off the registry."

Sex offenders have been monitored since 1996, after the passage of the Sex Offender Registration Act. Level 1 sex offenders are considered by the court to be the least likely to commit more sex crimes, but critics say that removing them from supervision could be a threat to public safety.

The extension bill passed in the state Senate before stalling in the Assembly, despite having bipartisan support. The lawmaker says he doesn't know why.

"I have no idea, because it makes no sense to me," Murray says. "The only thing I can think of is partisan politics rearing its ugly head."

Negotiations on the bill could resume during the next legislative session in January.

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