National AP News | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Update: Georgia Sex Offender Law

ATLANTA (AP) _ The sponsor of a law that banned registered sex
offenders from living within one thousand feet of places children
congregate says lawmakers could take up the issue again when they
meet in January.

The state Supreme Court unanimously overturned the law
yesterday, saying it provided practically NO place in Georgia where
a registered sex offender can live.

Representative Jerry Keen of Saint Simons Island said the court
superseded --quote-- ``the will of the people of Georgia.'' He said
that while legislators try to get another bill passed, convicted
felony sex offenders will be able to live near schools, day care
centers or school bus stops.

Lawmakers adopted the law in 2006, calling it crucial to
protecting children from predators.

Civil rights groups had argued the law would render vast
residential areas off-limits to Georgia's roughly eleven thousand
registered sex offenders. They said it could backfire by
encouraging offenders to stop reporting their whereabouts to
authorities.


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