NEW YORK: PERVS GET A BREAK (Drop 4,400 from registry, judge says)
Manhattan Federal Judge Denny Chin ruled yesterday that some 4,400 convicted sex offenders should be dropped from the Megan's law list and left free to live wherever they want without their addresses being made available to the public. In his ruling, he said it was unfair for the state to try to change Megan's law to keep Level 1 and 2 offenders on the list longer. State officials said unless the ruling is stayed, 3,000 offenders would immediately be free from the public notification requirements passed under Megan's law in 1996. Another 1,400 would be free as their 10-year hitch expires in the coming years. The 3,000 are sex offenders forced to register with the state in 1996 when community notification rules known as Megan's Law went into effect. In January, as these offenders were about to come off the rolls, the Legislature amended the law to force Level 1 offenders to register for 20 years and Level 2 offenders to register for life. Governor George Pataki signed the amendment into law on January 18. Level 3 offenders were not affected by the change; they already have to register for the rest of their lives.