The Umansky Law Firm Talks About Sex Offender Laws Strengthening in Florida
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the state of Florida has the largest number of convicted felons. In addition, Florida is also the fourth highest in the number of released sex offenders, according to another report from the Orlando Sentinel. The majority of convicted sex offenders can live in whatever city they choose, apart from schools, parks, and a few other locations with a large number of children. They must also register their address with law enforcement.
Regardless of the steps taken today, law enforcement is stepping up their efforts to observe their actions, and it is one of the major reasons that serious reform of the present sexual predator laws is being considered. Florida law enforcement officials feel they are in a dire situation to re-evaluate current law after the national spotlight was brought upon tragic events that transpired this past summer according to a September 30th article from wuft.org entitled “How Florida Lawmakers Might Strengthen Sexual Predator Laws”.
Last summer, eight year old Cherrish Perrywinkle was abducted, raped and killed in Jacksonville by a registered sex offender, with more evidence arising from a First Coast News article released October 29th. This was the likeness of previous events, such as seven year old Somer Thompson in 2009 in Clay County, and Jessica Lunsford in Citrus County in 2005. Jessica Lunsford was not the first child to be abducted and killed, but her father brought the circumstances of the tragedy out to the public.
Lt. Scott Tummond is the criminal investigations commander in Levy County, Florida and he strongly disagrees with the set of laws and statutes that law enforcement has to work with, quoted in the wuft.org article. He wants to take an approach using Global Positioning System Monitoring to “keep an eye out” on individuals that are currently registered sexual predators.
“The only thing that I can envision is some type of GPS monitoring that they need to wear after their release,” Tummond said. “You have to look at what type of sanctions the court is placing on them when they get convicted of whatever crime it is they have committed.”
The GPS system would be issued contingent to the type and severity of the crime they committed. Tummond also suggested increased penalties and stronger sentencing for each violation.
Attorney William Umansky, found of The Umansky Law Firm, has represented hundreds of individuals in central Florida for different sex crimes under many circumstances. When discussing the matter of making changes to sex offender laws, Mr. Umansky said “Sexual Predator and Offender laws are in need of change. However, people should be concerned that while GPS monitoring of sex offenders is a good thing, how long will it take before the government extends GPS monitoring to other crimes. In theory, GPS monitoring would allow government to track sex offenders and keep our society safer. Could the government not make that same argument for people charged with DUI, marijuana or other less serious crimes.”
John Rutherford sheriff of Duval County agrees with Tummond, and also states that privacy has to be compromised for some predators. The official session for these law enforcement officials is scheduled for March 2014, and from there, lawmakers will have a new direction for the stronger laws they want to establish.
“Sure, you can think the State will not extend GPS monitoring that far’,” Mr. Umansky stated in conclusion, “but history tells us that when we agree to give Government more power to control us in the name of safety, we continue to give more and more until there is very little right to self determination. All in the name of ‘safety’.”