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The federal government has a vested interest in activities that involve the crossing of state lines. For while states can govern a great deal of daily life within their own borders, when individuals and commerce cross state lines, inconsistencies in policies and procedures can lead to inconsistent and other various unintentionally negative consequences. Thus, the federal government tends to step in and regulate movement of people, goods and services involving travel over state lines.

Unfortunately, certain interstate regulations can be heavy-handed and overly broad. Though the intentions of many interstate regulations are well-meaning, they can stifle states’ rights, trade and individual freedoms in some circumstances.

For example, individuals who are convicted of certain sex crimes are often required to report their whereabouts and personal information to their residential state’s sex offender registry. When these individuals move across state lines, the federal government seeks to hold them accountable for re-registering in their new residential state. Absence of federal oversight on this issue might lead to inconsistent treatment of sex offender reporting, so it is understandable that the federal government retains some oversight on this issue. However, many insist that the federal government has recently gone too far in its efforts to regulate interstate residential transfer and travel of sex offenders.

Essentially, federal oversight of this issue has tied states’ hands in requiring them to so strictly monitor sex offenders within their states that their resources are stretched impossibly thin and the personal freedoms of sex offenders are being trampled. Please check back in later this week as we continue our discussion of this important issue.

Source: Courier of Montgomery County, “Modify federal sex offender registry law to give states more flexibility,” Nov. 27, 2012

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Andrew Moses

Andrew has been practicing criminal law his entire career. After graduating from law school he began working as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting cases in Orange and Osceola Counties. During his time as an Assistant State Attorney, Andrew handled all types of cases ranging from misdemeanors to such serious felonies as drug trafficking and armed robbery. His experience as a prosecutor helped him gain perspective of the criminal justice system and how the government established its cases.

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