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Bill to Create Murderer Registry Is In Quinn's Hands

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jun 30, 2011 2:55PM

2011_06_30_jail.jpg Photo by Flickr user cgmethven.
A bill requiring convicted murderers to publicly register with the state is in Governor Pat Quinn's hands now. “Andrea's Law” would require those convicted of first-degree murder to appear on a registry similar to that of sex offenders or arsonists. The bill passed the House in April with a 97 to 1 vote and the Senate in May with a unanimous vote.

But who does this measure benefit? Would a registry reduce repeat crimes, or is this just a way to give victims' families peace of mind? The Trib writes:

Compared with robbers, burglars and those convicted of drug-related crimes, sex offenders and murderers have some of the lowest re-offense rates in the country, according to U.S. Department of Justice statistics. Only 1.2 percent of people who had served time for homicide were rearrested for another homicide within three years of release, the agency found.

Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) cast the sole dissenting vote against the measure. She argued that such a registry could create another stigma for convicted murderers, making it more difficult for them to reintegrate into society. She told the Trib the measure "is giving people a false sense of security."

Convicted felons already have to disclose their offenses to employers. Issac Denson, a convicted murderer, told the Trib, "people will just see me as a murderer, not a citizen."