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Posted at 3:31 PM ET, 04/10/2010

Md. Senate passes sex offender bill

By Washington Post Editors

Maryland senators have passed legislation that would add special coding to sex offenders' driver's licenses, something lawmakers say will help officials keep tabs on them.

Senators passed legislation with the provision on Saturday. Sen. Richard Colburn, R-Dorchester, sponsored the amendment, which requires the marking to be done in a way that only law enforcement can understand. He says it would alert police to ask more questions if they stop a registered sex offender with a child.

Opponents say adding the markings is akin to a “scarlet letter” and will make it tougher for those on parole to rejoin society. They add it could drive more sex offenders underground as they try to avoid registration requirements.

The bill now goes to a House panel for approval.

--Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  | April 10, 2010; 3:31 PM ET
 
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Comments

Don't you only have to show your driver's license to the police if you're driving?

I think the cops "demand identification" far more often than the law allows them to. This proposed legislation further institutionalizes a heretofore un-American "papers please" mentality.

Posted by: 12008N1 | April 10, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Of the circumstances under which one is asked to produce one's driver's license, in which of them is it relevant that the person has a sex offense on his record? The only answer I can think of is that there's a desire to include, in his punishment, a lifetime as an outcast. But if that's so, then why is the focus on sex offenders, to the exclusion of, say, murderers?

Posted by: hmessinger2 | April 11, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"Opponents say adding the markings is akin to a “scarlet letter” and will make it tougher for those on parole to rejoin society. They add it could drive more sex offenders underground as they try to avoid registration requirements."
________________________________________
Identify "opponents" and "they" or don't post this piece.

Posted by: bushido11 | April 11, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The scenarios where it could make a difference are very, very few. Everyone has an internet connection that links to each state's sex offender registry. Googling a name is no challenge once you're online.

Cops can't Google every license they see though. But if a child is reported missing, an Amber Alert flashes acoss a network and local police know within minutes. Police go into high gear when the Amber Alert sounds and match every child to the description.

If a kid has been abducted and if an Amber Alert hasn't been issued and if the car is routinely stopped then it might make a difference, if the abductor fails to answer the cop's questions satisfactorily.

Otherwise it's just something to put you on the defensive when you refuse to show ID to a store clerk. (Why else would you refuse the request of a corporate employee to see your government papers?)

Posted by: blasmaic | April 11, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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