Ohio Bill Tags Child Predators

"Megan's Law" requires community notification when convicted sex offenders move in. Now, several states are considering "Kristen's Law."

The new legislation, according to Early Show national correspondent Jeff Glor, is a controversial plan that's now being discussed in three states. The law would force convicted sex offenders to use neon green license plates on their cars.

Rep. Kevin Coughlin, R-Ohio, introduced the bill. "We looked for a color that would show up both by day and by night and wouldn't conflict with other plates that we have or plates that other states have," Coughlin said.

The name of the law comes from Kristen Jackson. She was just 14-years-old when she was raped and murdered.

Kristen's parents, Mark and Sharon Jackson, said they believe that this new regulation will save lives. "The license plate will be a big warning signal: Stay away," Mark said. "Avoid this person. These are big-time sick, sick individuals, and they need to stand out, because, as of right now, they don't."

Coughlin noted that sex offenders often use their vehicle as a weapon. He said, "They use it as a weapon just as a common criminal would use a gun or a knife. They use it to stalk their prey; sometimes they use it to actually commit their crime."

The Jacksons are lobbying hard for their cause, Glor said. They are rallying support for their cause with Kristen's Law T-shirts. And they say they'll travel to every town in Ohio to push this bill forward. They hope it will eventually go national.

Glor stated that the bill may never make it to Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's desk, even though he supports it. There is serious opposition by those who feel these license plates would only lead to vigilantism.

Although John Murphy, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, normally prosecutes sex offenders, he believes the bill is a bad idea. He said, "We just don't like it because we think it will lead to attacks that are unwarranted on (the sex offenders)."

Glor also reported that opponents believe this law is going to confuse kids. They may be tempted to think that as long as someone doesn't have a green license plate then they are safe, which could be a very dangerous assumption.

Wisconsin and Alabama are also considering similar legislation.

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