WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a bipartisan bill yesterday that would create subpoena authority by which the Director of the U.S. Marshals Service could authorize administrative subpoenas specifically for the investigation of sex offenders who have failed to register as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
Cosponsors of the bill include Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mike Lee (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Thune (R-SD), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).
The administrative subpoena power granted by the Finding Fugitive Sex Offenders Act of 2011 would allow the Marshals Service the ability to track unregistered sex offenders in real time across jurisdictions. Sadly, sex offenders often fail to register precisely so they can evade detection and in many cases, find new victims.
“As offenders circumvent the law to hide their location, every second could mean the difference between life and death for a new set of victim,” Sessions said. “Marshals must have the ability to quickly obtain vital information in these fast-moving investigations of unregistered sex offenders, so they will be able to find missing predators more easily and greatly curb the threat of future offenses. When I served Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee in the 111th Congress, I worked closely with my Democrat and Republican colleagues to create language that would grant the Marshals Service the ability to quickly act to find sex offenders.”
“Granting the Marshals Service this authority to track down fugitive sex offenders will help keep our children and our communities safe,” Blumenthal said. “I’m proud to work with my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure law enforcement has the tools and resources they need to pursue and prosecute these dangerous convicted criminals.”
The Adam Walsh Act of 2006 was passed to create a more uniform and enforceable sex offender registry system. A key component of the Act gave the U.S. Marshals Service primary enforcement authority to locate and arrest unregistered sex offenders who had moved in interstate commerce or had earlier been convicted under federal law. This provision will help the Marshals Service perform this vital task.
S.671, the Finding Fugitive Sex Offender Act of 2011, was introduced to the Senate March 29, 2011.