One of the toughest challenges for the courts is determining how to balance society's need for protection against an individual's constitutional rights. This Note provides an analysis of the controversy concerning community notification of sex offenders who victimize children, with the discussion directed to the constitutionality of community notification over the Internet, and suggests other possible ways to help prevent repeat sex offenses against children. Part II begins by focusing on which members of our communities are sex offenders that victimize children and looks at the reasons why they choose children as their victims. In Part III, this Note traces the development of community notification laws by focusing on the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which was based on New Jersey's Megan's Law, and then examines Florida's recently enacted Sexual Predator Act. Part IV discusses constitutional challenges in general and then analyzes how federal and state courts have applied them to statutes that allow for community notification and registration of sex offenders. In conjunction with the discussion of these constitutional challenges, this Note extends the analysis to Florida's unchallenged statute which allows the law enforcement to provide community notification on the Internet. In Part V, this Note looks to other methods of dealing with society's fear of sex offenders that would not violate the Constitution.
Note, Florida's Community Notification of Sex Offenders on the Internet: The Disregard of Constitutional Protections for Sex Offenders, 45 Clev. St. L. Rev. 505 (1997)