Megan’s Law is the name for several state and federal community notification laws that require government authorities in the United States to provide the public with information about registered sex offenders. Megan’s Laws are named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka who was raped and murdered in 1994 by a twice-convicted child molester who lived in her neighborhood in Hamilton Township, New Jersey.

Megan’s parents believed that her death could have been prevented if had they known that a sex offender had lived nearby. They successfully lobbied for passage of a sex offender community notification law, which was enacted as “Megan’s Law” in New Jersey in 1995. Other states have passed similar laws also named after Megan, and in 1996, a federal Megan’s Law was enacted.

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