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How the Adam Walsh Act Restricts Access to Evidence
By Ian N. Friedman,Kristina Walter
On July 27, 2006, the 25th anniversary of the abduction and murder of
Adam Walsh,1 President George W. Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child
Protection and Safety Act2 (“Adam Walsh Act” or “Act”). The statute is
the most recent addition to the array of legislation and laudable
programs aimed at combating child exploitation by dangerous sexual
offenders.3 The Adam Walsh Act has received praise for its
expansion of the National Sex Offender Registry by incorporating data
from state sex offender registration systems and for its grant of
additional resources for Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces.
What has received little media attention is the buried provision in the
Act that undermines a criminal defendant’s fair trial and due process
The purpose of this article is to examine § 3509(m) of the Adam
Walsh Act and how it impedes a defense attorney’s ability to prepare for
a trial involving charges of possession of child pornography. The
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