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The Champion

January /February 2007 , Page 12 

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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 rights.

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 article w

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