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State Board Recommends Sex Offender Exclusion Zones

— The establishment of sex offender exclusion zones in California was one of the recommendations made today by a state board that reviewed the case surrounding the killer of San Diego-area teens Chelsea King and Amber Dubois.

In March, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger directed the state Sex Offender Management Board to conduct the review to determine whether systemic changes or improvements can be made to better protect the public.

The results of that review were delivered today to the governor's office.

The board called on lawmakers to examine and update policies related to the management, treatment and housing of sex offenders.

Specifically, it recommended that California focus resources on the treatment of sex offenders; rethink the effectiveness of residency restrictions; implement better tools to assess sexual predators' risk to re- offend; retain records involving sex offenders for 75 years; and combine GPS tracking with lifetime supervision for exceptionally high-risk offenders.

The panel also urged the establishment of sex offender exclusion zones rather than residence restrictions.

John Albert Gardner III, a convicted sex offender, pleaded guilty April 16 to murdering and raping the San Diego-area teens. He is scheduled to be sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole on May 14.

Chelsea, a 17-year-old, straight-A senior at Poway High School, disappeared Feb. 25 after going for a run at Rancho Bernardo Community Park. Her body was discovered five days later in a shallow grave near Lake Hodges.

Amber vanished while walking to Escondido High School in February 2009. The 14-year-old's skeletal remains were found last month in Pala.

Gardner was not on parole when he committed the crimes. The Sex Offender Management Board found that it was unlikely that a parole revocation for living near a school would have changed the outcomes of the crimes.

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