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Ohio Joins States Tracking Arsonists On Registries

Ohio is joining the few states that require convicted arsonists to register with authorities, hoping it will help solve more cases, deter repeat offenses and prevent deaths and property damage. Legislation signed by Gov. John Kasich last month will require people convicted of arson-related offenses to register annually with local authorities. The law taking effect July 1 applies to people convicted of such offenses in Ohio or elsewhere. It doesn't include those who already completed their sentences. Registration fees will fund the Ohio arson registry, which won't be a public record. California and Louisiana have arson registries, and arsonists are tracked in Montana under a registry of violent offenders. Lawmakers in Texas and Washington state and in Congress have made unsuccessful attempts to create arson registries.