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July 28, 2009

"Court rejects state banishment of sex offender"

The title of this post is the headline of this local article reporting on a state intermediate appellate court ruling out of Mississippi.  Here are the particulars:

The state Court of Appeals has thrown out a lower court order that a McComb man be banished from Mississippi once he completes a 25-year sentence for a sex crime conviction.

Richard A. Simoneaux pleaded guilty in 2004 in Pike County to spying on and assaulting nursing home residents. Simoneaux pleaded guilty to attempted burglary, two counts voyeurism, sexual battery, sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult and burglary of a dwelling....

The trial judge sentenced Simoneaux to a total of 30 years without parole with five years suspended. The judge also ordered Simoneaux to leave Mississippi once he is released from prison....

On the issue of banishment, the Appeals Court said Simoneaux consented to it as part of the sentencing agreement with prosecutors. Nonetheless, Appeals Judge Jimmy Maxwell said the "practice of dumping defendants on other jurisdictions has been held improper by the Mississippi Supreme Court and federal courts on public policy grounds."

Maxwell said banishment has been upheld where the trial court found, among other things, that it did not hinder rehabilitation and could be shown as in the best interests of the defendant and the public. "While banishing Simoneaux from Mississippi would perhaps provide a degree of protection to the citizens of our state, we certainly do not want our sister states repaying us for the favor," Maxwell said.

The full Mississippi Cort of Appeals opinion in this case can be accessed at this link.

July 28, 2009 at 02:44 AM | Permalink


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I'm amazed that such a punishment would withstand constitutional scrutiny. Not for 8th amendment reasons but for reasons of state equality. One state deliberately dropping convicts on other states just seems like a tough pill to swallow. Can't think of any enforced power that would prevent it though.

Even banishment from one county within a state seems problematical, which I suppose is why many places are trying circle drawing exercises that cover the entire jurisdiction.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jul 28, 2009 11:27:46 AM

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