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April 30, 2010

New Florida bill to criminalize sex offenders coming with 300 feet of places where children congregate

This new local article, which is headlined "Fla. Senate to vote on restricting sex offenders from within 300 feet of schools, parks," indicates that Florida is soon to have a new restriction on the conduct of sex offenders. Here are the basics:

Senators are set to vote Friday on a bill that would ban convicted sex offenders and predators from loitering or prowling within 300 feet of places where children congregate, such as schools, parks and playgrounds.

The proposed new law (HB 119), sponsored by Rep. Richard Glorioso, R-Plant City, would be enforceable 24 hours a day, statewide. A convicted sex offender or predator caught within the buffer zone would be subject to a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.

House members unanimously passed the bill, 115-0, earlier this month.  Broward County commissioners unanimously approved an identical law Tuesday. The county ordinance is punishable by 60 days in jail or a $500 fine. Miami-Dade County approved the same zones earlier this year.

The move in Broward comes on the heels of outrage earlier this year over reports that a confessed child killer was hanging out in Stranahan Park, next to the main library in downtown Fort Lauderdale....

Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, had sought to include a provision in his version of the bill (SB 1284) that would repeal some of the restrictive residency requirements, which make it increasingly difficult for convicted sex offenders and predators to find places to live.

State law does not allow convicted sex offenders and predators to live within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and parks, but many cities and counties have extended the areas to 2,500 feet. The result has created a statewide patchwork of restrictive zones. Two dozen Broward cities have passed their own residency ordinances.

Aronberg reluctantly withdrew his residency provision, which would have established a statewide 2,500-foot residency ban around schools and day care centers. The goal was to set a consistent standard and stop municipalities from expanding the restriction even more.  Sex offenders unable to find a legal place to live move onto the streets and fail to report their whereabouts to state authorities, Aronberg said.  "Sex offenders have been pushed underground," Aronberg said. "They go homeless, don't report and they roam our streets. This is a very dangerous situation. We need more standardization and we need to keep our streets safer."

April 30, 2010 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Its about time, but it needs to be extended to shopping malls, skateparks, beaches, almost anywhere kids hang out on the weekends because they will always find somewhere else to loiter, putting children at risk.

Posted by: Personal Injury Claim Liverpool | Apr 30, 2010 11:10:18 AM

Personal Injury Claim Liverpool, are you actually serious? I hope not, because thats mostly everything the offender can do, which would be barred. Where else will the offender go?

Barring an offender to going to shopping malls violates the eighth amendment, of unusual punishments.

Children are everywhere. What last thing can an offender do rather then stay in there home for the rest of there lives?

Posted by: N/A | Apr 30, 2010 3:28:20 PM

No offense personal injury...but it think it's long PAST time you became a personal injury. The world would be better off without you.

We have enough hate filled idiots to deal with now.

Posted by: rodsmith | Apr 30, 2010 3:38:09 PM

These people are not in jail because they PAID FOR THEIR CRIME. Now you expect them to not exercise or walk their dogs at a park? What about a refund of the tax dollars they spent on schools and parks they are no longer allowed to even be near? How is it fair to restrict anyone from public property, considering it is tax dollars that pay for it? Kids are at grocery stores all the time, is it now going to be illegal for a sex offender to buy groceries because parents bring their kids shopping? This is a total BS rule change, and I am sure they are going to try and apply it retroactivel and clain its "not punishment but a safety measure." What a crock... this is a gross injustice and if it effected me I would sue anyone who is involved in restricting my rights. You people in FLA need to get up and show how wrong this is, otherwise buying bread is going to be impossible next.

Oh, by the way "Personal Injury" You do not understand the issue, you ambulance chaser. If you knew anything about constitutional law, you would be on the other side of the issue because you would realize this measure tramples on the rights of FREE MEN AND WOMEN. (Article 10 if you need to be shown where to read.) It's only a matter of time when people like you get listed for a poor choice or misunderstanding and you get labled as "beyond hope of rehabilitation." Oh wait, you are a personal injury attorney.. you are already there.

Posted by: tbucket | Apr 30, 2010 4:17:52 PM

First time poster here with a background in the physical sciences, so pardon me if I say something that doesn't jive with you legal eagles.

It would interest me greatly to know if this bill's sponsor is up for re-election this fall and if he has some stiff competition. These two factors seem to play a big part in when these draconian laws.

Various social scientists, human rights groups, victim rights advocates, etc. are recognizing these laws do next to nothing to protect the public and simply provide a false sense of security. It is only politicians that aren't getting the memo.

Growing up, we are taught that the one of the biggest ideas in criminal law is that you do a crime, you do your time, and return to (hopefully) be a productive member of society. Somewhere along the way we have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) that.

On a somewhat related topic, any news or rumors on a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court regarding State v. Bodyke?

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 30, 2010 6:12:32 PM

Nothing on Bodyke yet.. I get the daily update. 26,000 people's normal lives, after already serving their time, hang in the balance on that. I would hope the justices go the same route as Indiana and other states and rule the retroactivity of AWA unconstitutional. It is the single biggest threat to civil rights in this country. Undesirables first, then the 'respectable' people next.. anything to drum up some revenue and political angling on looking tough on crime.

Posted by: tbucket | Apr 30, 2010 11:13:22 PM

how can you know you are within a 300 feet range from a school, ect ???? Do they paint the roads with a particular color ????

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | May 1, 2010 1:45:12 PM

The Nazis were more thoughtful in this regard: they posted signs with the words "Juden verboten". When will the USA advance to this level of courtesy?

Posted by: brunello | May 1, 2010 9:31:31 PM

don't worry brunello we are geting there. the little jew star or the US equivalent is already starting to appear on ex sexoffenders licenses....and car tags. Only a matter of time before some nazi wants it branded into their heads or on their clothing since LEGALLY if your not driving you dont' have to carry the ID or car tag!

Posted by: rodsmith | May 2, 2010 12:25:17 AM

Let's not dwell on worst-case scenarios just yet, Rod. After the fact punishment is illegal, and if the governemet wants to keep extra restrictions on those who have already paid or are paying their sentence, then it is acting illegally and will come down just like the Nazis did. The real problem is local lawmakers either don't know or don't care that they are punishing people twice for the same crime. (Back-door double jeopardy since there are no new charges brought forth.)

Being fined for going to a public park, and you are a 'free taxpayer', is punishment. Regardless how they word the law. I dont know how Ohio or the SCOTUS will rule on this stuff, but if they approve this illegal action, then they are doing so based on fear and lies, hysteria drummed up by politicians and media who need a dog to kick to get ratings/approval, or look tough on crime.

They want to call it protecting the public, but government funded studies have shown the low recidivism rate.. so their argument is based on assumed information, not facts. Their 'facts' are based only off fear and assumption, not real data or real-life cases. AWA proves that by not even looking at the cases of the people it effects. There is no re-course for anyone who went from a lowest case of punishment to highest. (Sexually oriented offender - lowest offender level-... to Tier III, the highest level and supposedly most dangerous).... and in Ohio, that is anyone who has been found guilty of Sexual Battery, even in other states.

The Wide Brush approach does not work, is illegal, is unfair, and does not take one single fact about any case into consideration. People who had consentual underage girlfriend/boyfriend (Not even who necessarily had sex)are now listed as just as dangerous as someone who raped or molested children. 26,000 people in Ohio thought they had paid for their crime and received a letter before Christmas of 2007 letting them know even though they thought they had paid their debt to society, the state of Ohio was going to reclassify them and make them offenders for life.

This law in Florida is the same.. if it was not part of the original punishment, then it is illegal.

Posted by: tbucket | May 3, 2010 12:14:55 PM

tbucket if you want to get technical the U.S Supreme court has already ruled on it! in their only REAL decison! Sorry i don't consider refusing to hear a case a decsion. that's more of a copout!

but based on the statement in their 2003 order here!

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/01-729.ZS.html

" Also unavailing is that court’s assertion that the periodic update requirement imposed an affirmative disability. The Act, on its face, does not require these updates to be made in person. The holding that the registration system is parallel to probation or supervised release is rejected because, in contrast to probationers and supervised releasees, offenders subject to the Act are free to move where they wish and to live and work as other citizens, with no supervision."

note ESPECIALLY THIS PART!

"in contrast to probationers and supervised releasees, offenders subject to the Act are free to move where they wish and to live and work as other citizens, with no supervision."

and what makes it so bad is they were taking about PROBATIONERS AND SUPERVISED RELEASEES! what about the 100's of THOUSANDS who are on the list now that ARE ON NO PAPER AT ALL except the illegal after the fact including on the registry!

sorry if a judge tells you what your doing is legal BECASUE YOUR NOT doing the following and then you leave the court room and add the very things the court said WOULD HAVE MADE IT ILLEGAL as far as i'm concerned your a CRIMINAL and since this was the U.S SUPREME COURT incharge of decided what is legal or not legal UNDER our CONSTITUION it makes you a TRAITOR to your oath of office.

Posted by: rodsmith | May 3, 2010 2:43:38 PM

as for this statement!

"Let's not dwell on worst-case scenarios just yet, Rod. After the fact punishment is illegal, and if the governemet wants to keep extra restrictions on those who have already paid or are paying their sentence, then it is acting illegally and will come down just like the Nazis did. The real problem is local lawmakers either don't know or don't care that they are punishing people twice for the same crime."

Sorry considering the number of people who are dieing over this! the worse case is here! Also considering the number of statments from nazi politizians around the country who state they know it's probably unconstitution but they will let the courts sort it out. THEY KNOW IT'S A CRIME!

Posted by: rodsmith | May 3, 2010 2:45:53 PM

rod- I totally agree with you. You are correct the worst case is here.. I have seen the cases of murder, for no other reason than a neighbor felt it was 'protecting children'.. I have seen people whose lives have been ruined after they thought they had paid for their crime. I agree with you 100%.. It's BS when politicians are drafting illegal laws that immediately affect someone before the courts "sort it out". So their life is in limbo, as well as danger, for however long that sorting out takes. In the meantime, neighbors harrass, police do not protect, but they collect their 25 bucks and make darn sure you go to jail if you don't jump through their hoops. Hell, even if you try to comply they set you up to fail.

They disenfranchise and cow you, and you are just supposed to put up with the threats and ostracism I guess. It's complete crap, and noone cares until it affects someone they know.
I know I didn't, but I won't be on the wrong side of that again.

Thanks for the info

Posted by: tbucket | May 3, 2010 10:46:17 PM

They have no right to be living amongst us at all.They need to be put in a leper colony on some island and then let's nuke em.We live in a mobile society.What kind of nonsense is it to think that they won't just move around.They are repeat offenders.I hope they burn i hell!

Posted by: zerotolerance | May 19, 2010 3:24:21 AM

sex offenders and predators convicted in Florida already have to put on their drivers liscense the Florida Statue that they was convicted under and it was rectroactive

Posted by: greasemonkey | Jul 8, 2010 3:12:30 PM

zerotolerance, if sex offenders and predators, in your opinion, shouldn't be living among us. Why do the courts only put them in prison for a few years?

Posted by: greasemonkey | Jul 8, 2010 3:29:37 PM

My cousin became a sex offender for chatting with what he thought was an underage female. It was, however, a cop. He didn't try to meet her or to get her phone number......just did a stupid thing and chatted once. He was charged and convicted of "transmission of materials harmful to a minor". This happened in Florida and they put his picture on the internet as well as 5 years of "restrictive probation", where they come search your home and give you a curfew and treat you worse than someone on parole for murder.

He had problems with depression before this event changed his life. While he was being prosecuted and as he became a registered sex offender his life really went to shambles. He felt like his life had officially become hopeless.

He committed suicide 3 months ago. He did not deserve what they put him through based on what he did. He was a truly nice person who would never harm anyone. Now he is dead and I will never see him again.

I wish John Walsh and his wife could see this.

Posted by: Mike | Aug 9, 2010 6:00:33 PM

One of the most important things in deciding on a criminal lawyer is whether they have jury trial experience. Jury trial experience is the single most important factor for determining a criminal defense lawyer's competence.

Posted by: tucson defense lawyer | Jan 19, 2011 2:03:46 AM

I just have to say that everything sounds good, everyone has their points to make. all tho many people need to educate themselves a little regarding this topic.Their is a difference between sex offender and predators. EXAMPLE:(sex offenders) can be labeled these way because when the were 19yrs old had a relationship with a 16yr old, it was consented between the couple, but not the parents.The relationship is done and now they are escorted to jail with a label (sex offender). i agree it is illegal for these to even be happening with the age difference it does and will keep happening as long as parents keep putting their kids in 2nd place and leaving the morals you had as a kid behind.There is also a saying that love has no age and i agree, I grow up in a household where my dad had 13yrs on my mom whats the difference? I also think that is not all their fault we as parents should be more aware of our kids where a bouts. EXAMPLE:(predator)is the convicted whom go after your kids,he/she will look for the perfect opportunity to kidnapped and harm the victim."MAYOR DIFFERENCE" the sad part of all of these is that many "Offenders" do have families and cant even go to their own kids graduation because they were label as "SEX OFFENDERS". THAT IS SAD....

Posted by: J.R.C | Aug 22, 2012 6:01:57 PM

Well me and this guy were together 14 yrs ago i was 14 about to b 15 and he was 20.. He was out on parole in 99 and his boss decided he was going to call his p.o. And tell him he was dating a minor.... He did 3 years in prison and could have absolutely no contact for the next 10 yrs of registering or hed go bk to prison even after i turned 18..wtf???? Well hes now finished registering free and clear after 14 yrs got a hold of me and were getting married in the near future....we were going to visit fla. But he has to register even though he did his time..... Please explain how that works.... U cnt give bk the 14 years they took away from us
rs they took from us.....I WAS NOT A VICTIM
Hes a great guy and dont deserve the embarassment because we love eachother .
So for actual sex offenders that 48 hr law thats in effect is fine but not a man who wasted 14 yrs of his life bn miserable because the state picked up charges for something they were completely oblivious to.. No one asked how i felt or if it was consentual or anything!!!! Its not right is all im saying... I made the choice that i wanted to b w him...so here we are together happy and in love....highly doubt he raped me judge... Thats y were now getting married!!! COMPLETE B.S. Especially considering the sickos that actually like little kids...Give the guy a break would ya?!?!?!

Posted by: ashley | May 30, 2013 9:26:25 AM

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