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December 22, 2010

Lots of litigation around California sex offender residency restrictions

This local California article, which is headlined "Court challenges mount against sex offender law," effectively reports on the copious litigation surrounding the state's sex offender residency restrictions. Here are some details:

Hundreds of paroled sex offenders are winning reprieves from a ban against their living near schools or parks as they flood local courts with constitutional challenges to the most controversial part of Jessica's Law.

Judges in Contra Costa and elsewhere have routinely issued stays permitting sex offender parolees to ignore the ban on their living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children "regularly gather," pending rulings in their cases.  The slow pace of those challenges means the stays could last until their parole terms expire and the restrictions no longer affect them....

The flurry of court actions adds a new wrinkle in an ongoing debate over the residency ban's effect on public safety, and whether it's worth the added strain on parole resources. A statewide task force last month found that the ban has led to a dangerous 24-fold increase in homeless sex offenders and recommended repealing the voter-approved limits....

The bulk of legal challenges has arisen in Southern California, where about 850 paroled sex offenders have filed petitions in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, most of them after a state Supreme Court decision in February.  The court upheld the 2,000-foot rule against claims that it amounts to illegal, ex post facto punishment of parolees who committed their sex crimes before the law passed.  But it left local judges to sort out, case by case and county by county, whether the restriction amounts to unconstitutional banishment, or whether it is unconstitutionally vague....

State corrections officials said they have not tallied how many paroled sex offenders are now free from the 2,000-foot rule....  The challenges do not affect conditions that parole supervisors can impose based on individual circumstances.  Nor do they affect a different law that prohibits convicted child molesters who are deemed high-risk sex offenders from living within a half-mile of a school.

Growing pressure to overturn the 2,000-foot rule rankles the author of Jessica's Law. Outgoing state Sen. George Runner, R-Antelope Valley, said he is pushing legislation that would protect it by allowing local judicial panels to adjust the limits but not eliminate them. "I don't think the voters are concerned whether it's too hard (to find housing). It's whether it's possible," Runner said. He downplayed the notion that homeless sex offenders are more likely to commit new sex crimes, particularly now that sex offender parolees all wear GPS anklets.

"We are not aware of an individual who's on GPS, who is transient, who has committed an illegal sexual act," he said. "So we believe at this point it's a problem that they can't find a place to live.  I'm sure that's a personal hassle for them, but that's not my concern."

In the meantime, few of the state's 58 counties are attempting to fully enforce the 2,000-foot rule on sex offenders under court probation, said probation officials.  "The bottom line is we're doing everything we can with the limited resources we have," said Philip Kader, county probation officer in Contra Costa.  The department, which oversees about 140 sex offenders on probation, has sustained steep cutbacks and does not adhere to the 2,000-foot rule, unless a judge orders it, Kader said.

December 22, 2010 at 09:08 AM | Permalink

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Comments

As the courts are seeing how Unconstitutional these laws are is only a matter of time till some of these ridiculous laws are repealed, but mean while these laws are putting so many children in more harms way, by flooding the registry with thousands of people who's names are on them that are no real threat...costing countless millions of tax dollars and worse yet using valuable resources monitoring these individual by law enforcement..
If the court are ruling in favor of the registrants because of the constitutionality of these laws why is Sen. Runner introducing legislation to let local authorities decide these restrictions....first didn't the sen. Runner take a oath of office to protect the constitution? The Constitution was designed to protect all people so that should be one of his main concerns the constitution not wanting to fall for the dreaded sex offender hysteria sweeping his once free land. Sure every one wants to protect our children but at what cost? EVERY AMERICANS FREEDOMS THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS SUPPOST TO PROTECT..I FOR ONE WOULD RATHER TEACH MY CHILDREN WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR THEN HAVE THE GOVERNMENT TAKE AWAY ANY MORE OF MY RIGHTS OR MY CHILDRENS RIGHTS..Secondly if the courts are ruling that these Federal laws are unconstitutional how would the suddenly become constitutional if they are rewritten again and made local ordinances.
EVERYONE COULD BE BETTER SERVED IF THE SENATE AND CONGRESS WOULD READ SOME OF THE REPORTS THEY COMMISHED AND HAD DONE ON SEX OFFENDERS AND THE RATE THEY REOFFENDED AND LOOK AT THE FACT THAT MOST SEX OFFENSES AGAINST CHILDREN ARE DONE BY FAMILY MEMBERS OR FRIENDS....NOT A STANGER

Posted by: greg55 | Dec 22, 2010 4:41:47 PM

Hello,


I am a paralegal student. Even though, I am against the verdict, which is in favor of paroled sex offenders. But it is good to know that CA are going to introduce GPS to the paroled sex offenders but how the cops will monitor on these paroled sex offenders or is there any social loopholes through which these paroled sex offenders can do their offenses and makes a menace for our society. We need to think of it and hope for the best.


Best Regards
Brian

Posted by: George Allen | Dec 30, 2010 3:55:18 AM

"...said he [Runner] is pushing legislation that would protect it by allowing local judicial panels to adjust the limits but not eliminate them."

By that statement, Runner is admitting he fucked up even though the LAO red flagged numerous problems, i.e. vague and broad language, with the piece of legislation, which a federal judge in NDCal confirmed from Day 1 it was implemented. Why? Because "local judicial panels" are already "adjusting," vis-a-vis temporarily eliminating the 2000 ft restriction, without any legislative push, because thank God checks and balances still mean something in this country.

"I don't think the voters are concerned whether it's too hard (to find housing). It's whether it's possible," Runner said. He downplayed the notion that homeless sex offenders are more likely to commit new sex crimes, particularly now that sex offender parolees all wear GPS anklets.

Downplay all you want Runner, because failing to charge the anklet, for lack of a regular outlet, is a violation of parole conditions from what I hear to revoke parole. More and more Runner's intent is being made obvious from what he reasonably knows or should know about paroling, having had everything in life taken away from a parolee, that he intended to keep all CA SO's locked up.

I'm sure that's a personal hassle for them, but that's not my concern."

It should be his concern because numerous petitions and motions have been filed challenging his legislative work of art taking up court resources and depleting state coffers, with IOUs for that matter, unless all of these attorneys work for free and have no one better to represent.

Runner is a career politician who is an incoming Bd. of Equalization bureaucrat, who by the way went unchallenged this past November, who wants to further his political aspirations borne on the backs of hardworking or hardly working taxpayers in CA. It's ironic that politicians like him who pen expensive pieces of legislation, who also is responsible for bankrupting this state, will now be in charge of the state's tax revenues.

George Allen> As a self-proclaimed paralegal student, you're writing skills are like Runner's.

Posted by: Gilbert's_Humpty_Dumpty | Jan 1, 2011 1:52:48 AM

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