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October 18, 2006

California's sex offender residency restriction proposition

Thanks to CrimProf Blog here, I see another great story about the legal questions surrounding sex offender residency restrictions.  This story comes from California, and from this Contra Costa Times article exploring the proposition on the state's November's ballot, Proposition 83, which says that anyone required to register as a sex offender cannot live "within 2,000 feet of any public or private school, or park where children regularly gather."  Here is a snippet:

To legal scholars and critics, including some sex-crime detectives and prosecutors, those words present serious concerns.... "There are difficult constitutional questions that are implicated by this law," said Derek Shaffer, executive director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center. 

About 70,000 registered sex offenders live in California communities.  Another 17,000 are behind bars.  Sex offenders, said Shaffer, could argue that Prop. 83 strips them of protected liberties -- although a challenge on those grounds failed to overturn an Iowa law that restricts sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and day care centers.

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Tracked on Nov 12, 2006 10:52:30 PM


I agree that the residency restriction of Prop. 83 is ill-considered and quite possibly unconstitutional. An analysis by one of CJLF's attorneys so concluded months ago. However, this provision is severable, and the initiative has other worthwhile provisions. I would hope that those who believe we lock up too many people for too long would agree that electronic monitoring is a promising alternative.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Oct 18, 2006 1:56:53 PM

Would it be constitutional to require similar treatment of other classes of EX-cons, for example drunk drivers? Requiring them to be subject to electonic monitoring and given resrictions as to living within 2,000 feet of any place where they can obtain alcohol.

Maybe DUIs are bad example., but you have to admit these laws look very wrong if they were adapted and applied uniformly for all classes of Ex-Cons.

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Posted by: insurance quotes | Apr 10, 2007 7:24:01 AM

I was forced to register as a "sex offender" for posing for picuters in a public local while dressed in drag. Two people called cops and complained about the poses and I was convicted of "lewd conduct." I was told by a stupid loma linda cop that I couldn't walk by the wash under the I-10 freeway on a sunday afternoon because their was a CPS building less than 2000 yards away. I think he was full of it, but he threated to arrest me if I argued. To hell will sex registration. I am at present distributing flyers telling the people of california how my patience is wearing thin and ultimately I may just not be able to contain my rage and it may get very very ugly.

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Posted by: Scott | Mar 18, 2009 6:34:04 AM

I strongly disagree with the new california sex offender residency laws, since they seem to apply to all sex offenders, not just child molesters. My son has to register, and I now have to give up my home of 10 yrs and move so he has a place to live. His offense was over 16 yrs ago and involved a younger girlfriend. He has no re-offenses, but is punished every day with these new laws. Where's the common sense in California. It seems to no longer exist.

Posted by: Joyce | Jan 26, 2010 7:10:23 AM

whow!. Thanks for the info. I learn a lot. I think somebody should know about this aside from me.

Posted by: Repair Credit | Jun 18, 2010 10:59:39 AM

Sex offenders should be punished of course. However, sometimes this law has been used by some female individuals just for money. Where is justice in cases like that?

Posted by: How To Build Credit | Jul 18, 2010 7:00:08 PM

Well, if you dont already know, about 10 percent of the adult male population in the us is now Registered, that doesnt include ones that done their time or those convicted before 1993, givin the fact that for everyone i know on the registry, there are a half dozen more that has done the same thing and not got caught or got slipped thru the system without having to register, so with those type of numbers, from what ive seen, 99 percent of the male population is sex offenders!

Posted by: scoremore | Oct 19, 2010 7:58:43 AM

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