Saturday, November 06, 2010


I think it took a lot of guts for Judge Espinoza to make an unpopular but righteous decision. I have long writeen about the absurdity of sex offender laws that make it impossible for a convicted sex offender to live just about anywhere. In some Florida cities, they have been forced to live under freeway overpasses.
By Jeff Doyle
PACOVILLA Corrections blog
November 5, 2010
Paco applauds Judge Espinoza’s decision.
As frequently noted here, there is simply no evidence sex offenders residing near schools or parks commit their offenses near home. Yet, numerous statutes prior to Jessica’s Law imposed buffer zones around these facilities in order to protect our children from a widely perceived yet virtually non-existent threat. In point of fact, by forcing offenders into transiency, these are self-defeating regulations.
Paco maintains offenders deemed so dangerous as to require "registration" do not belong in the community.
Since they are here, common sense says we want to know where they live. I daresay our kids would be a Helluva lot safer if child molesters were required to live near parks and schools.
By Andrew Blankenstein,
Los Angeles Times
November 4, 2010
Saying sex offenders are being forced to choose between prison and homelessness, a Los Angeles judge issued an opinion this week blocking enforcement of provisions a state law restricting how close those offenders can live from parks or schools.
Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza issued the 10-page ruling after four registered sex offenders petitioned the court, arguing that the legislation known as Jessica’s Law was unconstitutional.
He said the court had received about 650 habeas corpus petitions raising similar legal issues, and that hundreds more were being prepared by the public defender’s and alternate public defender’s offices.
"The court is not a ‘potted plant’ and need not sit idly by in the face of immediate, ongoing and significant violations of parolee constitutional rights," Espinoza wrote…
Civil rights attorneys have argued that provisions of the law make it impossible for some registered sex offenders to live in densely populated citiesNearly all of San Francisco, for example, is off-limits to sex offenders because of the number of parks and schools close to housing. Los Angeles officials also said that there are few places in the city where sex offenders can find housing that meets Jessica’s Law requirements.
The California Supreme Court ruled in February that registered sex offenders could challenge residency requirements in the law if it proves impossible to avoid living near parks and schools…(Full text at Los Angeles Times-LA Now)

Here is how ‘SK’ responded to Paco: So predators are pushed out of major cities. So. This is not unlike you or I being priced out of certain towns like La Jolla, Malibu and Pacific Palisades. Are we creating another protected class (sex offenders)? Is this the new "little guy" for Civil rights? NUTS. …..Restricting documented sex offenders from preying in areas where children congregate is simply good public safety. Because it denies them the opportunity to commit additional serious crimes.
And here is my response to that: To say that when sex offenders are prevented from living in a city, it is akin to us common folk ‘being priced out of certain towns like La Jolla, Malibu and Pacific Palisades’ is preposterous. Those offenders are not being prevented from living in a city because they can’t afford to live there, they are prevented by an unreasonable law.
I don’t have any sympathy for brutal rapists and I really detest child molesters, but once these scumbags have been put on probation or released on parole, the law should not make it impossible for them to live in a community.

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