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National

IL: Court Strikes Sex Offender Park Ban

An Illinois appeals court ruled that a state law making it a crime for convicted sex offenders to set foot in public parks is unconstitutional because it can punish innocent conduct. Full Article

Opinion

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  1. mike r

    I love this quote in the brief…..

    In re K.C., 186 Ill. 2d 542, 545-50 (1999). The
    court held that the statute criminalized innocent conduct, including, for example, a person who
    entered someone else’s vehicle simply to turn off headlights that had been left on, people who
    decorated a bride or groom’s car for a wedding, and a person who got into a car accident. Id. at
    552-53. In so ruling, the court acknowledged that “a statute violates the due process clauses of
    both the Illinois and the United States Constitutions if it potentially subjects wholly innocent
    conduct to criminal penalty without requiring a culpable mental state.” Id. at 551.

    This is a major key ruling that is directly relevant to all these unconstitutional bans against us………

  2. 4sensiblepolicies

    An ethical judiciary will always come to this same conclusion:

    1. Ordinary conduct may not be outlawed based on prior conviction, especially ex-post facto prohibition

    2. Any prohibition on conduct, if it can be done at all, must be based on actual and current risk – not a blanket ban.

    Let us hope that there are enough ethical Judges to uphold and expand this obvious basic Constitutional guarantee.

    • Timmr

      These bans can’t serve as a deterent to crime, because they criminalize otherwise legal behavior. They end up deterring acceptable behavior. The Party wants you to believe ignorance is strength, freedom is slavery.

      • New Person

        To avoid the word slavery, it’s involuntary servitude.

        To avoid the phrase involuntary servitude, it’s “just like a membership”.

        Instead of actually judging the law, the judges are finding ways around the law to make it law. Which is why in court that the law favors with the laymen’s interpretation. For some reason, recently, it hasn’t gone that way.

        • Timmr

          I like that image: telescoping euphemisms. They incrementally extend the concept until it it ends up meaning just the opposite of what was there in the beginning. Get this, how many people have you heard claim registration is a privilege, because without it we sould all be locked away forever or executed.

  3. G4Change

    WOW…this is huge. Especially for Illinois where it seems anything that’s against Registered Citizens is ok.
    I really hope this ruling can cause similar laws in other states to fall!

    • Janice Bellucci

      We will cite this decision often in our future lawsuits.

      • steve

        Like travel???

        • New Person

          especially travel

          visiting a different state will force one to register. it’s a crime to visit a different state for a set period of time whereas not to establish residency? Or for business trips? Specifically business trips.

      • j

        This hits the Fontana argument broadside.

      • G4Change

        Thank you, Janice! God Bless You and all for everything you’re doing!!!

    • Timmr

      Hopefully they will correct their perspective to see that anything against the constitutions is not ok.

  4. Civil rights first

    And now for the appeal to be filed…. Yes it’s a victory, but we all know there will be an appeal.

    “a statute violates the due process clauses of
    both the Illinois and the United States Constitutions if it potentially subjects wholly innocent
    conduct to criminal penalty without requiring a culpable mental state.” Id. at 551.

    Hmm…. Potentially subjects wholly innocent conduct like wanting to travel internationally to concluding based on the past unrelated conduct that you’re engaging in human trafficking or sex tourism without requiring a capable mental state….

    Just a pitch.

    • Joe123

      Exactly my thoughts ^ this can be turned into an argument against IML.

    • Scotus save us now

      Maybe that wholy innocent conduct includes things such as, surfing the internet, living in a house, not updating addresses/picture.. Just a thought

      • j

        I’ve always thought the argument should be… “If it’s not illegal for my neighbor to do it, it shouldn’t be illegal for me to do it.”

        It shouldn’t be illegal for me to go to the park if my neighbor can go.
        It shouldn’t be illegal for me to go to a parent conference at my kids school if my neighbor can go.
        It shouldn’t be illegal for me to skip the yearly visit to the police department if my neighbor can skip it.

        Heck, I think there might even be something in the Constitution about it 🙂

        • New Person


          It shouldn’t be illegal for me to skip the yearly visit to the police department if my neighbor can skip it.

          That’s basically the premise for my involuntary servitude charge. You’re no longer under custody and are, therefore, just as free as your neighbor. Yet you’re compelled (forced) to continue to work (serve) for the state in a form of yearly registration or more as well as be subjected to home compliance checks – again, no longer under custody.

          If you do not comply, you are dominated (with legal means) to be punished and/or returned to service.

          “Involuntary servitude is prohibited unless to punish a crime.” This is in both the US and California constitutions.

          • Timmr

            Thank you for putting it that way. It is as clear as any argument I have heard against the SORNA, at least for us everymen and women not possessing a law degree. It reveals just how wrong the justification that it is all public information anyway. No, the original conviction details are public records. You have no obligation to update that info, just like a married couple does not have to update their residence locations every year after year after the day they are wed. That means you are working to incriminate yourself (essentially saying ‘I am a danger, watch me) while doing a service for the government (making them look like they are doing something about sex crimes). Your present location and other changeable details are not public information, at least under the California constitution, or would not be if not for the Megan’s laws.

  5. Chris F

    “a statute violates the due process clauses of
    both the Illinois and the United States Constitutions if it potentially subjects wholly innocent
    conduct to criminal penalty without requiring a culpable mental state.”

    Isn’t this also the conclusion SCOTUS should come to after the Feb 27th oral arguments in the North Carolina Internet/social media restrictions case? If they don’t, we are all screwed for a very long time.

    I still don’t understand why the argument is never made that criminalizing normal activities to prevent something else from happening that is already a crime will only punish law abiding citizens. Those targeting children to do harm to them won’t care about laws telling them they can’t go to a park/mall/school or can’t look at social media sites, and they are very unlikely to get caught doing normally legal things before committing an actual crime. Therefore, the laws do not at all support their intended goals and are unconstitutional deprivations of liberty.

  6. mike r

    man this statement by the court maybe the most valuable asset any of us have moving forward..there’s ABSOLUTELY NO ambiguity and i cant believe that all the proffesional attorneys never located that case and cited it in all these bans and restrictions arguments….it doesnt even say if it makes it illegal but if it even makes it potentionally illegal like I said some of the best ammunition we have comes straight from the horses mouth in decisions like this….big big big

  7. Chris F

    From the article:
    *****
    Justice Robert Carter dissented, disagreeing that the state law is facially unconstitutional.

    “By keeping sex offenders who have committed sex offenses against children away from areas where children are present, the legislature could have rationally sought to avoid giving those sex offenders an opportunity to reoffend,” he wrote. “Whether the statute could be more finely-tuned to accomplish that goal is a question for the legislature, not for the courts.”
    *****

    Ummm…job for the legislature? Did you not study government in the 5th grade? Separation of powers means that it is absolutely the justice’s job to reign in the legislature when it violates the constitution with these types of broad laws and laws unnecessarily taking away people’s rights. That’s your job judge.

    • Civil rights first

      Exactly…. That is covered in the Constitution.
      A bill of attainder (also known as an act of attainder or writ of attainder or bill of pains and penalties) is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them, often without a trial.
      Definition: Bill of Attainder. Definition: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial. The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed.”

      Yes judge it’s your job not the legislature

  8. mike r

    most of those judges like that seem to think it’s their job to confirm the legislative powers and rubber stamp any legislation that comes out of that branch…they also seem to think that its their job to make sure the government always has the upper hand in the courts to ensure convictions…

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