Panel Says Law Allowing Some Child Molesters to Seek Pardon, but Not Others, Is Irrational and Unconstitutional
A state law that allows a defendant convicted of a sex crime against a child under the age of 10 years to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon, but denies a similar opportunity to one convicted of molesting a child under the age of 14, is unconstitutional, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled Friday.
“[W]e can discern no rational basis for the unequal treatment of these two similarly situated groups of sex offenders,” Justice David A. Thompson wrote for Div. Three.
The court directed an Orange Superior Court judge to consider the merits of ___ ___ ___’s petition for a certificate of rehabilitation.
Such certificates are issued under a statutory scheme that permits a convicted felon to apply after completing probation, or once a specified number of years—varying according to the seriousness of the crime—have elapsed following release from prison and discharge from parole. A petition is filed in the county where the person lives, and if—following an investigation—the person is found to be of good character, a judge may grant the certificate. Full Article
Updated: Decision – http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/G048369.PDF