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D.A. will take sex-offenders fight to state Supreme Court

[UPDATED 1/14] SANTA ANA The Orange County District Attorney’s Office plans to go to the California Supreme Court to defend local ordinances that ban registered sex offenders from city parks. A state appeals court on Friday struck down an Irvine law that barred registered sex offenders from city parks without written permission from police, a ruling that will become legal precedent. The court also struck down a similar Orange County law.

About a dozen other Orange County cities passed similar ordinances banning sex offenders from parks at the urging of District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Rackauckas helped craft Orange County’s law with county Supervisor Shawn Nelson. “Protecting children from dangerous sex offenders is an ongoing war, and we believe that it’s one of the most important jobs we have at the D.A.’s (office),” said Susan Kang Schroeder, Rackauckas’ chief of staff. Full Article

Related: 

Supervisor John Moorlach Response: MOORLACH UPDATE — Expensive Legal Matter — January 14, 2014

Orange County District Attorney Plans to Take Battle Over Pervs-in-Parks Ban to Supreme Court (OC Weekly – updated with JB quote)

Orange County law similar to sex offender restrictions in Seal Beach, Los Alamitos struck down (Press Telegram)

 

Join the discussion

  1. Jim

    As a registered sex offender who very regrettably committed a sex offense with a family member fifteen years ago, thank God the courts are finally putting a stop to the rash of ill-conceived, illegal, and unconstitutional local laws written more for political gain than common sense. It does not benefit society as a whole to create an entire class of people roaming the streets with nowhere to live, nowhere to work, and nothing but spare time on their hands. Most sex offenders got into their predicament by using very poor judgment at a moment of weakness. They do not fit the widely-held stereotype of some pervert passing out candy at the local playground, and they do not pose a future danger to the rest of society.

    I’m a homeowner, and I also own a successful business. That’s what I did before I got in trouble, and that’s what I’m doing now that I’ve paid for my mistake. I have absolutely no desire to ever go to a park, but my property taxes help fund those parks, and I have a right to go to one if I have a legitimate and legal reason to be there. The same goes for our beaches.

    The problem with even the State sex offender laws, is they make absolutely no attempt to differentiate between the very few true predators who will always pose a danger to others, and the vast majority of sex offenders who are highly unlikely to ever repeat their mistake. If we allow every local jurisdiction to make their own rules, how is even the most compliant-conscious offender supposed to keep track of them?

    Our society generally allows people to get on with their lives after paying for their crimes, at least the first time, and that’s as it should be. You could be living next door to a violent ex-con… even a murderer, and never even know it, because we don’t have a registry for people prone to violence or murderers, and we don’t saddle them with residency restrictions that make it all but impossible for them to find a home.

    Residency restrictions create clusters of sex offenders in the few places that they can legally live. They also force many sex offenders to be unemployed, homeless, and with nothing to look forward to in the future. Some of these offenders truly are a danger to society. Do we really want them loitering around with nothing productive to occupy their minds? That is NOT benefitting society or making people safer!

    It’s time for more than just stopping the rash of ill-conceived local laws designed to get people re-elected and appease people’s knee-jerk, but poorly thought out emotions. It’s time to stop the madness and come up with some serious solutions that benefit sex offenders who just want to get back to a normal life, as well as the rest of the population. Sex offenders should automatically be taken off the registry after a certain period of time if they’ve only had one victim, the offense occurred a significant number of years ago, and they have not had any sex conviction since. Stricter restrictions should be reserved for those who have demonstrated that they truly need them.

  2. Brubaker

    That orange county again….repeatedly wasting taxpayer’s money……another wrong bad decision by that office ….costing taxpayers more money…more money.

  3. JB

    This reckless and dangerous district attorney needs to be removed from office.

  4. Janice Bellucci

    The pendulum of punishment has been stopped in Orange County! All Orange County parks and recreational areas are now open to more than 100,000 registered citizens and their families. Enjoy!!

    • Robert Curtis

      Thank you Janice! We need not stop marching towards even more gains. Do not be deceived this is a war and we can not afford slowing down, but we should see these victories as a rallying cry to pickup arms (not literally) and drive even harder while we have the momentum to do so. Focus not only on our political leaders but on all of our leaders especially those in the clergy that preach redemption, grace and forgiveness. The war should be fought on multiple fronts ladies and gentlemen. TRUTH

  5. AS

    Another control freak!
    What don’t I understand about the job description of a district attorney?
    Let’s see: perhaps, to prosecute the accused?
    I can’t imagine where it ever hinted at creating new discriminatory laws against a select group of people.

    • mike

      I agree with your opinion that a District Attorney has no business in this affair other than to state weather or not his office will prosecute an offender charged with breaking the law. Where are the Orange County Supervisors who unanimously passed this ordinance and what is their position today? Who’s running O.C.?

      Tony Rackauckas took an opportunistic approach much like Nathan Fletcher in the wake of the Chelsea King/Amber Dubois murders by inciting hatred toward anyone with a sex related crime and blaming all Registrants for these tragedies. Threw us all under a bus to gain confidence of voters. Yet, here we are a few years later and thankfully the hysteria has settled down. Unless there’s another tragedy similar to Garrido or Gardner here in California before this case proceeds, this case may be over and one for the history books in my hopeful opinion.

      • Q

        Hi Mike;
        Hasn’t the sheriffs department done the same thing Rackauckas is doing with compliance their checks? It seems he has taken up his vendetta without consulting the people. As for the sheriff’s dept I do not recall ever hearing about a mandate or anything for them to do compliance checks, just as I have never of the added responsibility of persecuting citizens (albeit citizens viewed as less than dogs in OC, but citizens none the less)that have paid their debt to society.

        • mike

          Hey Q,
          IDK if the original draft of the registry law/ordinance budgeted and provided that local law enforcement be required to verify information. That’s a thought provoking question and it would certainly be interesting to see the original draft from 1949, to compare it with the chaos our registry has morphed into.

        • Q

          Hi Mike;
          That would be interesting and I would like to see it too. I wonder if anyone has noticed that law enforcement is always screaming that they are underfunded, and let us not forget the military has given many cop shops tons of military grade assault weapons (we are the enemy). Wonder what they need those for, and when is the last time you heard of a cop being attacked with an assault weapon or being laid?

  6. C

    Well, after his piss poor performance in court which allowed two dirty cops to get away with murder I’d say he is looking to redeem himself politically.
    He looks rather weak right now and, unfortunately I think that if someone decides to challenge him in the next election they will be playing up the angle of these most recent defeats: The Kelly Thomas verdict and Parks Ban repeal.
    In other words, he’ll run on a platform of implementing the RSO restrictions Mr. Rackauckas promised but failed to deliver.

    In the meantime, as much as I love southern OC, I am glad to have not had to go through this parks ban as my wife and kids and I enjoy the parks every weekend here in LA.
    If we lived closer I would brave the 405 and visit some parks just because I can.

    • Q

      Hi C; The actions of this self serving at the expense of truth, justice, honesty and freedom D.A. and the outcome of the Kelly Thomas murder are disturbing indications how high the climb to justice, truth and sanity actually is. It’s truly frightening to think their kind would oppress and persecute people that already paid their debt to society and statistically pose little or no threat to anybody, yet they willingly let a murderer live and walk freely and unrestricted among us. I am forced to conclude that murder is socially acceptable as long as you are a part of their circle, and the rest are fair game to be used to their advantage whenever the opportunity arise or it becomes convenient.

  7. USA

    I think this is a great idea/NOT. First, we are currently still in a recession, people need jobs and the economy doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and we have a President who has been focusing upon passing a healthcare reform bill and immigration bill? Now, we have a DA in OC where crime is out of control, recidivism is out of control and he is doing NOTHING to rehabilitate anyone! Instead, he believes that lets just put everyone in jail? He needs to get with the program as opposed to continuing to waste tax payers money!

    • Q

      Hi USA;

      The jails and courts must be kept at overflowing capacity to justify the existence and unfettered expansion of the prison industrial complex here in the states. And let us not forget the prison guards union; they have grown into a billion $ + organization and need people locked up to justify their existence (our systems misuse by their kind is used as a way to self promote and keep a small number of people employed and get funding). They are just another group of self-serving people that care nothing for the principals this once great nation was founded upon. I could cite examples ad-nausium of how the system that is supposed to work for us has been twisted and perverted into a money machine for the likes of the OC DA and other various state and federal agencies and individuals like the DA in Orange County, as well as many so called grass roots groups that do nothing to promote safety or justice.

  8. G4Change

    Tony Rackauckas can’t successfully convict two criminal cops who murdered a homeless, mentally ill man in cold blood. So, I guess it’s back to the witch hunt against sex offenders. What a moron!!!

  9. td777

    Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s make a law that does not serve any purpose other than further a political hype, even though we know it’s unconstitutional. We know we’ll get sued to strike it down, so we get to waste taxpayer’s money. Then, when the courts rule it unconstitutional, we can waste even more taxpayer’s money by appealing it. Then when the appeals court rules it unconstitutional, we again can waste further taxpayer’s money by appealing again, this time to the state supreme court…

  10. Q

    To the people of Orange County, Ca and every other state and county in America, Canada and the rest of the world that oppresses and persecutes groups of people they have been trained to dislike.

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Ben Franklin: (Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, Tue, Nov 11, 1755)

  11. Tired of hiding

    If someone is a “dangerous sex offender” then they should be in jail until they are deemed be not be a danger to the public. This is common sense and applies to any dangerous person.

    The vast majority of us are on this stupid f**cking list have never harmed a soul and those who have, if the have paid their debt to society should be free from surveillance…they have PAID the debt.

    A life time of surveillance is a life-sentence of probation. It is inhuman…un-American (the old America)…and certainly illegal according to the actual Constitution of the United States of America.

    If you are out you are out. If you not on probation you should have full constitutional rights restored and have no restrictions of movement or following the your human right of pursuing happiness.

    This RSO BS is a human rights violation and should attached legally as such!!

    • Q

      Hi Tired of hiding;
      In my eyes this entire RSO thing is a mockery of justice and everything else that is good and right, and in my eyes a human rights violation of the worst kind and is actually on a parallel with what the Nazi’s were doing to their own people and others prior to and during WW-II. What they did had consequences that reverberate through time, and what is happening in this country right now will reverberate through time, and probably be studied in schools as an example of the depths of ignorance that entire societies are capable of; just like Nazi Germany. The only difference is that there are not any gas chambers, yet. But isn’t 30 or 40 years for not registering a fate worse than death/torture; a so called “crime” that has no victims and harms no one?

  12. USA

    Q. I almost felt the same thing. I will say this. I’m dumbfounded on how any jury could have acquitted these individuals. Here is a really interesting story. Everyone read this. WHen I attempted to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation some years ago, I actually met John Barnett. He represented one of the two officers. I went to his home in Laguna Niguel. Its a nice home on the hill. Anyways, we met and I shared my story (legal issues). He evidentially called the DA opposing my Certificate Request. He later called me via phone and attempted to talk me out of applying? I was in utter shock? For me, this is what Defense Attorneys do (they fight). He almost did everything he could to talk me out of this motion? On the day the Judge Ruled on my motion (motion denied/it wasn’t enough) I walked out of the Court Room and guess who I ran into? I spoke with him briefly and he was almost angry. He quote on quote replied, “I gave me word to the DA that you wouldn’t file this motion?”I had no idea what he was talking about, but it really made me thing. Why would any Defense Attorney talk you out of applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation? This is a God Honest True story.

    • Janice Bellucci

      Thank you for sharing! It is a disgrace that someone tried to talk you out of applying and an even greater disgrace that your application was denied.

    • Q

      Hi USA;
      Sounds to me like this attorney has ambitions of public office. Otherwise he is just another sleazeball lawyer. Not all lawyers are slimy like this guy, but every profession has it’s unsavory characters. I think it safe to assume he is in cahoots with Rackauckas and not a very ethical lawyer.

    • G4Change

      This story is DISGUSTING. It literally has made me feel sick to my stomach and like I need to go and take a shower. That s.o.b. should be reported to the State Bar!!!!

    • http404

      Right before the law first changed for COR in 1997 that eliminated certain crimes from qualifying, I sought out an attorney. I was about six months shy of the window of qualifying, but the door was about to shut and I would never be able to get one. We went before a judge who was vying for a federal judge appointment and without hearing any of the merits told my attorney if he introduced it he would deny it. So my attorney advised me to withdraw the motion because it would look better to not apply then to apply and be denied. So I did… thereby basically pissing away $4,000 in attorney’s fees, and with the law changed I could never apply in the future.

  13. Brubaker

    That oc da office inflames the public against a registry he was under oath to protect Constitution to even call it “war”………….really..?….really…?….really..?…..public funded office declaring war on Americans ….they need to be fired
    immediately….abuse of office and authority over another citizen ….misuse abuse of authority for political gain….for sure they are in direct conflict with the Constitution …over
    the top zealous public office declaring war on a public funded registry is gold proof punishment as well as the
    already court denied restrictions ……oc da office withdraw your appeal it has millions a dollars on it.

    • Tim

      You hit the nail…war on the people. Scare everybody into funding their unconstitutional crusades. No questions asked by the masses, because they want to believe in the bogey man. Question their motives, give them the facts and you’re accussed of aiding the enemy.

      • Q

        Tony Rackauckas and people like him in public office need to have restrictions on how much taxpayer money they can spend.

  14. Brubaker

    All we are saying……….is give peace a chance……….thank you John Lennon

    • Brubaker

      A time to cheat…a time to lose…..
      A time of restraint …a time to be free….
      A time for peace …I swear it’s not too late.

      (last line The Byrd’s) nice…thanks Brubaker.)))))

  15. Q

    Q: I agree. It didn’t make any sense at all!

  16. someone who cared

    Does anyone know why under “Legal” and “County Ordinances”, Orange County still states that a registrant can’t enter any OC Parks, etc? Will that be updated soon?

    • Janice Bellucci

      Yes, we will correct it soon. Please remember that website changes are a volunteer effort. They are done when our volunteer(s) are available.

  17. Brubaker

    The ex sexo registry is now platinum gold proof further punishment and blatant discrimination …over zealous abuse of authority and power over a public funded made registry…
    “war” propaganda against those on registry is the agenda to incite the public to exclude from Constitutional Rights and protections….and it really starts when you’re accused …you wont get a fair trial…they will get you convicted by cheating the system….this reckless disregard to humanity is an offense against history…this type of authority failed in world war II….United States kicked their whowho .

  18. Dray

    I think people forget that California registration is for life. All this ordinance thing would not be so bad if we only reg for 10 years. It should only be for people on parole and should include gang member, dog abusers, and I could think of many. How ever, on one should be banned from anywhere for life. I like going to the beach, I’m 54 years old I do not go to look at children , I go to see a sunset. I have been off parole for 20 years I think it is time for law maker to look at registration removal. Free us .

    • Anonymous Nobody

      No, wrong. It should not be for ANYBODY, even parolees, most especially if their offense had nothing to do with a park. First, show me where there has been some widespread problem with parolees at parks or beaches — and more so than with them anyplace else — before you start deciding its OK to bar them from there. There is no such problem (and some isolated incident with an isolated person is not a widespread problem that should impact all parolees, all registrants or all of any class — and such is likely to happen anywhere, not specifically at parks and beaches).

      The real bottom line is that if they have completed probation or parole, that is supposed to mean they have passed the tests and are safe to be completely freed — and restrictions on where you go is not being free (neither is being required to register). That’s the purpose of probation and parole!! Everything else they have been doing to us goes contrary to the point of and justification for probation, parole and even just basic sentencing. Probation and parole IS registration and vice versa. And completing probation used to be the standard to be relived of the registration requirement — and should be again. And if a condition of probation is not to stay away from parks, etc., then no other law should be imposing that.

      Don’t make the mistake of trying to yield something to them when they are 100% wrong — you’re not even in negotiations with them on something, so certainly don’t yield before any negotiations even start! That’s not incrementalism, that’s just caving in and giving up. You have lost a negotiation if you yield before the negotiations even start. And you also have lost a negotiation if you are going to be weak about it and yield too easily. You’ve already yielded here without even being offered anything. Stop worrying about being reasonable – they’re not being reasonable.

  19. Brubaker

    The “war” public policy makes this put together registry the enemy ….we are NOT the enemy…..we are prisoners of your own “war”……….we demand to be free from this punitive discriminatory registry……free from
    this prisoner of “war” registry.

  20. USA

    Thank you for the comments. I was literally in shock. Its both a very honest and sincere story. It even gets better. When I initially plead to my battery, the lawyer representing me informed me that the battery was a wobbler. In summary, it was a felony treated like a misdemeanor. I was also informed that it would be a registerable offense, while a felony. He informed me that once the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, I would no longer have to register. I confirmed this very clearly with him. I trusted him. I later found this to be false. Well, the attorney is now a Commissioner in OC.

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