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City being sued by registered sex offender

The City of Taft is being sued by a registered sex offender. The suit was filed May 29 in federal court and alleges an ordinance passed in 2007 designed to keep sex offenders away from areas where children are likely to congregate is unconstitutional. Full Article

 

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  1. j

    Essentially, all registrants affected in any way by imposition of new retro active requirements or any change to the law at time of sentencing (and any associated additional requirements), restrictions of movement, any violation of any number of civil rights and constitutional rights or infringement, publication, presumption of guilt or involvement in non-existent crimes, et al , etc… – should have due recourse and have their cases restored to the state of the law at the time sentences were completed…… with punitive and compensatory damages awarded.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      We needed you on the state Supreme Court last year when they ruled the exact opposite on that very question.

  2. j

    This is more local legislation that is devoid of constitutional soundness.

    What is wrong with this law is that a) it is implicit bullying by inference as it has the chilling effect of making the registrant avoid public places and otherwise change the routines of his daily life after the fact; b) the city council undoubtedly was encouraged to pass this by the city pd being sold as a safety measure completely ignorant of the actual risk and recidivism statistics; c) the fact that the city PD had not enforced this law does not remove their liability for using it as a presumptive and illegal control mechanism; d) it can be assumed they didn’t have to enforce it against anyone is an admission of the essential flaw of the law itself.
    *
    Any way you measure it, they have stepped beyond their authority by usurping state law.

    By any and all of these means, the registrants’ rights have been violated.

    There are hardly any good things about this type of law other than they essentially publish a statement of punishment and ostracization of the registrant – all things that are likely to improve public relations for the officials sanctioning these gross miscarriages of justice.

  3. Q

    It’s too bad there isn’t any way to get the media to mention that Frank hasn’t re-offended and has been a model citizen (as most registrants are) for the last 30+ years, is a published author and barely escaped being murdered in his own home because of one of these so called “public safety” laws he was forced to comply with decades after the fact, and that the vast majority of people on the registry are honest law abiding citizens like Frank.

    These laws are like the association laws in Australia, which impose serious presence and association restrictions on people that have never been arrested for anything. The presence and residency restriction laws here are gateway laws that could conceivably lead to further extreme violation of civil and human rights here in the U.S. like some people in Oz are burdened with. Thanks Janice and Frank; you two rock! Chance Oberstien said the goal is to have all presence restriction ordinances repealed by the end of 2014; it’s looking like this just might become reality! 🙂

  4. G4Change

    Oh, this is poetic!!! After I clicked on the “Full Article” link, an advertisement for Home Depot popped up on that newspaper’s Website that read “Let’s Do Tools…”

    I say it’s poetic because after I read this:
    “Chief of Police Ed Whiting said that he doesn’t believe the ordinance has ever been enforced and has no knowledge of it being enforced against the defendant.”

    All I could think of was, “What a Tool!!!”

    SO WHAT if a law hasn’t been enforced against the defendant or anyone else!!! Unconstitutional is unconstitutional. What a TOOL!!!!!

    • Janice Bellucci

      The fact that a law has not been enforced does not make it constitutional. The greatest harm done by presence restrictions such as those in Taft is the chilling effect that registered citizens are afraid to go to any town or city because they might violate a law there and be sent to jail and/or fined up to $1,000 (or both). This reasonable fear is compounded when cities do not post signs warning registered citizens of these restrictions.

      • Paul

        Most of the ordinances that I have read include, or expand, residency restrictions. They either include the wording related to the 2,000 foot rule, or they expand it to the point that no registered citizen can live there.

        Does this ruling also void the residency restrictions imposed by these ordinances?

        Thanks.

      • Tim

        …and the false sense of security it gives. The present offender is 1000+ times more likely to be in your son or daughter’s bedroom, and you already know his name but not his actions are hidden. We need education, not more laws. It pains me that more children have to go through hell, because the public is on a wild sex offender chase in the parks and libraries, but is afraid to confront the problem in the home, church or school. Don’t blame them. With the penalties for sex crimes as they are it really presents a conundrum all involved.

  5. Tired of Hiding

    I love this headline and I wish it would happen in every city in the USA each week on an ongoing basis!

    Not only would it give our cause perpetual exposure in the media but it would have the added benefit of costing these city and states money. Perhaps they would take RSO reform more seriously if it hit them in the pocket on a daily basis!

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