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ACSOLCaliforniaJanice's Journal

Janice’s Journal: The California Supreme Court has spoken but what have they said?

The California Supreme Court has spoken but what have they said?  The Court published two decisions today that were expected to determine whether residency restrictions are constitutional and if so, to whom do they apply as well as whether the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) may issue a blanket residency restriction to all registered citizens in San Diego while on parole.  These issues are of vital importance to more than 100,000 registered citizens and their families.  Unfortunately, the Court did not meet expectations because they failed to address these vital issues in a meaningful way for all but a few.

In the first of the two decisions, People v. Mosley, the Court ducked entirely the issue of whether residency restrictions are constitutional.  Instead, the Court relegated to a footnote that the issue is not yet “ripe”, that is, it is not ready for the Court to decide.  How can that be?  The rate of homelessness for registered citizens has tripled since passage of Jessica’s Law.  And, according to the CA Sex Offender Management Board, there were more than 6,000 homeless registered citizens in 2012 and that number continues to grow.

Also in that case, the Court did briefly discuss the issue of residency restrictions and concluded that they are not an “added penalty”.  Not a penalty?  Tell that to the homeless registrants forced to live in their cars if they are lucky and to live on the streets if they are not.  The only rays of light in this case shine from the dissenting opinion in which Justice Liu criticizes the majority of the Court for ducking this issue as well as the issue of whether residency restrictions apply to registered citizens who are not on parole.  In the dissent, Justice Liu states unequivocally that residency restrictions apply to all registrants and constitute punishment.

In the second of the two decisions, In re Taylor, the Court appears to hand registrants a solid victory by boldly and correctly declaring that residency restrictions violate the Constitution.  The Court bases this declaration on a finding that residency restrictions infringe upon a registrant’s liberty and privacy interests and that they constitute unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive official action.  Amazing, right?  YES…..but only if you are a registered citizen on parole in San Diego and only as a blanket restriction levied by CDCR.  The Court granted CDCR the authority to apply residency restrictions that are “more or less restrictive” than those found in Jessica’s Law provided that they do so on a case-by-case basis.

And what if you aren’t on parole and you don’t live in San Diego?  What if you completed parole decades ago and/or live in a county, that unlike San Diego, is not densely populated?  The answer to those questions will be determined in the future…..perhaps in a courtroom near you.  In the meantime, how many more registered citizens will suffer as they are forced to live separately from their families and become homeless?  How many more times will the Constitution be violated by Jessica’s Law, a law that is unreasonable, arbitrary, and oppressive?

Cities and counties can prevent the continuation of these violations in their jurisdictions by repealing their ordinances that include residency restrictions.  Any city or county that fails to repeal such restrictions faces the possibility of a legal challenge from California RSOL or other like minded organizations.

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I was ordered by the judge to register even tho my conviction didnt require it.. I to would join a class action.

There is many that are dealing with the opposite; whereas the judge determined non-registry status at time of sentencing, but the state DA will not honor the request and summarily they have to register under a compliance or prison ultimatum. I’m willing to hazard a guess and say 35% of those on the registry have non-contact, no victim offenses. Insanity.

There is a constitutional argument out there that places equal emphasis on the word “cruel” and “unusual” and that the article only makes sense when the concept of “unusual” applies to punishment laws that don’t have a long history of trial and error in the common law.  Cruel and unusual means cruelly innovative. There is nothing more innovative than registering a large group of individuals and then legislatively  applying  restrictions based on a perceived dangerousness that somehow applies, without regard to individual differences within the registered population.  Our forefathers must have been keenly aware of how the sovereigns in Europe… Read more »

I, too, was ordered to register by a judge without providing any reasons for the findings nor reasons for requiring registration (pursuant to 290.006) other than because he could. Count me in with the class action.

Just a thought but California’s 1994 law was passed to “Unencumber law enforcement officers from restrictions that prevent them, even for public safety or investigative purposes, from revealing that certain persons are registered sex offenders” and while there was some discussion in 1996 about the law being necessary to help law enforcement that language didn’t make it into the legislative findings. As far as I can tell there was no reference at all in the 2006 bill analysis regarding law enforcement’s need for registrant’s information so extrapolating the only reason over 100,000 people are forced to register every year under… Read more »

Great input timmer and Molly this is what this site needs intelligent minds contributing their thoughts and input to come up with practical effective measures to fight these lunatic legislators. You know after fully digesting the decisions made by the court both of their ruling make perfect sense. The court made it perfectly clear that there is no chance that any of these laws are ever going to be considered punishment so any challenges on ex post facto or cruel and unusual punishment will never prevail. The court have giving us three wins in just the last year the internet… Read more »

I am pretty sure the same argument in Doe vs Harris was cruel and unusual punishment, but i do recall a remark I read after the opinion that the justices left it open to challenge again. Can’t remember where I read it but it seems you are correct another avenue will need to be pursued. With so many studies coming out now and saying registration is counter-productive, the regulatory scheme seems invalid.

this is nice, for San Diegoans. what about me? why is it that on PROBATION, i can live next to a school and park, but if i go to prison for the same charges, now i’m treated like scum and have so many restrictions. 2000 ft, gps, AND a curfew?! thats too much! and how is this for “police surveillance”? it doesn’t prevent me from re-offending if i really wanted to (i dont, im just saying this “supervision” is easy to get around) so i can’t live at my moms, because the elementary, middle and high school i went to,… Read more »

I’ll be a plaintiff. I’m a mom who’s crime was 18 years ago when I was 18. Had I known then (registry was on paper, you had to go to each town to view it) what the registry would become I’d have done much differently. How could I know that in my state now 18 years later I wouldn’t be able to: take my kids to the zoo, library, mcdonalds, on a hike , to a beach or the fireworks on the 4th of July. I can’t watch their Christmas concert or tball games. When they get sick at school… Read more »

I agree Marie,

all this, makes being a parent impossible! it’s absolutely absurd.

this supervision doesn’t work, why don’t they get that??
and anytime one person does something huge, they make a giant law to affect the rest of us.

Yeah, you are too dangerous to pick up your kids from school or go to the teacher conference, but some guy gets to legally carry a loaded gun to the choir recital at the school auditorium.

I sometimes think I am in the wrong movie…

The one big takeaway from all this is that, once again, the Supreme Court has reiterated its opinion that registration, and all that goes along with it, is nothing more than “regulatory” in nature, and not punitive. Tell that to those of us who live this hell every day! Unfortunately, they did send a strong signal that they are not willing to reevaluate its position despite all that has changed since 2003: from presence restrictions, to residency restrictions; lifetime GPS monitoring, to “civil commitment”. The transition from being nothing more than an annual update, to where we are today, is… Read more »

here’s the other thing. since my conviction, i have moved on. i got a place, was working 3 jobs, got married, had a child, was doing great. then i get a violation of probation completely unrelated to a sex crime, go to prison for my previous sex crimes, now have all these conditions. one if which is the stupid sex offender “treatment” class. look, ive moved on, i dont need to sit in a class and listen to someone tell me i was wrong, and im scum. in 38 other states, the age of consent is 16, and most guys… Read more »

You know, I’ve heard George Runner on about 3 radio shows now and each time he has admitted that “there is nothing magical about 2000 feet” & “We only picked it because that stood up to court challenges in other states”. So, you see, by his own admissions, the court was right when they said Jessica’s law is an arbitrary and irrational ( “no rational relationship to…”, is what the court said) law in that regard. I intend to point that out in future online news articles or editorials on the subject. The other fear mongering thing he likes to… Read more »

what really ticks me off, is that Jessicas law is for CHILD MOLESTERS, not EVERY AND ALL person convicted of a 290.

i had sex with my minor girlfriend with a 3-4 year age difference. parole conditions are supposed to be RELEVANT to the crime committed. parole tells me i cant go to a park because “minor females MIGHT be there”

well NO SH!T. minor females are everywhere.

My husband and I have been trying to help a man with a family who is registered 290. He can’t even live with his family because he never formally adopted his stepson who he has raised since he was 6. Now his son is 13, needs his father and not only isn’t allowed to live with them – but he also cannot see him, talk to him on the phone, write him a letter, but him a gift, or even have a third party give him a message!!!!! His son is at a tender age where he needs his dad… Read more »

I can surely relate to this story. My son went through the same thing. He was not a victim until I was banished from the house. Then the once likable and a good student became moody, angry and stopped doing his assignments. I blamed myself, but that didn’t do any good for him. How can these people know what guilt one carries for the rest of one’s life because of that? How can they say we need to be constantly reminded of it–the idiots. What did work was eventually having supervised visits and then overnight stays. My wife was designated… Read more »

I pay property TAXES. Do NOT want popularity craving politicians saying I cannot enjoy my property.

As we hear of the terrible inhuman treatment happening across the globe on a daily basis, the horrible things happening to fellow human beings in the Mideast, it is beyond any justification, whatsoever. This registry system puts lives at risk, by illustrating their pictures and addresses; particularly when other “human beings” use the ruse that it is to protect society, when in fact it does the opposite. All behavior is “learned” from other human beings. This is a human condition. Fact: Maybe, it actually only creates unnecessary jobs and more taxes.

I’ve heard that 50% of the future jobs will be done by machines. This leaves a lot of disposable people to be put on registries, using one excuse or another, and thereby denied a humane living and services. Is this country creating a class of untouchables that in turn will need to be kept monitored so they remain in their class boundaries? In turn the rest of the unemployed will be hired to monitor the undesirables? Sure looks like the age of leisure and freedom from a life free from a lifetime of doing menial tasks, which is the promise… Read more »

Hi, I’m a truck driver. I have committed no sex crimes and I’m now bound by law to be gps banded and a 11hr driving limit in a 14hr period 24/7/365

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