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California

Bill allowing cities and counties to adopt stricter sex offender ordinances voted down

A bill which would have allowed cities and counties to adopt sex offender ordinances more restrictive than state laws was voted down by an Assembly committee Tuesday.

Assembly Bill 201, authored by Assemblymen William Brough, Mike Gipson, and Marc Steinorth, would have given localities the ability to enact not only more stringent restrictions on where persons required to register as sex offenders can live, but also “presence restrictions,” which would limit their ability to visit places such as parks, libraries, swimming pools, or arcades.

“In addition to the myriad of other reasons why this bill is probably unconstitutional, the lack of a provision in the bill to provide notice to sex offenders in particular jurisdictions as to what the rules and regulations are in that area also make this bill unconstitutional,” the bill’s analysis reads.

The analysis also found the legislation would “open local jurisdictions to a flood of lawsuits” against presence restrictions, which have historically been successful by focusing on the restrictions’ lack of due process.

Arguments in favor of the measure said that local ordinances were vital “precisely because they are to account for the various conditions unique to their locality.”

Yet opposing arguments said that the bill is based on a number of inaccurate assumptions, including the belief that residency and presence restrictions are effective prevention tools. According to a report by the California Sex Offender Management Board, “No research shows that exclusion zones are helpful in preventing re-offense.”

“If the bill had been passed, it would have resulted in a return to recent chaos when 79 cities had 79 different laws that prohibited individuals from visiting both public and private places,” said Janice Bellucci of California Reform Sex Offender Laws.

“At that time, more than 100,000 citizens were in constant and reasonable fear that they would be arrested, sent to jail for up to one year and fined up to $1,000 for violating a law for which they had no notice because the cities failed to provide signs warning them of those laws,” she added.

Brough, Gipson, and Steinorth did not respond to requests for comment.

Last March, the state Supreme Court ruled that blanket sex offender residency restrictions in San Diego County were unconstitutional, but that offenders could still be subject to restrictions made on a case-by-case basis. In Re Taylor S206143 Cal. 4th 1019 (2015).

lj_williamson@dailyjournal.com

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Editorial Id: 945480
Publication Date: 01/14/2016

Join the discussion

  1. Q

    “lack of due process.” What part of that don’t they understand? How stupid and wasteful of time and resources do they have to be to keep asking for the same thing when they know it’s illegal? What part of unconstitutional don’t they understand?

    “No research shows that exclusion zones are helpful in preventing re-offense.” That’s Right! Besides, there is much re-offense to speak of anyway!

    Brough, Gipson, and Steinorth are not Americans. Real Americans wouldn’t want to do this to citizens, they need to go have sexual intercourse with themselves! 🙂

    • Tired of this

      Don’t you mean there is NOT much re-offense to speak of?

      • Q

        Yup. Sorry about that. Some things get me so riled up I start furiously typing and my mind get’s ahead of my fingers, and ultimately my fingers miss some things trying to catch up and sync with my mind.

  2. Jason

    I like what Q said!!!!!

    • Q

      Really? Thanks! Which part did you like? The part where I say what Brough, Gipson, and Steinorth need to go do with themselves?

      Those idiots need to stop rousing the rabble with hate. Too many of us have been murdered because of the rhetoric from their kind. If they hate freedom so much, the constitution and bill of rights; if they love oppression so much, they should go somewhere else; to some other country like N Korea, because in my eyes their kind are not Americans. They should strive to be more like Janice, Chance, and everyone else that stands up against their kind of crap. Janice, Chance et al are the real Americans. They are the patriots. They fight the good fight! And they do it for truth!

      We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
      Martin Luther King, Jr.

  3. Eric Knight

    “The analysis also found the legislation would “open local jurisdictions to a flood of lawsuits” against presence restrictions, which have historically been successful by focusing on the restrictions’ lack of due process.

    And whom do we have to thank for this? Three cheers for Janice Bellucci, her staff, and all the financial contributors to CA RSOL!

    • Q

      I find it disturbing that in spite of the “flood of lawsuits” these cities are willingly pushing the state to place their cities in a position to be financially harmed. But it’s not5 their money anyway; so I suppose why should they care.

  4. a mom

    I say hooray for Janice and her crew and the Assembly Committee for having the wherewithal and good sense to push for justice! Thank you all!

  5. WitsEndWife

    WHY IS FRESNO COUNTY ALLOWED TO PASS ORDINANCE BILL NO 08-010 MAKING THE RESIDENCY RESTRICTION 3000 FT INSTEAD OF 2000 FT????????????????????????????????

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