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IL: Are Sex Offender Restrictions So Vague They’re Unconstitutional?

A group of convicted child sex offenders is challenging the Illinois law that bans them from parks and schools. They say key sex offender restrictions are so broad it’s impossible to know what is or isn’t allowed and that means the laws violate the constitution. They’re asking a federal judge to immediately suspend certain restrictions on every registered child sex offender in the state of Illinois. Full Article

Also so

Court case challenges some restrictions on sex offenders

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  1. Chris F

    I understand that fighting this based on “too vague” is possible, but I don’t understand why it isn’t pursued on “due process” violations. These people haven’t individually had a chance to a fair hearing where both sides present evidence as to the threat to children they are, and for how long they should be restricted if at all.

    To remove an individual’s rights to be on public property, attend church, or be even near public property goes against many constitutional rights that should only be taken away if there is a clear and present danger, it is in the state’s best interest, and there is no alternate means to protect citizens.

    I can see where these restrictions could be present as conditions of probation, but to be law for those that have served their time it is outrageous.

  2. Mike r

    you hit so right on the nail chris. it boggles my mind that no attornies are bringing any issues forward except for minor technicalities or the famous expost facto claims. the only case I can find or have heard about is the bani vs Hawaii which he was successful on his right to reputation. I am not sure if it’s been overturned or not I can’t find any evidence that it has. it’s almost as though people don’t want to win or something.

    • Robert

      Mike R,
      From someone who has read a couple thousand cases regarding SORN laws and actively involved in litigation on the same for a number of years, I would disagree with your assessment. There are thousands of challenges that have been made regarding Due Process and the registry. Go to goggle scholar and type sex offender due process and you can find many cases. Connecticut Dept. of Public Safety v. Doe decided due process in 2003 and is still the legal precedent today.

      I‘m very familiar with State of Hawaii v. Bani decided in 2001. Here is the link to the decision. http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=801574369373033665&q=Hawaii+v+bani&hl=en&as_sdt=2006
      Bani was all about due process.

      However see Hawaii v. Guidry decided in 2004. Hawaii v. Guidry was the follow-on case for due process decided in 2004 after the 2003 SCOTUS decisions:
      http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4907540073389615147&q=state+v+guidry&hl=en&as_sdt=2006

      The main problem with citing Bani is that it was decided in 2001 before the US Supreme Court decided Smith v. Doe and Connecticut Dept. of Public Safety v. Doe both in 2003 which chilled and invalidated much of Bani – including the court’s recognition of the harm and damage to one’s reputation. Unfortunately right now the Smith v. Doe and Connecticut DPS v. Doe 2003 decisions are the law of the land. Correct legal decisions such as Bani were quickly overcome by the thousands of bad laws that followed the 2003 SCOTUS decisions.

      It is not enough to overcome a state statue or even an article in a state or US Constitution with your own interpretation or application of said statue. You must first overcome the legal precedent already established by prior case law. I refer you to the definition of precedent law: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_precedent

      The suggestion that one can hire an attorney and go nuclear on the system to make a significant change is something that I would consider to be quite naïve. The heavy burden that you must push uphill to bring about such a change is going to take much more than just the lead weight of the money and finding a competent attorney to file a case.

      I applaud your passion and desire to make necessary and urgent changes to these bad laws. It is going to take many fighters like yourself to bring about the needed change through our court system.

  3. Punished for Life

    Yes, I don’t get it?
    Seems they as SO’s are just fine with being punished forever as long as they can go a few places?
    This goes far beyond incrementalism. I would think that there is a much bigger prize somewhere hidden within this Lawsuit.

    Frank

  4. someone who cares

    I agree. There are so many other arguments to be presented. What about equal rights? Murderers, Drug dealers, Drunk Drivers don’t have these restrictions, yet many have affected children with their offenses.

  5. Doc Martin

    First off, that guy who got probation should be thanking the state of Illinois they didn’t send him downstate to prison for possessing CP.
    I don’t know the Illinois statute but saying you can’t be near a park is pretty vague. They must have some set distance (1,000 feet, 2,000 feet) I supposed being on the registry can get you kicked out of your apartment but outside of Chicago, land & property is pretty cheap. But again, do some of the smaller towns have local ordinances? This article is pretty vague

  6. TiredOfHiding

    Please remember that Obama is a constitutional lawyer and yet he signed the International Megan’s Law…so…do you really think that there is a prayer that any of this will be found to be unconstitutional?

    NO is the proper answer. Obama betrayed his oath and sealed our fate.

    We are second class citizens (who still have to pay full taxes even though we do not enjoy full rights to what they pay for) and in fact, we are paying taxes to keep us out of certainly publicly funded areas and deprive us from certain publicly funded benefits as well.

    Just remember that it’s not added punishment because the “supreme court” says so. F them!

  7. Timmr

    Clarity? Smarity. It is clear from evidence that presence restrictions only serve the purpose of continued punishment.
    How many angles can sit on the head of a pin? This is what this rich nation can pay people to argue ad infinitum.

  8. Mike r

    hey tired never give up never give in and always maintain hope. with hope comes action with action comes change we will defeat this evil that is poisoning our society.

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