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WI: City must set aside emotion on sex offenders

[ – 7/3/19]

I know how people feel about sex offenders.

I agree that sex crimes are reprehensible, especially those in which children are the victims.

Such offenders often face long prison sentences or long commitments inside mental health treatment centers. And rightfully so.

But after they are released from custody — after they have paid their dues to society — these offenders have rights just like any other American citizen. Among other things, they have a right to live wherever they choose.

I know that is difficult to hear.

Where sex offenders are concerned, people feel abhorred. People do not want to hear about sex offenders having rights. And people certainly do not want to live around sex offenders.

Whenever the subject comes up of local government restrictions on where these offenders can live, the popular response is: “We decent people should be able to keep sex offenders out of our community.”

That sort of reaction is common. In some ways, it is understandable.

It is also a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

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  1. Lake County

    This opinion was published by the newspaper’s editor, and the same newspaper’s General Manager posted an opposite opinion.

    “It is not unconstitutional to ban sex offenders from living near schools, day cares or playgrounds. That is utter hogwash. Convictions costs criminals certain civil rights. After a felony conviction, a person loses the right to vote, serve on a jury and own a firearm. It is logical to extend those restrictions to limit where a person can reside, especially if that person is a danger to children.”

    • Worried In Wisconsin

      Except that he is factually wrong on a couple of counts. In Wisconsin, once a person with a felony conviction is off supervision he/she is permitted to vote and serve on a jury. Wonder what else he’s wrong about?

  2. AJ

    This op-ed isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for our side. Though it’s nice to see the journalist say there are constitutional issues and RCs have due process rights to be upheld, he then goes on to support the 750′ restriction the City Attorney proposes. Perhaps he’s supporting that because it’s the best to be reached, but wouldn’t an op-ed be where you push the boundaries a bit instead of giving thumbs up to a a softer abuse of citizens?

    The general manager’s opposing view is the standard tripe. ‘Nuff said. (His piece makes me want to impersonate Dan Aykroyd: “Jane, you ignorant…”)

  3. Tim in WI

    Why Wisconsin? Lake Geneva is a rather posh part of the state. In the summers FIBS from the state south flood the area. Recently Illinois New Govoner was cited for speeding in the lake in his boat. That is how elite politicians behave. Remember NJ GOVENOR Chris Christie ‘ s obese self laying on a NJ BEACH that he had closed to the public just days earlier.

    Residence restrictions are lawlessness, thus judges void these ordinances as incongruous.
    They also provide the lends proof of intent behind the registries, affirmative disability!!!!!!!

    • AJ

      @Tim in WI:
      And let’s not forget Lake Geneva used to have a Playboy Club… I guess *that* type of “depravity” was ok.

      • Tim

        Walworth County is directly West of Rock county. Gentlemen Clubs are all over the county. Delavan has one. Trafficking adult women was common but it is presumed The women do so by chioce, a professional choice. No law against ” dancing” exists.

  4. Tim

    Again we see results are in on SORNA as social policy. We used to know better in WI as per Norma Grace Constanteneau. Unauthorized DEPT information sharing prohibted, under fine and jail statutes.
    Consider the outcome here on each party.
    1) Registrants general feel ing – uncertainty fear distrust
    2) Community – informed but uncertain, fearful, frustrated, helpless distrustful.
    3) Cops – uncertain, frustrated, diligent and viligent.
    4) Council – Frustrated, helpless, angry at courts.
    5) Courts -‘overloaded, conflicted, overwhelmed and over sold.

  5. Bo

    Facinating reasoning. How, again, does this protect children? They can spend all day walking laps around the school, but they have to sleep 750’away? The infamous imaginary stranger danger…

    It sounds like they just want to donate lawyers fees.

  6. Facts should matter

    His opinions are typical of everyone brainwashed by the media and politicians.

    Same old “us vs. them” mentality.

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