Linswritings

Sex offenders in Los Angeles, CA can live wherever they want

Posted on: November 4, 2010

A law restricting where sex offenders can live in L.A. has been ruled by a Superior Court Judge as unconstitutional. The judge’s ruling explains that forcing sex offenders to choose between prison and homelessness in L.A. is not fair to sex offenders. The provision of the law restricts how close sex offenders can live from parks or schools.

This came about because four registered sex offenders petitioned the court arguing that the legislation known as Jessica’s Law was unconstitutional. Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza went on to say, “The court is not a ‘potted plant’ and need not sit idly by in the face of immediate, ongoing and significant violations of parolee constitutional rights.”

However, in California, Proposition 83 or Jessica’s Law was overwhelmingly passed by state voters in 2006. This law imposes strict residency requirements on sex offenders that include residing within 2,000 feet of any public or private school or park where children regularly gather.

While the voters of California seem wiser than this Superior Court Judge Espinoza, history has shown that the recidivism rate of sex offenders is very high. Why would good, honest people want a sex offender living next door to them with a chance the offender may commit another crime? Why would a Judge claim it unconstitutional when the welfare of the community should be taken into account?

Last month, the Los Angeles Police Commission that heads a unit responsible for tracking the whereabouts of sex offenders reported that about 5,100 registered sex offenders living in the city. Of those, about 20%, or approximately 1,020 people, are on parole for felony crimes and are prohibited by state law from living near a school or park where children gather.

People of California, at the next election vote this judge out just as the people in Iowa and Colorado did to activist judges. Send this judge a message that even judges must take into account the welfare of a community especially in cases of sex offenders.

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