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  • HOW IS THIS CONSTITUTIONAL?

    Filed at 6:11 pm under by dcobranchi

    The third and final reading of Liscomb’s new sex offender residency ordinance passed unanimously by the Liscomb City Council Monday.

    The ordinance reinforces state regulations by adding more places to the list of child entitled facilities and creates the power to remove from their homes convicted sex offenders who moved in after mid-2002.

    …Any convicted sex offender in Liscomb cannot live within 2,000 feet of a public park, public library, preschool or home school, day care facility whether registered or not, the city’s recreational/community center, a city bus stop or a school bus stop, according to the proposed ordinance.

    The headline pretty much indicates the purpose of this ordinance:

    Sex offenders are banned from moving to Liscomb

    17 Responses to “HOW IS THIS CONSTITUTIONAL?”


    Comment by
    Heather
    September 14th, 2006
    at 6:31 pm

    This is the same ordinance recently put into action in Polk County in Iowa (Des Moines). The new ordinance lists places like public libraries, public swimming facilities, and state parks. Sex offenders cannot read, swim or even attend a family reunion in Polk County without risk of arrest. Sex offenders have to report their current address for an accurate registry, and several of them currently claim their address at places like truck stops and even a local cemetery. They did a story on one of the news stations about a man with a wife and four kids who stays for dinner every night, then drives to a parking lot where he sleeps in his van. I was pretty sure the years they spent in prison for their crimes (sometimes just dating a younger girl, called “lascivious acts with a child”) was their punishment. If the local government thinks they are still so much of a threat, why are they being parolled at all? I’m sure they’re better off in jail, where they can sleep in the same bed every night.


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    September 14th, 2006
    at 8:02 pm

    Gotta agree jail is the better place for all offenders who couldn’t stop themselves from sex crimes against kids in the first place, hence probably can’t in future either.

    And that, naturally, no one belongs in jail for the crime of dating.

    Neither of which seems to me to be the key point when communities are this desperate to protect their children from repeat sex offenders. The one thing we do know is that THEY don’t deserve to be made the victim of stupid policies and ordinances of any kind.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    September 14th, 2006
    at 8:17 pm

    JJ,
    The article says only convicted sex offenders on the list. This could conceivably include a 16-year-old male who had sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend. Are they going to make the whole family move out of town?


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    September 14th, 2006
    at 9:10 pm

    Dunno — it’s no good whether they do or not, I agree. Not defending this or any such ordinance! Probably unconstitutional as you say, and won’t solve the real problem anyway.

    But I have a lot more gut level empathy for law-abiding andt terrified parents who feel under siege from all directions, than I ever mustered when I was childless and politically active, and fancied myself a prolific policy hotshot with ready answers to other people’s problems. 🙂


    Comment by
    COD
    September 14th, 2006
    at 9:46 pm

    In 90% of rapes involving kids 12 or younger, the victim knew the rapist. Very very few kids are plucked off the streets by convicted sex criminals that just moved in last week. The state targets them because they are an easy mark, not because it actually solves the problem.


    Comment by
    COD
    September 14th, 2006
    at 9:47 pm

    A href=”http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/soo.htm”>Source on the 90% statistic.


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    September 14th, 2006
    at 10:31 pm

    Wish I hadn’t looked!

    Convicted rape and sexual assault offenders serving time in State prisons report that two-thirds of their victims were under the age of 18, and 58% of those–or nearly 4 in 10 imprisoned violent sex offenders–said their victims were aged 12 or younger.

    Wonder if “the child knew the rapist” includes neighbors then, or not? Are there similar statistics for the percent of state prisoners sentenceded only for statutory rape, do you know?


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    September 14th, 2006
    at 10:49 pm

    I don’t have stats on statutory rape. Anecdotally speaking, the cases that make the news seem to be of the Romeo and Juliet type. A few states have laws that kind of wink at sex between two minors, even when one is officially below the age of consent. The boys (it’s always the boys) are still entered on the sex offenders list, though.


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    September 14th, 2006
    at 11:28 pm

    So what’s the way to persuade the provincial townfolk that: a) it’s no biggie, and b) they don’t need no stinkin’ ordinances?

    Seems like yet another job for public education (as in education of the public) . . .


    Comment by
    Ulrike
    September 14th, 2006
    at 11:36 pm

    “58% of those–or nearly 4 in 10 imprisoned violent sex offenders”

    Isn’t 58% nearly 6 in 10?


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    September 14th, 2006
    at 11:43 pm

    Maybe it was 58% of the two-thirds it mentioned? That would be just under 40% of the original whole, right?


    Comment by
    Annette
    September 15th, 2006
    at 11:37 am

    This past year, on Easter Sunday, a young adult visiting my state from Canada, shot and killed two convicted sex offenders before killing himself. One of the those shot was a young man who was guilty of statutory rape. At the time of his death, it was rumored that he had been living with this same girlfriend; some years after the conviction.
    Something needs to be done with the law in my state as it relates to the sex offender registry. It might come down to revising the list so that those who are truly a risk to society are listed or sharing more info so it doesn’t appear that someone such as the young man killed doesn’t appear to be in the same class as a child predator or a repeat offender. I also feel sorry for the older man that was murdered even though his crime did involve a child. The man at the time doesn’t appear that he was a threat to his neighbors in my state.
    I know a family who was placed in jeopardy that day because of the list. The dad/husband is wrongfully on the list. Measures are being taken to right this terrible wrong. Part of that process is getting legislators (in my state) to re-examine the law.


    Comment by
    Annette
    September 15th, 2006
    at 11:41 am

    It might come down to revising the list so that those who are truly a risk to society are listed or sharing more info so it doesn’t appear that someone such as the young man killed doesn’t appear to be in the same class as a child predator or a repeat offender.

    Oh, brother –“doesn’t appear”.

    Try again: The solution might be revising the list so that those who represent a true risk to their neighbors are distinguished from those who do not. Listing the offenses in better detail would be an option or removing those from the list who are considered no risk to their neighbors.


    Comment by
    Heather
    September 15th, 2006
    at 7:12 pm

    I think a big issue here though is whether or not stating where a person can and cannot live or even visit is infringing on their personal freedoms. When you drive ALL offenders out of certain areas, you’re driving them INTO other areas. Before anyone knows what’s happened, there will be entire counties/cities full of sex offenders and none anywhere else. Segregation to that degree is very unconstitutional.

    Does anyone know what percentage of ALL sex offenders are the “Convicted rape and sexual assault offenders serving time in State prisons”? I’d venture a guess that the majority of those on the registry are not the baby-raping psychos that everyone is afraid of. If they were, maybe they would still be in prison? I’m also curious about the rate of second offenses? Maybe my neighbor is a sex offender that hasn’t been caught yet. Maybe it’s the paper carrier. Or the postman…


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    September 15th, 2006
    at 8:47 pm

    I think Heather asks some GOOD questions.

    All I know about the odds of second (and all subsequent) offense is from legislative debate on chemical castration as an alternative community response to life in custody for sex offenders, back when I was lobbying for education and had to endure whatever was happening on the floor in the meantime.

    Experts in that debate (which I didn’t follow closely) said strongly tha real sex offenses cannot be mtodified away through re-education or any other prevention from re-offense except removing all ability and opportunity– no rehabilitation of the kind we think of with other types of crimes.


    Comment by
    Annette
    September 16th, 2006
    at 8:15 am

    About re-education:
    How can someone with a serious problem in this area get better when group counseling situations are about sharing details of their crimes? Those types of situations aren’t helpful. Those individuals without a real problem (innocent falsely accused) want to seriously harm those who *enjoy* the group counseling. Those who pass through the group counseling and get to wear the label “rehabilitated” would probably be those who jumped through the state’s hoops without actually being any different than when they began.
    I think the average citizen should become aware of their state’s handlings of sex offenders and ascertain what types of treatments are unprofitable in producing real change in the offender.


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    September 19th, 2006
    at 12:04 pm

    Seems related, probably in some perverse way:

    If there’s a sex offender student, schools will know; Law requires principals, but not parents, to be notified . . .