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http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-halloween-offenders-20121002,0,7836776.story

Short version: A city in California has placed restrictions on what registered sex offenders can do for Halloween. They have to put up signs on their doors stating that they don't have candy or treats, in large letters. They also aren't allowed to decorate their homes. Now some sex offenders (some of whom have kids) have sued, claiming the restrictions violate their free speech rights.

Quote:
Less than a month after approving restrictions on Halloween activities by registered sex offenders, the city of Simi Valley has been sued, accused of violating their 1st Amendment rights and those of their families.

The city's new law bans Halloween displays and outside lighting every Oct. 31 at the homes of people convicted of sex crimes. For offenders listed on the Megan's Law website, the city also requires a sign on the front door in letters at least an inch tall: "No candy or treats at this residence."

Both the prohibition on decorations and the mandatory sign violate free speech rights, according to the lawsuit.

A total of 119 registered sex offenders live in Simi Valley. Although some have been convicted of misdemeanors and do not have their names displayed, 67 have been guilty of more serious crimes and are publicly listed on the website. None has been involved in crimes involving children on Halloween, according to police, who say they have no records of any such crime occurring in Simi Valley during Halloween trick-or-treating.

City officials have said the action was preemptive and modeled after ordinances adopted by other cities in Southern California. City documents supporting the ordinance say trick-or-treating offers "significant opportunities for sex offenders to victimize children."

A number of California communities, including parts of Riverside County and the city of Orange, enforce Halloween restrictions on sex offenders.

Representing five registered sex offenders, three of their wives and two of their children, attorney Janice Bellucci said Monday she plans to ask a federal judge for an injunction to keep the city from enforcing its new law this Halloween. She filed suit Friday in U.S. District Court. Her clients were not named.

Bellucci, head of an advocacy group called California Reform Our Sex Offender Laws, said there have been no similar lawsuits in California. Her clients, she said, were particularly upset by the sign requirement.

"To us, it's similar to branding," she said. "We can think of what happened in Nazi Germany, where Jews had to appear in public wearing yellow stars."

Mayor Bob Huber, who proposed the ordinance, declined to comment because of the litigation. City Atty. Marjorie Baxter was unavailable but has said the suit was groundless.


I'm just curious as to what the ED thinks. Maybe they bring up a good point with the free speech thing, but they're criminals, so it does mean they lose some rights. But at the same time, not all sex offenders are on the list for a very serious offense. I dunno, I wanna hear more opinions.

On a side note, I'm also disgusted that they would compare this to the Holocaust. The Jews did nothing to get persecuted, they were just being Jewish. Sex offenders are criminals, of COURSE they're going to have fewer rights. Not being allowed to decorate for Halloween is NOTHING compared to what happened to people in Nazi Germany. That they'd pull that argument REALLY pisses me off.
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If they've served their time, and the only thing they have left to do is to register, then yes, they have rights that are being violated, and they are not criminals. Criminals are those committing crimes, or currently serving a sentence for said crimes.
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Do they have evidence that sex offenders actually prey on trick-or-treaters? If not, then this is bullshit.
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If they've served their time, and the only thing they have left to do is to register, then yes, they have rights that are being violated, and they are not criminals. Criminals are those committing crimes, or currently serving a sentence for said crimes.


I think being on the registered sex offenders list, and any restrictions that come with being on the list, is considered part of their punishment.
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marshmallowcreampie
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If they've served their time, and the only thing they have left to do is to register, then yes, they have rights that are being violated, and they are not criminals. Criminals are those committing crimes, or currently serving a sentence for said crimes.


I think being on the registered sex offenders list, and any restrictions that come with being on the list, is considered part of their punishment.
Because it's oh so hard to get on that list. I mean, no one who was ever 17, and had sex with their 15 or 16 year old girlfriend has EVER been placed on that list.

You know, I think this is the only excuse some people give for trying to deny a person their rights.

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Because it's oh so hard to get on that list. I mean, no one who was ever 17, and had sex with their 15 or 16 year old girlfriend has EVER been placed on that list.



That's really the main thing that concerns me, a lot of people who never hurt children manage to get on the list, so why should they be punished like this? But at the same time, if a child rapist was next door and I was a parent, I'd probably want to know. cat_rofl Wouldn't the better solution to this particular issue, though, be to take people like you mentioned off the list?
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that seems like a dumb way to protect kids. everyone is so paranoid already making a law like that isn't really going to help. plus halloween isn't only about children so i say let them dress up and have some fun.
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marshmallowcreampie
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If they've served their time, and the only thing they have left to do is to register, then yes, they have rights that are being violated, and they are not criminals. Criminals are those committing crimes, or currently serving a sentence for said crimes.


I think being on the registered sex offenders list, and any restrictions that come with being on the list, is considered part of their punishment.
Because it's oh so hard to get on that list. I mean, no one who was ever 17, and had sex with their 15 or 16 year old girlfriend has EVER been placed on that list.

You know, I think this is the only excuse some people give for trying to deny a person their rights.



don't forget public urination. cop catches you pissing on one tree, and Halloween is cancelled forever
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that seems like a dumb way to protect kids. everyone is so paranoid already making a law like that isn't really going to help. plus halloween isn't only about children so i say let them dress up and have some fun.


They can dress up and I presume go to parties, but they are banned from giving out candy and decorating the outside of their homes.
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marshmallowcreampie
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Because it's oh so hard to get on that list. I mean, no one who was ever 17, and had sex with their 15 or 16 year old girlfriend has EVER been placed on that list.



That's really the main thing that concerns me, a lot of people who never hurt children manage to get on the list, so why should they be punished like this? But at the same time, if a child rapist was next door and I was a parent, I'd probably want to know. cat_rofl Wouldn't the better solution to this particular issue, though, be to take people like you mentioned off the list?
It will never happen, because the Sex Offender list is the modern Witch Hunt.
Hell, many states are even removing the 10 year post sentence restriction, so that all people convicted are stuck on the list for life, regardless of the situation. Screw some girl in high school at 16, you've gotta register as a sex offender till the day you die.
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That's not very fair. I think society is too harsh on "sex offenders" and sex offenders both. All the bullshit about making sure everyone knows who you are and what you did is really more cruel than helpful. I think I'd rather murder a minor than have sex with one. You can't exclude people from participating in holidays like this - it's completely over the line.
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It will never happen, because the Sex Offender list is the modern Witch Hunt.
Hell, many states are even removing the 10 year post sentence restriction, so that all people convicted are stuck on the list for life, regardless of the situation. Screw some girl in high school at 16, you've gotta register as a sex offender till the day you die.


Oh, it can get worse. Teenagers who received nude/sexy photos from classmates can be at risk for ending up on the list. Heard one case where a twelve-year old boy received a nude photo from a female classmate, he didn't even ask for it. He was going to delete it but his friends pressured him into sending it to them, and the kid almost ended up on the sex offender list. How the s**t does that happen?
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marshmallowcreampie
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It will never happen, because the Sex Offender list is the modern Witch Hunt.
Hell, many states are even removing the 10 year post sentence restriction, so that all people convicted are stuck on the list for life, regardless of the situation. Screw some girl in high school at 16, you've gotta register as a sex offender till the day you die.


Oh, it can get worse. Teenagers who received nude/sexy photos from classmates can be at risk for ending up on the list. Heard one case where a twelve-year old boy received a nude photo from a female classmate, he didn't even ask for it. He was going to delete it but his friends pressured him into sending it to them, and the kid almost ended up on the sex offender list. How the s**t does that happen?
Because they moment he sent it to others, he created a child porn ring.
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and anyone who points out the problems gets branded a *****]

Thiiiiis is kind of the main problem. No politician wants to appear "soft on child molesters", so these laws get by even if they have some questionable wording because no one wants to criticize the laws.

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