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An intelligent parent would go with their children as they trick or treat, despite what cartoons tell you. Since parents are supposed to be with their children, how exactly will these sex offenders be able to hurt the children without a parent opening a can of whoop-a**?
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marshmallowcreampie
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. I dunno, I wanna hear more opinions.


Well, my opinion is that it's wrong. Yes, I can agree to the signs, but to actively refuse them the right to decorate their own home? What does that do for anyone?

Also, this is another part of why I despise the sex offender list, as it currently exists. It's way too vague. It causes people to be treated like child molesters, despite whatever the circumstances might have been. I don't think it's fair to treat someone like a child-molester, because he got drunk and whipped his p***s out, in a bar, or something else to that effect. The system needs to be geared more toward the specific circumstances of their crime. Let it actually reflect their individual crime. Someone who's never harmed a child, shouldn't be forced to stay away from them.
that sucks don't brake the law. they have had this kind of laws in other states for years now and no one cried about it.
Blood Valkyrie
An intelligent parent would go with their children as they trick or treat, despite what cartoons tell you. Since parents are supposed to be with their children, how exactly will these sex offenders be able to hurt the children without a parent opening a can of whoop-a**?

If it's a neighbor they may think it's okay to trust them later on. Because hey, you gave me candy before with my mommy and daddy.
Unless the parent knew. But then they probably wouldn't even visit said house.
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that sucks don't brake the law. they have had this kind of laws in other states for years now and no one cried about it.
Unless on Parole or Probation, they've already served their time.
And ya know who's more likely to rape your kid?
Someone who's NOT on the sex offender registry.
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MinnieMay
that sucks don't brake the law. they have had this kind of laws in other states for years now and no one cried about it.
Unless on Parole or Probation, they've already served their time.
And ya know who's more likely to rape your kid?
Someone who's NOT on the sex offender registry.

I know that. But I don't feel bad for some guy that thought it was a good idea to have sex with a 4 year old or some of the fools that say love has no age when its a 40 year old with a 13 year old. I know that if you pee in public you can end up on that list as well. that sucks but it's not my fault if you don't know the laws.
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This pretty much sums it up for me :
http://techliberation.com/2009/08/08/rethinking-sex-crimes-and-sex-offender-registries/
.
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that sucks don't brake the law. they have had this kind of laws in other states for years now and no one cried about it.
Unless on Parole or Probation, they've already served their time.
And ya know who's more likely to rape your kid?
Someone who's NOT on the sex offender registry.

I know that. But I don't feel bad for some guy that thought it was a good idea to have sex with a 4 year old or some of the fools that say love has no age when its a 40 year old with a 13 year old. I know that if you pee in public you can end up on that list as well. that sucks but it's not my fault if you don't know the laws.
And there are people on the list who had sex with their High School sweethearts. But, since you don't care, you've proven to have no sense of humanity. This is wrong, because of the ease of which you can get on the list for things that should NOT be crimes.
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I don't care SO LONG as the only sex offenders forced to comply are the ones of whom have actually, intentionally committed a sex crime against children and are deemed at risk of doing it again. However, I have a bad feeling this list includes such dreadful crimes as, "having sex with your 15-year-old girlfriend/boyfriend at age 16," "being an irresponsible kid who decided to flash their junk in a public place one time because their friends dared them," and "showing other people images of yourself naked under the age of 16, and/or receiving such images whether you asked or not."
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Tocahontas

This pretty much sums it up for me :
http://techliberation.com/2009/08/08/rethinking-sex-crimes-and-sex-offender-registries/
.
Helping ya out, posting the article since some people hate links.


Quote:
The Economist magazine has just released an important feature article entitled, “Sex Laws: Unjust and Ineffective.” In an indirect way, the article makes a point that I have been trying to get across in my work on this issue: If you want to keep your kids safe from real sex offenders, we need to scrap our current sex offender registries and completely rethink the way we define and punish sex offenses in this country. That’s because, currently, a significant percentage of those people listed in sex offender registries pose almost no threat to children, making it difficult for us to know who really does pose a threat to our kids and what we should do about them.

Simply stated, we’ve dumbed-down the notion of “sex crimes” in this country. As a nation, we have foolishly come to equate almost all sex offenses equally. While sex offender registry laws vary from state to state, many basically say that that two teens caught engaging in consensual oral sex in high school belong on the same list alongside child rapists. That is insanity. And it leaves many in the public, especially parents, thinking that the whole world is full of predators lurking on every corner just waiting to snatch, rape, and kill their children. [For the actual facts, see the appendix I have included down below: "Is America Suffering from a National Child Abduction Epidemic"?] In reality, as The Economist feature story points out, the truth is quite different:

Every American state keeps a register of sex offenders. California has had one since 1947, but most states started theirs in the 1990s. Many people assume that anyone listed on a sex-offender registry must be a rapist or a child molester. But most states spread the net much more widely. A report by Sarah Tofte of Human Rights Watch, a pressure group, found that at least five states required men to register if they were caught visiting prostitutes. At least 13 required it for urinating in public (in two of which, only if a child was present). No fewer than 29 states required registration for teenagers who had consensual sex with another teenager. And 32 states registered flashers and streakers. Because so many offences require registration, the number of registered sex offenders in America has exploded. As of December last year, there were 674,000 of them, according to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. If they were all crammed into a single state, it would be more populous than Wyoming, Vermont or North Dakota. As a share of its population, America registers more than four times as many people as Britain, which is unusually harsh on sex offenders. America’s registers keep swelling, not least because in 17 states, registration is for life.

Georgia has more than 17,000 registered sex offenders. Some are highly dangerous. But many are not. And it is fiendishly hard for anyone browsing the registry to tell the one from the other. The Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board, an official body, assessed a sample of offenders on the registry last year and concluded that 65% of them posed little threat. Another 30% were potentially threatening, and 5% were clearly dangerous. The board recommended that the first group be allowed to live and work wherever they liked. The second group could reasonably be barred from living or working in certain places, said the board, and the third group should be subject to tight restrictions and a lifetime of monitoring. A very small number “just over 100” are classified as “predators”, which means they have a compulsion to commit sex offences. When not in jail, predators must wear ankle bracelets that track where they are.

Let’s repeat a few key numbers here: 674,000 registered offenders, “more populous than Wyoming, Vermont or North Dakota.” Those are the kind of numbers that send sensationalistic media outlets and average parents alike into a tizzy. Rarely does anyone stop to ask what those numbers mean or who these people are on the sex offender registries. But, as The Economist notes, when you dig below the surface and start taking a serious look at who these people are and what they have done to land on the list, a very different story emerges. We’re polluting these lists with petty offenders (flashers and streakers) and people who should have been dealt with in different ways (like teens who were caught in the act).

What about the real bad guys? As the Georgia Review Board found, only 5% of those on their sex offender registry were “clearly dangerous” and “should be subject to tight restrictions and a lifetime of monitoring.” These would be your true scum of the Earth; the sick fiends who really have preyed on children or raped repeatedly. Here’s a question I want answered about these scum: Why do we need a sex offender registry for them at all? Why are they not behind bars for life? Why don’t we cut off their privates! I am deadly serious here. If anyone raped one of my children, I would go after him and snip his manhood myself… slowly… with a dull, rusty blade. Any yet we release these people to re-offend. And then we put them on a list. A list that had teens on it who made a stupid mistake in high school in the back of car and got caught. DOES THIS MAKE ANY DAMN SENSE??? (And yes, I am shouting when I use all caps! Because I am sick and tired of this nonsense.)

Here is the sobering fact to consider: a 2003 Department of Justice study reported that the average sentence for child molesters was approximately seven years and, on average, they were released after serving just three of those seven years. That is an extremely troubling statistic. If you have young children in your home, it is even more upsetting. When our government is putting people who viciously hurt innocent children behind bars for just seven years and then letting them out after only three, then our government has failed us at a very fundamental level.

Worse yet, policymakers then point fingers at everyone else and scold Internet companies and ISPs for not doing enough to protect children from predators, all the while conveniently ignoring the government’s own failed policies that allow those predators to be on the streets and behind keyboards in the first place! It is not “market failure” at work when child predators are lurking online; it is government failure in the extreme. We are never going to solve this problem until we hunt down the real bad guys and lock them up for a long, long time.

In the meantime, however, as Lenore Skenazy argues, parents might want to just “burn your sex offender maps” because they instill a sense of dread and panic in us about the world around us based simply on the large number of people on them — even though they tell you little about who is an actual threat to your child. I have parents in my neighborhood who tell me they won’t let their kids ride their bike down the sidewalks in our very safe and fairly affluent neighborhood in McLean, Virgina because they have heard there are sex offenders in the area. I ask them if they have ever examined those “offenders” to see what they are on the list for. They haven’t bothered. I have. Not one of the sex offenders in my area had anything to with sex crimes against children. Strangely, most of the sex offenders in my area are listed as just being convicted of “sodomy.” I always wonder, was that consensual sodomy that occurred when it was still a crime in Virginia? (That is, before the Supreme Court struck down such laws in the 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas). If so, that’s not a crime in my book and those people do not belong on any sex offender list. Of course, if it was actual rape, that’s a very serious crime and it deserves conviction. Either way, these are not sex crimes against children even though that’s the impression many parents have when parents see or hear about these sex offender registries. So, when only a small percentage of those on the lists are the ones we truly need to fear (the child molesters and rapists), isn’t there a better solution? Like: LOCK THEM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY! Or, if we are not going to do that, at least create a separate registry for these more serious offenders. Call it the “Scum of the Earth List” and make these people were bright neon monitoring bracelets and anklets so we can see them.

At a minimum, we need follow the advice Human Rights Watch has set forth, as The Economist summarizes:

Human Rights Watch urges America to scale back its sex-offender registries. Those convicted of minor, non-violent offences should not be required to register, says Ms Tofte. Nor should juveniles. Sex offenders should be individually assessed, and only those judged likely to rape someone or abuse a child should be registered. Such decisions should be regularly reviewed and offenders who are rehabilitated (or who grow too old to reoffend) should be removed from the registry. The information on sex-offender registries should be held by the police, not published online, says Ms Tofte, and released “on a need-to-know basis”. Blanket bans on all sex offenders living and working in certain areas should be abolished. Instead, it makes sense for the most dangerous offenders sometimes to face tailored restrictions as a condition of parole.

To clarify my own views: I think lists of serious sex offenders (again, if we aren’t locking them up for longer periods) should be made public, but the lesser offenses (like cases of consensual teen sex in high school) should be kept private so it doesn’t stigmatize those people for life and drive the average public batty in the meantime.

We need to bring some sanity back to America’s sex laws. And we need to do if for the children. Our kids are not going to be safer (or saner) by artificially inflating sex offender rolls with people who don’t belong on the list in the first place. That just leads to fear, confusion, and a misplaced sense of justice. We need to punish the true scum more aggressively, and then find more sensible approaches to deal with others. And let’s get out of the business of putting teenagers on these lists altogether. That’s just nuts.

A final reason I care deeply about setting things right on this front is because concerns about online child safety — and overblown fears about child predators in particular — are leading to many calls for increased Internet regulation. Down below, I have pasted in an excerpt from my “Parental Controls & Online Child Protection” report in which I explain why this “technopanic” mentality about kids and the Internet is unwarranted.
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It seems rather silly that they can't decorate their houses for Halloween. I can understand the sign, to some extent, but not being allowed to decorate? That's just asinine.

As was previously stated, parents should be accompanying their children during their trick-or-treating anyway. Hell, I never trick-or-treated without supervision when I was younger, particularly for that reason.

The system for the registry definitely needs to be revised.
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It seems rather silly that they can't decorate their houses for Halloween. I can understand the sign, to some extent, but not being allowed to decorate? That's just asinine.

As was previously stated, parents should be accompanying their children during their trick-or-treating anyway. Hell, I never trick-or-treated without supervision when I was younger, particularly for that reason.

The system for the registry definitely needs to be revised.
I think I had a car the first time I was able to trick or treat without a parent
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It seems rather silly that they can't decorate their houses for Halloween. I can understand the sign, to some extent, but not being allowed to decorate? That's just asinine.

As was previously stated, parents should be accompanying their children during their trick-or-treating anyway. Hell, I never trick-or-treated without supervision when I was younger, particularly for that reason.

The system for the registry definitely needs to be revised.
I think I had a car the first time I was able to trick or treat without a parent

Pretty much, yea. I stopped trick-or-treating by around....ehhhhhhhh...15, I think? By then, I was able to go buy my own bags of candy.
Sex offenders weren't rounded up and tortured after being forced to put up signs. I'm really offended that they are comparing themselves with Holocaust victims.

There are 2 sides to this for me:
1- You broke the law, you broke the law and got caught. If you were 16 having sex with your 15 yr old girlfriend or boyfriend, you broke the law. It doesn't matter if you think it's stupid. That's the law. kids who drink before 21 get locked up too. If you were 30 and raped or molested someone, you broke the law. I don't think it's fair to dictate the sexual adventures of teenagers, but (key words here) THAT'S THE LAW. LAW.

A good friend of mine had sex at 15 with his 14 yr old girlfriend and when she bragged to her friends they didn't think it was as cool as she'd thought and she called rape. They put my friend in cuffs and took him to jail. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted of statutory rape, his young life was totally ruined and now has to stay 200 feet away from this girl at all times, even though he is now 22, a well-adjusted adult with a stable job and good life in another state.

They broke the law. It's not fair. But that's how it happened. (eventually the truth was passed around by the girl's friends and his friends, so she was labeled a liar).

2 - Halloween is a completely separate event. I went to dozens of strange houses (with a parent until I was 12, then I went with friends until 15, I was baby-faced so i got away with it. lol) and received candy from people I'd never met and never once thought about going to that person's house when it wasn't Halloween. This is the responsibility of the parent to BE A PARENT.

So, I don't think sex offenders should be forbidden from giving out sweets or decorating their house but if they went from door-to-door when they moved in and were required by law to tell their neighbors they are a sex offender - those parents know which houses they may not want to take their children to if they don't feel comfortable.
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Sex offenders weren't rounded up and tortured after being forced to put up signs. I'm really offended that they are comparing themselves with Holocaust victims.

There are 2 sides to this for me:
1- You broke the law, you broke the law and got caught. If you were 16 having sex with your 15 yr old girlfriend or boyfriend, you broke the law. It doesn't matter if you think it's stupid. That's the law. kids who drink before 21 get locked up too. If you were 30 and raped or molested someone, you broke the law. I don't think it's fair to dictate the sexual adventures of teenagers, but (key words here) THAT'S THE LAW. LAW.

A good friend of mine had sex at 15 with his 14 yr old girlfriend and when she bragged to her friends they didn't think it was as cool as she'd thought and she called rape. They put my friend in cuffs and took him to jail. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted of statutory rape, his young life was totally ruined and now has to stay 200 feet away from this girl at all times, even though he is now 22, a well-adjusted adult with a stable job and good life in another state.

They broke the law. It's not fair. But that's how it happened. (eventually the truth was passed around by the girl's friends and his friends, so she was labeled a liar).

2 - Halloween is a completely separate event. I went to dozens of strange houses (with a parent until I was 12, then I went with friends until 15, I was baby-faced so i got away with it. lol) and received candy from people I'd never met and never once thought about going to that person's house when it wasn't Halloween. This is the responsibility of the parent to BE A PARENT.

So, I don't think sex offenders should be forbidden from giving out sweets or decorating their house but if they went from door-to-door when they moved in and were required by law to tell their neighbors they are a sex offender - those parents know which houses they may not want to take their children to if they don't feel comfortable.
You know, unless you've never broken ANY laws, you can come down off that high horse of yours. Never sped? Never downloaded MP3s? Not buying it.

Name another crime in which a person has to continue to be punished AFTER completing his sentence. Bet you can't do it.

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