Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bill further restricts sex offenders

From the Roanoke Times:

Legislation that would further limit where sex offenders can live and expand the list of convictions that activate those restrictions has drawn the ire of civil libertarians and advocates of reforming those laws.


If enacted, Athey's House Bill 1004 would bar individuals ordered to register as sex offenders for crimes involving a juvenile victim from living within 500 feet of multiple places children are known to frequent.

It would add school bus stops, community parks, playgrounds, recreation centers, public pools and private, parochial and Christian schools to state law, which applies to day care centers, public schools and adjoining public parks.

I have just two comments on this right now:

1) In addition to my next objection, I would have to object to adding school bus stops to the list. They can change from year to year without notice (unless it affects your own kids). What happens to a sex offender who wakes up one morning and finds out they've moved a school bus stop in front of his house? Does he have to move? Can he be charged with a violation immediately even though he wasn't notified? If he does have to move, how long does he have before he can be charged?

2) This objection is actually the most important - even beyond Constitutional considerations. It is, of course, the perennial objection to sex offender registration/restriction laws: If they're so dangerous we have to continually track where they live, and restrict where they can live, work, and travel,


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