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Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

September 23, 2009 Comments off

United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
National Institute of Justice Fact Sheet:
Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

Overview

Laws that restrict where registered sex offenders may live have become increasingly popular during the past decade. As of 2007, some 27 states and hundreds of municipalities had enacted laws that bar sex offenders from residing near schools, parks, playgrounds and day care centers. The specified distance from a school or other venue is typically 1,000 feet but varies from 500 to 2,500 feet, depending on the jurisdiction.

The laws, which have wide public support, are modeled after Florida’s “Jessica’s Law,” named for a nine-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped and killed by a molester. They follow the Wetterling Act of 1994 mandating sex offender registration and the 1996 Megan’s Law requiring public notification when an offender moves into a community.

Residency restriction laws have led to some unanticipated and unintended consequences. In many locations — most noticeably in urban areas — the restrictions have created overlapping exclusion zones that severely limit where offenders can live. In some cities the only acceptable sites are in high-crime neighborhoods or commercial zones. Even when residential areas are available, sex offenders just released from prison may not be able to find affordable housing in those areas.

If unable to find legal housing, offenders may report false addresses, become homeless or go underground. Others may be forced to live in rural areas with less access to employment or mental health services. Even in rural areas where schools and day care centers are more geographically dispersed, most unrestricted land is forest or farmland.

OH on Forefront of SORNA, Adam Walsh Disaster

September 23, 2009 Comments off

Washington D. C – Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Department of Justice announced today that Ohio and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation are the first two jurisdictions to substantially implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

This means that the disaster which has resulted within Ohio from these laws is a sign of what is to come to every other state in the nation. Therefore, the battle against these laws, which is being fought in every county and appellate district and which will be soon argued in the Ohio Supreme Court, will be a bellwether indicator of where the constitutional challenges against them will lead.

CA : City Demands Church Ban Sex Offenders

September 23, 2009 Comments off

Sentencing Law & Policy : Pastor and city leaders fighting over sex offender working at church in California.

This local story out of California, which is headlined “Pastor: San Bernardino council ultimatum is unconstitutional,” reports on the details of a brewing constitutional debate involving churches freedom and local sex offender restrictions. Here are the basics:

Responding to a demand that First Church of the Nazarene ban registered sex offenders or to stop receiving city money to host a youth facility there, the church’s pastor contended the ultimatum is an unconstitutional violation of his religious freedom. “I cannot think of anything more antithetical or repugnant to the fundamental values upon which our nation was founded — freedom of religion, freedom to worship God without interference from the government, freedom to practice Christianity without oppression,” Pastor David Rhone wrote Tuesday in a letter to Mayor Pat Morris and the council.

The controversy follows Monday’s revelation — through the leak of a confidential memo — that a man convicted of incest and lewd and lascivious conduct with a person younger than 14 performed work at the First Church of the Nazarene.

A police investigation determined that the man’s presence at the church did not present a danger to children or that any new crimes were committed. Nevertheless, the issue is sensitive not only because San Bernardino is in the middle of election season, but because the church hosts San Bernardino’s flagship Operation Phoenix youth center. That center was managed by Mike Miller until Miller’s arrest in July 2008 on suspicion of child molestation. Miller has pleaded not guilty and is incarcerated while awaiting trial. The church also hosts SOAR Charter Academy and Valley Christian Pre-school.

Rhone said Tuesday that he would rather sever the church’s relationship with the city than let the government decide who can attend services, but he does not expect that to come to pass. Instead, he expects the council to take back its demand and apologize. “They’ve got to reconsider because what they’ve asked us to do is unlawful,” Rhone said. The Police Department determined that children were not threatened while on church property.

Sheriff Official’s Son Doesn’t Want to be Sex Offender

September 23, 2009 Comments off

ocregister.com : Ex-Sheriff Official’s Son Doesn’t Want to be Sex Offender.

Santa Ana – Greg Haidl is the son of Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, who ran the department’s 600-member reserve program while supporting his son against gang-rape charges, and who abruptly resigned thereafter. Greg Haidl who was sentenced to six years in prison after he and two friends were convicted in a 2002 sexual assault of a teenage girl – wants his conviction thrown out.

Haidl, along with his two co-defendants, argue they didn’t get a fair trial when they were convicted in 2005 for their roles in the July 5, 2002, videotaped assault on the girl.

The three are asking the appeals court to overturn the conviction, or at least lift a requirement that they register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

Jon Husted Is Not Legal Resident in His District

September 23, 2009 Comments off

dayton.bizjournals.com : Ohio Secretary of State rules against Husted in residency dispute.

Secretary of State hopeful and Republican state Sen. Jon Husted says he isn’t giving up the fight in a protracted dispute over his residency, which ended in a late-night ruling on Monday that he isn’t a legal resident of Kettering.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, issued a 12-page ruling to the Montgomery County Board of Elections stating Husted isn’t eligible to vote there. Questions were raised over Husted’s residency a year ago and led to two tied votes before the Montgomery County elections board, which Brunner was required by the Ohio Supreme Court to break before Tuesday.

Case law, Brunner wrote, states a person’s intention is important but that must go hand-in-hand with evidence that backs it up. Monday’s ruling cites utility records showing “sporadic” usage of the Kettering home, including a five-month period last year in which no water use was recorded there.

“While Senator Husted’s subjective testimony claims an intention to return to a ‘fixed’ habitation, the weight of the evidence based on his actions and those of his family under the relevant legal provisions tip the scale so clearly against his assertions that I am convinced and hold the firm belief that he is no longer a resident of Montgomery County and therefore is not eligible to vote there,” Brunner wrote.

“Today’s ruling calls into question the legitimacy of Husted’s candidacy for Secretary of State, because someone running to be Ohio’s chief elections officer should follow Ohio elections law,” Chairman Chris Redfern said in a statement. “The Ohio Democratic Party will continue to remind voters about Jon Husted’s questionable residency status.”

We have reported several times on this matter. Mr. Husted, along with Senator Steve Austria of the Ohio Legislature are two of those who are responsible for violation the constitutional rights of over 30,000 Ohio citizens. They often thump their chests, proud of their efforts to instate the disastrous Adam Walsh Act laws in Ohio. And now, Husted, who wants to be Ohio Secretary of State is found guilty of violating Ohio election laws in listing his address falsely.