Archive for May 13, 2010

MI: Banning Sex Offenders from Renting Local Public Facilities

May 13, 2010 Comments off Controversy Over Sex Offenders Renting Buildings Continues.

Another in a long line of restrictions on life which former sex offenders must suffer. And yet our courts still refuse to recognize the punitive aspect of these laws.

Should convicted sex offenders be able to rent to community centers and other public facilities? The issue comes to a head with the Lansing City Parks Board and some council members as well, pushing to keep sex offenders out. They say it’s all about safety. Shutting the doors on sex offenders might mean overlooking a bigger issue. When it comes to who’s renting the local community center, this kind of discussion leads to two very different fears.

Eric Hewitt, Lansing City Council: “There’s a situation that occurs where someone slips through the cracks and we have a predator that has the opportunity to prey on the citizens, the children of Lansing.”

Your’e an idiot Eric Hewitt. Learn the difference between the terms “predator” and “registered sex offender”. You want to ban both, yet you fear monger using only the much more rare legal term defining only those of highest risk and repeat offenders.

And now the park board sounded off. Councilman Eric Hewitt says he wants a policy that shuts the doors on people convicted of any sex crime, from rape to public urination. That’s because he says he’s trying to be cautious. Murdock Jemerson, who’s the Director of Lansing Parks and Recreation, says they shouldn’t swing the net just yet. Instead he says they need to talk this over with the public rather than in just a small group before they change the policy. They’ll have to meet again to continue the debate.

The public safety committee wants the community’s input on the issue, so a public hearing is scheduled for June 3rd. 6 News spoke with the man at the center of this debate. Adrian Hill, a convicted sex offender, tried to rent Lansing’s Lett’s Community Center and that sparked it all. He says he couldn’t make it to the meeting, but has these words for the city council.

Adrian Hill, convicted sex offender: “Instead of them asking me what my intentions are and working with me, they want to go through these meetings to prevent it instead of coming together to figure out what we can do together to make it work.”

Any readers in or near Lansing should attend this meeting and speak forcefully against this proposed ban.