Sex Offenders On Playgrounds

Nice headline on CNN :Sex offenders sue for playground access

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (AP) — Six sex offenders sued the city Wednesday to block a new ordinance that bars them from venturing within 1,000 feet of parks, pools and playgrounds when children are present.
The plaintiffs went to federal court to argue that the law is unconstitutionally vague, violates their rights to vote and attend church, and prevents them from freely traveling on roads that may pass within 1,000 feet of the affected sites.

They’re right. I dislike these Megan Laws. If these convicted sex offenders are still a threat then they should not be released from prison; increase the jail time and various ‘treatments’, but you can’t keep punishing people after they’ve served the proscribed time for the crime they committed.
And don’t give me this sort of bullshit:

Tenley Drescher, an attorney for the city, said officials planned to defend the ordinance. “The important part is protecting kids,” she said.

Not at the expense of the Constitution.

7 Responses to “Sex Offenders On Playgrounds”

  1. Ken Summers says:

    Most places, ex-cons can’t vote anyway.
    This is a very tough one. I may post more detail another time when I have time, but I don’t really see a Constitutional issue here except possibly an ex post facto issue for those sentenced before the law was passed.
    You do have an inconsistency in your complaint – you can’t keep someone in prison past the original sentence even if he is still a danger; that’s still “punishing people after they’ve served the proscribed time”. That argument also applies to only those who actually has served that time; parolees have absolutely no right to complain unless their original sentence has passed.
    The other side of Megan’s Laws is that the public should have the right to know if a pedophile (a category with one of the highest rates of recidivism) is loosed in their area. They have no right to “punish” him, but they have the right to know that their children may be in danger and to take appropriate precautions.

  2. Mike Rentner says:

    If they’re safe enough to release into society, they should be treated like free citizens.
    The correct punishment for pedophiles involves rope, electrodes, or needles, not “time-out” from playgrounds.

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    Ken, you’re right. What I should have said is the original sentences should be longer, and include conditions of rehab, etc.
    But I’m not so sure about the ‘right to know’. do banks have the right to know if ex-robbers move in the area? If you air some dirty laundry then it seems to me you have to air all of it. Perhaps if you mean that in the more general sense, i.e. “there’s a sex offender who has moved into town; we won’t say who exactly the person is, but just be more careful”, maybe something like that is acceptable, I just don’t know.

  4. Ken Summers says:

    That’s why it’s difficult. But that only applies to people already convicted. I have absolutely no problem with part of the sentence being “and you will be on a list forever, you will not be allowed near playgrounds, all of your future neighbors will know about you, and that’s too goddam bad.”
    Mike’s solution, of course, also has a certain charm.

  5. Nightfly says:

    Mike’s a regular reader and seems to have read the Nugent post. =)

  6. Mike Rentner says:

    Nugent is a socialist liberal.

  7. Mr. Bingley says:

    Careful, Mike; you’re drifting perilously close to disclosing the presence of a humor gene!

Image | WordPress Themes