State sex offender restrictions ruled unconstitutional

The California Supreme Court struck down a state law that prohibits paroled sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school.

The measure, known as Jessica’s Law, was struck down by the state’s high court on Monday.

In their decision, however, the court ruled that state prison officials could impose tougher residency restrictions case-by-case on individual ex-offenders, depending on their circumstances and the dangers they might pose to children.

State officials say nearly 84,000 ex-offenders are now subject to the residency requirements.

Enforcement of the residency restriction “has imposed harsh and severe restrictions and disabilities on the affected parolees’ liberty and privacy rights, however limited, while producing conditions that hamper, rather than foster, efforts to monitor, supervise and rehabilitate those persons,” Justice Marvin Baxter, wrote in the court’s unanimous ruling. 

The 2006 law was passed by state voters in 2006. Proposition 82  increased sentences for sex crimes and imposed new restrictions on offenders after their release from prison.


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