A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

California proposition on sex offenders faces legal challenge after approval

[JURIST] An unnamed registered sex offender filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday seeking to block California Proposition 83 [text, PDF], a measure approved Tuesday by 70 percent of state voters [results, CA Secretary of State; Yes on 83 advocacy website] that would prohibit registered sex offenders from residing "within 2,000 feet of any public or private school or park where children regularly gather." The proposition also requires registered sex offenders to be "monitored by a global positioning system for life" as a condition of their parole. The suit alleges that bill "effectively banishes John Doe from his home and community for a crime he committed, and paid for his debt for, long ago." The legal challenge was anticipated, as there is debate whether the proposition could retroactively apply to an estimated 90,000 registered sex offenders residing in California. Critics of the proposition have argued that it is not only difficult to enforce [CACJ statement, PDF] but will drive registered sex offenders fearing relocation underground or force sex offenders to relocate far from social services.

Georgia passed similar legislation targeting registered sex offenders earlier this year which already faces legal opposition from a class [JURIST report] of over 10,000 registered sex offenders living in that state. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.