Federal judge blocks California sex offender proposition

[JURIST] US District Judge Susan Illston [official profile] of the Northern District of California [official website] on Wednesday blocked the enforcement of provisions of 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 prohibits registered sex offenders from residing "within 2,000 feet of any public or private school or park where children regularly gather." Illston said "Jessica's Law" likely violates the Constitution and issued a temporary restraining order to prevent enforcement of the law's residency requirements.

An unidentified registered sex offender filed the lawsuit [JURIST report] Wednesday, alleging that the bill "effectively banishes John Doe from his home and community for a crime he committed, and paid his debt for, long ago." The lawsuit came as no surprise amidst widespread debate over whether Proposition 83 could apply retroactively to the 90,000 registered sex offenders living in California. Critics had argued that the bill would create enforcement problems [CACJ statement, PDF] and encourage registered sex offenders not to report their addresses. Illston ordered a November 27 hearing. AP has more. The Los Angeles Times has local coverage.

 

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