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Report on Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

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Don Thompson reports for AP that a forthcoming report from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will recommend repeal of the 2000-foot residency restriction in the 2006 initiative known as Jessica's Law.  Registered sex offenders are not allowed to live within 2000 feet of a school or park.  There is no link to the actual report in any of versions of this story I was able to find online, so we will probably have to wait for the official release next week to find out what it actually says.

A 2000 foot radius circle is a 3/4 mile diameter circle.  Plot one of those over every school and park on the map of a densely populated city, and you will find you have nearly covered the map.  Exiling sex offenders from the urban centers to the countryside is not a good idea, especially for those who live in the countryside.  Nor is making them give up regular residences and join the homeless population.

CJLF warned in its pre-election analysis of Jessica's Law that this provision might be struck down, and that has happened preliminarily at the trial court level.  See Nov. 4 News Scan and linked story.  However, we must take or leave initiatives as a package, and this ill-considered provision was necessary to enact the remainder of this important law.

This would not be necessary if the California Legislature would represent the views of the people on criminal law.  It does not, though.  The Legislature is firmly in the control of the Democratic Party, the California Democratic Party is firmly in the control of the thug-hugger left, and the public safety committees of both houses are stacked with anti-law-enforcement majorities.  Bills that would pass by a landslide if the people could vote on them and would probably pass the Legislature if they got to the floor are routinely killed in committee.  So we must resort to the initiative, with all its faults, again and again.

Democracy, it is said, is the worst form of government except for all the others.  In California, we take that a step further.  Direct democracy is the worst form of democracy except for the other one.

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