Arnie Rounds Up Sex Offenders, Despite Court Challenge

I praised Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in my last post, now I'm criticizing him.

The California courts are weighing challenges to residency restrictions imposed by Jessica's Law and have blocked state parole officers from arresting sex offenders for residency violations.

The Governor doesn't care. He's started a new crackdown of arresting sex offenders.

On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court agreed to block state parole agents from revoking the parole of four sex offenders who are illegally living too close to schools or parks. In a one-paragraph order, the court said it will consider whether Jessica's Law violates the parolees' constitutional rights. The law approved by voters last November prohibits offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children gather. The law pertains to sex offender parolees released from prison on or after November 8, 2006.

The ruling applies only to the four offenders who filed suit. So Arnie says he'll continue to pursue the rest:


The court's order narrowly applies to the four parolees who filed the suit. At this point, the state is allowed to continue pursuing other parolees found to be in violation of the law and Gov. Schwarzenegger says CDCR will proceed with enforcement.

"My administration will vigorously defend against challenges to Jessica's Law and protect the will of the people," said Schwarzenegger in a statement.

"I am disappointed with the court's order, but remain committed to the full implementation of Jessica's Law," the governor added.

The San Francisco Chronicle has more.

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  • Display: Sort:
    2000' of school or park -- what does that leave? (none / 0) (#1)
    by jerry on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 02:02:32 AM EST
    If this sort of abuse isn't unconstitutional, what is?

    In the cities I've lived in, I can't imagine too many places that aren't within 1/2 mile of a park or a school.

    There are so many issues this raises.

    How our system creates sex offenders out of people that take pictures of their naked babies.

    How our system creates sex offenders out of people engaged in consensual sex.

    How our system creates sex offenders out of juveniles that take naked pictures of each other.

    How much of our family law system provides incentives to make false allegations of domestic violence or child abuse on the other party.

    Our system at times would be more honest if it just took people judged guilty of certain crimes out in back of the courthouse, shot them, and did away with the pretense of civilization.  And that would go along way towards making the rest of us "feel" safer and more civilized without those others.

    If it's a condition of parole (none / 0) (#2)
    by Lora on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 08:17:02 AM EST
    I don't know that it violates any constitutional rights.  However, they need a place to live.  Hmmm, a halfway house for sex offender parolees...?  They probably all need treatment.

    rounding them up (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 10:48:03 AM EST
    Since it is not clear as yet whether this actually violates anyone's constitutional rights (the court is merely going to "consider it"), it is the governor's judgment call about whether to proceed with the others.
    Some of these laws may indeed be too draconian, but, for example, wouldn't it be reasonable to not allow a paroled pedophile to live within a half mile of an elementary school or day care center?  Or is the position here that any limit on where a parolee lives is by definition unconstitutional?

    a paroled pedophile (none / 0) (#4)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 12:14:09 PM EST
      whose offense related to a sexual assault or abuse of a child presents a much more limited application than all prior sex offenders required to register. The California law on its face applies to all registered sex offenders; the parole condition is just method of selective enforcement of the intent of the broader law.

      Also, simple distance limits can be very arbitrary. First, in a rural or semi-rural area it may be fairly easy to find affordable housing more than 2000 feet from any school or park, but in densely populated urban areas it may not be. Also, what if one lives 1500 air feet from a school but most of that distance is a river and the shortest route using a bridge is 4 miles?

      What if the offender owned his  house prior to the law's effective date? What if an offender owned a house outside the limit but then the school district decided to build a school within it?


    It seems reasonable to me to amend the law (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 12:33:35 PM EST
    such that only convicted pedophiles are restricted from living near schools and parks.

    probably a knee-jerk reaction (none / 0) (#6)
    by Sumner on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 01:08:35 PM EST
    the Republican Governor may be striking out in blind rage because of the assaults on California's .gov Web sites.

    Otherwise, the implications suggest he is showing his colors as a despot, as in, "You say abuse? I'll show you abuse!"

    a disconnect in logic here? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Sumner on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 04:41:36 PM EST
    Nazius, you seem perpetually hysterically shrill about pushing never-ending one-size-fits-all punishments and denial of due process for that class of people labeled "sex offenders".

    Yet if you truly love children why are your comments so conspicuously absent from other neglect-and-abuse reports about children posted here, such as from bootcamp excesses?