See also below: Council to revisit sex-offender park ban
In 2012 a law was passed that prohibited registered sex offenders from entering areas where children would likely be present. This in includes parks, playgrounds and beaches. However, according to ABC News the law was overturned in an appeals court in January 2014 because it was said to violate California’s state law. See Fourth District Court of Appeal Tosses City’s Sex Offender Ordinance
It is clear the state of California and its cities are not doing all they can to protect the families and children of California by leaving them vulnerable to dangerous criminals.
In May 2012, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas released a statement explaining the conditions of the law that would be put into effect within 30 days. Under this law, if a sex offender entered one of these restricted areas, they would have been charged with a misdemeanor, facing six months of jail time and/or a $500 fine for each separate facility entered. Santa Ana was one of the first cities to pass their new ordinance laws and since then dozens of cities have followed.
However, now with the overturn of this law, registered sex offenders will be allowed in areas with a high population of children. Sex offenders have committed heinous acts and they should not be allowed into parks or beaches.
Many Americans will argue that there are different types of sex offenders and different degrees of their offenses.
There are seemingly light hearted stories such as a 21-year-old man getting caught having sex with his underage girlfriend or the drunken person who urinated in public. However according to the law they may still have to register as a sex offender.
These individuals are the severe minority of sex offenders. According to list of offenders that provided by Megan’s Law, most offenders are the ones who have a sick and extremely dangerous attraction to little children.
Although it is obvious some offenders are more severe and violent than others, all restrictions should be the same whether it is putting their address and picture online or preventing them from entering certain areas if it means protection for the children.
Megan’s Law was started after 7-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and brutally murdered by her neighbor.
“The purpose of the law was to provide an awareness to parents,” Megan Kanka’s mother said. “We never said it was going to stop them from reoffending or wandering to another town.”
Although Megan’s Law was not necessarily intended to put restrictions on these offenders other than providing a map of their residences, allowing the sex offenders into tempting areas such as parks or beaches is simply not worth the risk involved.
Allowing a registered sex offender to go to a park or the beach is similar, although more severe, to bringing an alcoholic to a bar. For a sex offender, the temptation would be a young child in a bathing suit at the beach. There is an undeniable temptation that arises within these individuals. If it can be avoided then it should be avoided at all costs meaning that the law needs to be put back into effect immediately. ..Source.. by Kayli Craig (A Student Newspaper Voice)
Council to revisit sex-offender park ban
The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to consider instituting a reward for help in identifying vandals and repealing a law that aims to rein in the movements of sex offenders.
The Police Department has recommended that the council consider revoking a 2012 ordinance that bans registered sex offenders from entering city parks and sports facilities without law enforcement permission.
Costa Mesa's ordinance was similar to ones passed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Irvine City Council.
Two state appellate court decisions, however, have ruled against the legality of the Irvine and county ordinances.
According to city staff, the Orange County district attorney's office, which supports the ban, will probably appeal the decisions to the state Supreme Court.
Staff also noted that Costa Mesa is also facing its own lawsuit against the sex offender ordinance. The case, John Doe vs. City of Costa Mesa, is pending in federal court.
The lawsuit, filed in 2012, originally targeted Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Costa Mesa, Police Chief Tom Gazsi, and the cities of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Lake Forest and their police chiefs.
Lake Forest, its police chief and Hutchens have since been dropped from the lawsuit, according to federal court documents. ..Source.. by Bradley Zint