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Cal Supreme Court rules against residency restrictions for sex offenders

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 11, 2015 | 0 Comments

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to impose blanket restrictions on where registered sex offenders in California can live.

In the case of In re Taylor, the Court considered a section of Proposition 83, also known as "Jessica's Law," which California voters passed in 2006. This law prohibited people who are required to register as sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of:

  1. Any school, or
  2. Any park where children regularly gather.

The Supreme Court struck down this section of Jessica's Law. According to the Court, the residency restrictions severely restricted the liberty and privacy interests of convicted sex offenders.

The also greatly restricted housing options for sex offenders and increased the incidence of homelessness among them--while doing very little to protect children from so-called "sexual predators."

The Taylor ruling is a victory for the civil rights of California sex crimes defendants.

But it's important to note that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation can still impose residency restrictions like these on individual parolees--as long as they are based on the particular circumstances of a parolee's conviction. Also refer to our article on "Forgetting to register as a sex offender in California."

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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