Thread: 'Sex Predator' Law Reexamined.
#1 'Sex Predator' Law Reexamined.01-29-2010, 11:50 AMConstitutionality of 'Jessica's Law' questioned
Treating sex predators differently from other violent offenders may violate equal protection guarantees, the California Supreme Court says.
By Maura Dolan
January 29, 2010
The California Supreme Court ruled 5 to 2 Thursday that a 2006 ballot initiative that permitted the state to lock up sexually violent predators indefinitely may violate constitutional guarantees of equal protection.
The ruling, written by Justice Carlos R. Moreno, did not strike down the measure, Proposition 83, also known as "Jessica's Law."
Instead, the court said a fact-finding hearing must be held to determine whether valid reasons exist for treating sex predators differently from others subject to civil confinement, such as mentally disordered offenders.
Proposition 83 increased penalties for repeat sex offenders, prohibited them from living near schools and parks, and changed the law to permit their indefinite confinement to mental institutions, instead of two years with the possibility of extensions.
Richard McKee, a convicted child molester, challenged his confinement on several constitutional grounds, but the court found that only his equal protection argument had merit.
The majority said the state must provide "some justification" for creating greater obstacles for sex predators to win their freedom than for severely mentally disordered offenders who commit crimes but serve their terms in mental institutions.
Sexual predators must be shown to "bear a substantially greater risk to society, and that therefore imposing on them a greater burden before they can be released from commitment is needed to protect society," Moreno wrote.
The majority said the state can provide its justifications in a hearing before a trial judge.
Justice Ming W. Chin, joined by Justice Marvin R. Baxter, dissented.
"Whether sexually violent predators present a distinct danger warranting unique remedies is for society to determine, not a trial judge," Chin wrote.
01-29-2010, 12:03 PM
I don't know how much the laws that forbid sex offenders from living near parks and schools protect potential victims. It gives the police grounds to arrest them if they are near places they aren't supposed to be. Those things should be conditions of parole, anyways, whether there is Jessica's Law in place or not.
Most sexual abuse is committed by people who are known to the child, and trusted by him or her. All the laws in the world don't work if the parent(s) allow that person to continue to have access to the child.
01-29-2010, 12:35 PM
Last edited by NJCardFan; 01-29-2010 at 12:39 PM.The Obama Administration: Deny. Deflect. Blame.
01-29-2010, 12:39 PM
01-29-2010, 02:02 PM
My mom's family had a "funny" great uncle, uncle and cousin. When we'd go to the home of the great uncle and his son, my dad would keep my sister and I outside with him while he smoked, at least if my dad went on that trip with us. My mom wasn't supposed to bring us there if my dad wasn't with her.
01-29-2010, 05:29 PM
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
I think the problem is that in some cases the laws are WAY too technical. Like, I don't think an 18 year old guy dating a 17 year old girl is a sex predator yet by law depending on the state he could be charged as one and have that on his record for life.
SonnabendGuest01-29-2010, 05:30 PM
Keeping a child molestor away from new victims is what the law is supposed to be for..that I can understand...but waiting until their sentence is done then telling them they will be locked up indefinitely...doesnt sit right with me.
If he gets ten years and does ten years, the judge SAID ten years and he serves it he SHOULD be released...but that poses a danger to possible victims AND is a violation of his rights....the sentencing law should be changed.
Telling a man that after he's served his sentence he stays in jail and he will, and rightly, say "FOR WHAT?"....I'm torn both ways....
01-29-2010, 07:14 PMStand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
SonnabendGuest01-29-2010, 08:44 PMConvicted pedophiles and actual rapists - not just men who have been accused of rape because the woman got buyers remorse - should face the death penalty and at the very least they should NEVER EVER walk free again.
Death penalty should be off the table.
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