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  1. #1 'Sex Predator' Law Reexamined. 
    Constitutionality 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.
    Interesting. I'm not pro-sex predator but it's clear to me that the label of sex predator is misapplied a lot. Even when you have a genuine sex predator, how do all these conflicting laws actually protect potential victims?

    LA Times
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    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Interesting. I'm not pro-sex predator but it's clear to me that the label of sex predator is misapplied a lot. Even when you have a genuine sex predator, how do all these conflicting laws actually protect potential victims?

    LA Times
    It's an interesting concept. Especially with the hubub recently about this same constitutional issue about the Hate Crimes law.
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    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Interesting. I'm not pro-sex predator but it's clear to me that the label of sex predator is misapplied a lot. Even when you have a genuine sex predator, how do all these conflicting laws actually protect potential victims?

    LA Times


    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Interesting. I'm not pro-sex predator but it's clear to me that the label of sex predator is misapplied a lot. Even when you have a genuine sex predator, how do all these conflicting laws actually protect potential victims?

    LA Times
    Because pedophilia is incurable and if left unchecked there's a high degree of probability that it will end in the death of a child. This is a stone cold fact as we read about it almost every day on how a known pedophile ends up killing a kid so I agree that these scumbags should be civilly committed for life.
    Quote Originally Posted by djones520 View Post
    It's an interesting concept. Especially with the hubub recently about this same constitutional issue about the Hate Crimes law.
    Big, big difference here. Hate Crime law is a thought crime law. You beat up a dude in a bar fight, it's just assault. If that dude happens to be a minority or gay, you can get hit with a hate crime on top of it. All you need is one person to say you were using epithets during the fight and you're toast. If you are already a known sex offended or a pedophile, then you should have major restriction on you because it's a known fact that pedophiles more more likely to re-commit their crimes.
    Last edited by NJCardFan; 01-29-2010 at 12:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    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.
    Bingo. All too often the "predator" is also Mom's current lover or a friend of Mom's current lover. Then there are the assorted "funny" uncles, cousins, step-brothers, and so on. Once these people are identified, I would think that simply forbidding them to have direct contact with any children would do the trick. Most of these men require a combination of continual exposure to a child plus liquor/drugs to get to the point where they cross that line.
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    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Bingo. All too often the "predator" is also Mom's current lover or a friend of Mom's current lover. Then there are the assorted "funny" uncles, cousins, step-brothers, and so on. Once these people are identified, I would think that simply forbidding them to have direct contact with any children would do the trick. Most of these men require a combination of continual exposure to a child plus liquor/drugs to get to the point where they cross that line.


    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.
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    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.
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    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....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Interesting. I'm not pro-sex predator but it's clear to me that the label of sex predator is misapplied a lot. Even when you have a genuine sex predator, how do all these conflicting laws actually protect potential victims?

    LA Times
    They don't. If law makers were actually serious about protecting potential victims they would never let these bastards see the light of day ever again. Convicted 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.
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    Sonnabend
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    Convicted 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.
    PoliCon, I can pick a HUGE hole in this. Example: man accused and convicted of rape...later evidence proves he's innocent.

    Jail? Yes.

    Death penalty should be off the table.
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