Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sex Offenders Ban Together


A group of sex offenders is fighting back against a California city ordinance that bans them from opening their doors to children on Halloween, with their attorney comparing the ban to the discrimination faced by the Jews during Nazi Germany. 
The Ventura County Star reports the federal lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of five registered sex offenders, three of their spouses and two of their children. It alleges the ordinance passed by the city of Simi Valley violates the First and 14th Amendments because it "suppresses and unduly chills protected speech and expression."
The ordinance requires the offenders to post signs on their front doors saying, "No candy or treats at this residence." It also bars them from displaying Halloween decorations or having exterior lighting on their property from 5 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 31.
Attorney Janice Bellucci tells The Los Angeles Times she plans to ask the judge for an injunction to keep the city from enforcing its new law this Halloween. Bellucci, who heads an advocacy group called California Reform Our Sex Offender Laws, says her clients were particularly upset by the requirement to have a sign in the front yard.
"To us, it's similar to branding," she told the paper. "We can think of what happened in Nazi Germany, where Jews had to appear in public wearing yellow stars."
City officials tell The Los Angeles Times they modeled their new ordinance after similar preemptive laws in other parts of Southern California. 
Simi Valley City Attorney Marjorie Baxter tells The Ventura County Star that the lawsuit's claims the ordinance violates the sex offenders' rights are groundless.
"We thoroughly researched the ordinance and I don't feel the lawsuit has any merit, and we will defend it vigorously," she told the paper. 

48 comments:

JoAnn said...

Comparing innocent Jews to sex offenders???? Attorney Janice Bellucci has her head in a very dark place (vulgar insinuation intentional).

Justme said...

from http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/01/local/la-me-halloween-offenders-20121002

"For offenders listed on the Megan's Law website, the city also requires a sign on the front door in letters at least an inch tall: "No candy or treats at this residence."
A total of 119 registered sex offenders live in Simi Valley. Although some have been convicted of misdemeanors and do not have their names displayed, 67 have been guilty of more serious crimes and are publicly listed on the website. None has been involved in crimes involving children on Halloween, according to police, who say they have no records of any such crime occurring in Simi Valley during Halloween trick-or-treating."

Public notice is a condition of their release back into society. If they object to that then let them live where the sign in their front yard reads, California Penitentiary.

JoAnn said...

The argument that none of the RSO have committed a crime against a child ON HALLOWEEN is ridiculous. Using that logic, a sex offender would only need to be watched on the date of his previous criminal activity, and should be free to prowl schoolyards and parks the other 364 days of the year.

Justme said...

Exactly! I can't imagine why the police even thought it was necessary to point that out.

MissUnderstood said...

ITA Jazzie!!

Anonymous said...

Here is the transcript for the debate last night....

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/03/transcript-first-presidential-debate/

Analyze it for us PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

KatONine said...

"It's like brannnding!" Interesting concept, maybe they should be branded. It'd certainly make it easier to avoid them, eh? Big tattoo on the forehead is hard to miss, yadig?

As for comparing their "plight" ('omg! can't hang the spooky ghosts or hand out candy, waaaah!' - the world's smallest violin is playing somewhere, I'm sure.) to what the Jews and others suffered during the reign of Hilter ... Godwin arguments are bottom of the barrel, it means you have nothing else - a bit o' time on the internet will tell you that. Now if they were being gathered and forced into camps, maybe. If they were having gas showers, maybe. If they had their BASIC NEEDS denied, maybe. If they were being experimented on and cut open, maybe.

Until then, anyone who compares this to what the Jews and others suffered during that time period with their 'pity-me-i-can't-has-Halloween' issues needs a lesson in history. Maybe a trip to Auschwitz? Maybe a talk with someone who spent time in the camp when it was full of people and agony?

Jeff said...

What troubles me is the lawsuit's statement about "...suppresses and unduly chills protected speech and expression." If this were the case, then everybody should be allowed to do anything they want, including murder, because otherwise they are being prevented from "expressing" themselves. This is why we have laws - to prevent (or suppress), unwanted acts against socitey. Unfortunately, some people need the enforced discipline of the law to remain law abiding. Their "rights" are not being suppressed; others are being protected. Personally - and I hope you do not think me too extreme - I am sick & tired of hearing about the "rights" of criminals. We, as a society, agree to abide by certain rules, regulations, and laws to enjoy the rights of our society. The moment somebody decides to step outside those boundaries and harm another human being, they are implying they do not want to participate within the society; ergo, they do not want to enjoy the same rights. When they commit a crime, they are forfeiting the rights they enjoyed as a law abiding citizen. Hence, punishment. This is simple. The only reason it has become complicated is because of greedy attorneys who only care about the money to be made from defending criminals. Worse still, they are basically creating their own business; by trying to relax laws and, therefore, the enforced discipline that may prevent crime, they are giving more people opportunity to commit crime, generating more crime (and income).

Apple said...

Great comments here

Anonymous said...

A sign on the door should suffice, especially if it is known they are a RSO. Barring them from displaying deorations is obsurd, though. Many decorate for reasons other than entertaining children. That would be like saying you can't put up Christmas lights because Christmas is for children.

Vita said...

How many times do we read in our local news, the "State or pick a county" cannot track Registered Sex Offenders. Usually around local/county/state election time, we see the statistics. Such and such county has so many thousands of RSO's, whereabouts unknown, failure to register. Halloween a once a year, invasion of rights? or a way that local, county, state LE can do a " check"?

The sign to be posted to be the determination? J Diddler put his sign up " No Candy" at his registered address. When was the last time he registered? not an issue, or an issue? When was the last time he met with is probation officer? is he on probation? How many RSO's do not put the sign up? are they red flagged? How many parents know who is living next door? your not a RSO unless your determined to be, as in " arrested" put through the system i.e. Caught. It's a matter of convenience, crap shoot where an RSO will apply the sign to view or not isn't it? What if J. Diddler is out of town? will he be remanded to put the sign up? he will be fined if he doesn't? even if he wasn't in his locality?

Why not have a sign all year round? why is it that Halloween is the " holiday" that powers that Be, declare it, a Beware of the Boogie Man next door day? because there is candy involved? masks? I think it is more than the holiday, it is used by LE task forces to do a yearly check -as it is known, outcomes may vary. Depending on countless reasons, budgets being the main factor, who and how many will go out door to door, to each address, of registered offenders.

The worst RSO's wear masks all year round. They are court ordered to register, how many disobey this order in California alone? How many are untraceable? could only find in stats, 2008, 51k RSO's in California were lost. If those who are registered and are complaining they are being branded, they then need to be productive and proactive in their quests for civil rights. If you are a RSO for peeing in public, not for a sex offense, it's then up to you to get your legislature to work on that, your individual case. The tier laws are changing in each state, in motion. Tier 1, 2, 3. Each State is of their own laws. Here in Michigan they created the Romeo and Juliet law that if it's a case of " teen" and 20'some " sex" - they the accused, charged, are able to have their record clean after so long. Depending on the circumstance, the legislature is a bit fuzzy. It's on who's side, not determined truly. I find it controversial.

This is or isn't a blanket issue? A Diddler proven, RSO, charged as a sexual offender of a minor, minors, even women, my thoughts sorry you lose the right to participate in children's activities. Where it be Halloween or other activities local to your dwelling, schools, parks, community even. If J.Diddler has a problem with it, he should go tell the Mother/Father of 3 children next door, see what she/he says. They the RSO's as sexual offenders are not the Victim, Society is.

Vita said...

Halloween isn't the issue, it's that countless children unsupervised who collect and go door to door is the issue. Halloween decor lures the unsuspecting, where the person is handing out candy or not. I see your point on the Christmas decor and I thought the same. It's not though a tradition that children go door to door on Christmas Eve for gifts and candy. I remember when I was in 1st grade, I was a Blue Bird, and we were to sell light bulbs door to door. No fear then, my parents allowed me to go only to the houses on our street, I was alone, 7 yrs old. I remember Mr G, he was an older man, he lived by himself. He 3 houses down. He was a quiet man with a meticulous yard. I stood at his door, and sang my words, as I would to my friend next door, Mr G, come out, come out, holding this huge box of light bulbs. 7 year old's are not sales people. He came to the door, he was angry. He said GO HOME! He was mean, scolding, he and I never truly never had a conversation. My dad and he would talk about the weather once in a blue moon. He said Little Girls should Never come to a Single Mans HOUSE ! he growled at me. I stood and I cried, he said, You tell your Father, I said that! After that, I never looked at Mr. G as I had before. I thought he was a nice man, that lived alone. Something within his words shook me to my utter core. He was protecting me, from who?

Anonymous said...

Lady lawyer Janice is a little remiss in her jewish history. Perhaps it's true that in Nazi Germany jews were required to wear yellow stars to identify themselves when appearing in public, (actually they were gold), but it is also true that when the jews arrived at Ellis Island (US of A) they were required to wear black armbands with the Star of David imprinted, isolate themselves together and live in jewish only isolated neighborhoods. Because they were jews they were paid mere cents per day for their labors regardless as to their qualifications and previous careers.

THAT is discrinination of one of the worst kinds. This is why some changed or altered their last name and denied they were jews. They had to make a living. In time, many married catholic and christian women to further muddy the water. I know, my (deceased) father-in-law's family was among them. But they were not criminals. They were escaping the extermination death chambers only to arrive in this country to be subjected to some very harsh conditions, with many being turned away upon arrival initially.

Sex Offenders are an entirely different matter. They should be publically identified at all times, including their places of residence. They are a danger to children and All children should be warned as should their parents at all times. If SOs are isolated and prevented from participating in public gatherings of any kind where there might be children, it's their own fault and exactly what they deserve. They should have thought about that before they comitted their crimes! Let them appeal their case then if they can prove they're cured. Only they aren't.

MissUnderstood said...

Oops sorry, Justme!

rob said...

Jeff, I am so with you on this. They should do anything they are asked to do and jump thru any hoop for the privilege of living at home and not being in jail where they belong. And yeah, I'm sick of the guilty having all the rights, and the victims having none. Don't bring up their past history in a trial, it makes the look bad, it prejudices the jury against them. Well heck yes, you should be able to bring up things back to kindergarden if it shows what kind of person you are dealing with. Who made these rules, and why is there not an uprising against them. Even the supreme court makes decisions that it seems most of the citizens are against. Pleading the fifth, needs to go. Not testifying against spouse, go. Hundreds of things, but who asked me.

Lis said...

They are lucky they are only being "branded." They ought to be thankful.

Lis said...

I love how you put that- "the world's smallest violin is playing somewhere" ha ha ha! No kidding.

Hobnob said...

~ hands over world'e smallest orchestra, lets go the whole hog LOL~

Hobnob said...

In the UK there is no public database ( we might infringe the offenders human rights to privacy etc)

We do have a watered down version of Megan's law called Sara's law after a little girl who was raped and murdered by a paedophile.

Now a parent or neighbor can go to the local station and ask about anyone having ciontact with their child.
However they cannot publicise any info they get if the person turns out to be a paedophile.
They are now rolling out a similar scheme for domestic violence perps/

They fear the public will act as vigilantes and chase them away, so rather than protecting the puclic and children from these offenders the onus is to protect the paedophile from nasty protective parets

Paedophiles who put out decorations and want to give candy and treats to children have only one reason to do so, to have contact however brief with a child.
What excuses would we hear if they were allowed and a child was abused perhaps even murdered because they went to a house where a paedophile was living to get candy.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he was protecting you from himself, Vita. That would be my first thought.

Anonymous said...

I quit Halloween years ago when I opened up the door and found they were much larger than me. I just bought some candy for the children I knew at the time that lived nearby.

Then, at church, you couldn't say "halloween" without being corrected with "fall fesival."

Holy sh!t! Too much! Not like when I was a kid!

Anonymous said...

As an attorney, I cannot be more offended to read another lawyer's comparison of sex offender awareness to the Holocaust. It is simply absurd.

Anonymous said...

In Texas, there are some instances of vigilanteism, and we generally acquit them here. (Sometimes, they're not even charged with a crime, as the father in Shiner who found a farm worker molesting his daughter and killed the man).

JoAnn said...

I have a strong feeling the police did not point this out, but were asked by the reporter if this was true. Then their answer was used so that it appeared to be information volunteered by the police.

Chipmunk said...

Comparing the holocaust to Halloween? Those poor innocent people did nothing wrong.
Can you say the same about a registered sex offender?

Anonymous said...

I would think Halloween would be less risky for children being around RSO because typically there are other children with them (you rarely see one alone)and/or a parent. Vigilance is needed on Halloween night moreso not because of RSO, but because of cars, tainted goodies, pre-teens looking for trouble,loose dogs that could bite, and the list of other mishaps could go on and on.

Everyday you read about typical everyday people involved in child porn. Often it is both a man and woman. So, Mr. and Mrs. Nice Guy could be the culprit and no one would know.

Nope! Don't think I'd be letting the little one out alone-anywhere, anytime. It's a different world now. This is stuff I didn't hear of when I was a kid, and no one I know has ever mentioned it, though it may have happened.

Way back when, you could enter their home and eat goodies-HOMEMADE- right there and get something to drink while visiting.

Lara Martinez said...

News Flash for Sex Offenders: You broke the law and as a consequence you no longer have all the rights of those of us who don't rape children. One of the rights you forfeited is luring children into your home to rape via Halloween pretenses. Quit whining and deal with reality: as a sex offender/child molester, parents and children in your neighborhood have the right to protect their children from you, a predator. I have NO sympathy for you.

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