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Jessica’s Law Residency Restrictions Shot Down by California Supreme Court

Posted by Seth Chazin | Mar 04, 2015 | 0 Comments

The California Supreme Court case originating in San Diego, found that mandatory residence restrictions created by a voter-approved initiative supposedly aimed at helping Californians better protect themselves from sex offenders on parole is unconstitutional in regards to CA Penal Code 290 .

This decision shot down the restrictions contained in Jessica's Law as unconstitutional and will be applied to registered sex offenders on active parole in San Diego County and shortly across the state.

These restrictions have not proved to be providing safety to anyone and have just hindered the lives of the parolees as it has restricted their ability to find housing and increased the rates of homelessness among them, according to the state's high court.

It has also prevented them from accessing medical treatment, drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, psychological counseling, while further hampering the efforts of law enforcement to monitor them in the purported interest of public safety.

The California Supreme Court, agreed with the lower court that authorities can still impose special parole conditions on sex offender parolees, including residency restrictions, as long as they are based on special circumstances of each parolee.

Jessica's Law was first enacted by voters in 2006. It was supposedly intended to protect Californians and their children, and their communities from the problems posed by sex offenders by strengthening and improving the laws that punish and control sexual offenders.  It was aimed to prevent sex offenders from living near parks and schools where children are present.

For more: SF Gate:Sex Offender Restrictions Unconstitutional

About the Author

Seth Chazin

Seth P. Chazin has aggressively defended clients in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for over 30 years. He has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in federal and state court, while handling both state and federal appeals as well.


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“The death penalty is a lie, a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration. Capital punishment has become a perverse monument to inequality, to how some lives matter and others do not. It is a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. The death penalty is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us, but corrupts us all. It’s the perverse symbol elected officials use to strengthen their ‘tough on crime’ reputations and distract us from confronting the causes of violence. It is finally the enemy of grace, redemption and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worse act.”
- Bryan Stevenson