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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

An Iffy Subject

Ok, so Sarpy County recently passed a law which restricts convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school, public school bus stop, licensed day care center, park, playground or library. It seems perfectly natural to want to restrict the exposure of children to the type of criminals with the most repeat offenses. However, when you actually examine the impact of this law, only about 29% of Sarpy County is outside of 2,000 feet from schools, bus stops, etc. And most of that 29% is farmland. So basically what this law is going to do is force sex offenders from Sarpy County into Douglas and Lancaster Counties. So all of you living in Omaha and Lincoln, get ready for the pedophiles.

In my opinion, this law should be struck down because its a violation of Due Process rights and there might even be an equal protection argument as well. The months and weeks ahead will determine whether these new sex offender laws will actually stand up to scrutiny. A man in Papillion specifically did not move so that he could challenge the law, so we'll soon see whether this thing stands up to constitutional scrutiny. If it does, Douglas and Lancaster will likely follow suit along with other major metropolitan areas across the nation. And while I see why we need to protect our children from sexual molesters, I also think its a crime to infringe upon these criminals' rights by making them move from their homes, especially after they have already served their time. I also may not have the proper frame of mind, since I don't have any kids (that I know of).

It is interesting. I think that, while great in theory, the issues you point out show that, once again, holier-than-thou, soapbox politicians put into law a mandate that looks good for the candidate's 30-second commercial and campaign flyers, but not practical in the real world.
Sex offenders can still drive. Why bother with the law.
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