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 Post subject: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-03 05:49pm
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No Halloween for sex offenders? They challenge California city's restrictions

By Melissa Pamer, NBCLosAngeles.com

An attorney representing five Simi Valley sex offenders who sued the city over limits to their Halloween activities said the lawsuit will be the first of several she expects to file over such restrictions.

Lawyer Janice Bellucci heads the 18-month-old advocacy group California Reform Sex Offender Laws. On Friday, she filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that Simi Valley's ordinance violates her clients' First Amendment rights.

The suit seeks a judge's order prohibiting enforcement of the ordinance in Simi Valley, which has 119 registered sex offenders, according to a city report. Bellucci is representing five unnamed sex offenders, three of their spouses and two minor children, she said.

The ordinance, adopted Sept. 10, prohibits registered sex offenders in the Ventura County city of about 125,000 from displaying Halloween decorations, answering the door to trick-or-treaters or having outside lighting after dark on Oct. 31.

Simi Valley councilman and LAPD officer Mike Judge said the law is modeled after similar Halloween laws enforced in other California cities, and is meant to protect children.

"This law was generated by citizens asking the City Council to do something," Judge said. "And it didn’t seem unreasonable for the City Council to take it up.

"As far as I’m concerned, our law doesn’t go as far as other laws in the state of California and it still, in our opinion, protects our children a little bit better than not having it."

Registered sex offenders are also required to post signs with on their front doors reading, in 1-inch letters, "No candy or treats at this residence." Those offenders visible to the public on the state's Megan's Law website and convicted of a crime against a child are required to post the sign.

Sixty-seven of the city's offenders are listed on the website, according to a city report; the rest are convicted of misdemeanors and don't have their names on the public list.

Bellucci said the sign-posting requirement was "particularly egregious."

"We consider that to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution," Bellucci said Tuesday.

The ordinance both imposes "forced speech" – the sign – and restricts speech by prohibiting Halloween celebrations, she said.

"It's similar to Jews in Nazi Germany who had to wear the yellow star on their clothing," Bellucci said.

The Simi Valley measure is part of a trend of increasing strict restrictions on the activities of convicted sex offenders who have "paid their debt to society," Bellucci said.

Her organization intends to begin filing lawsuits to challenge other statutes, she said.

The office of Simi Valley City Attorney Marjorie Baxter said the city had not been served with Bellucci's complaint, so it had no comment as of Tuesday afternoon.

Baxter was quoted in the Ventura County Star, which first reported on the lawsuit, as saying: "We thoroughly researched the ordinance and I don't feel the lawsuit has any merit, and we will defend it vigorously."

At an Aug. 20 initial City Council hearing on the ordinance, a deputy city attorney told council members that "traditional trick or treat activities associated with Halloween provide have the potential to provide significant opportunities for sex offenders to victimize minors."

Council members at that time expressed some concern about legal repercussions, as well as worries that residents who decide not to decorate will be thought by neighbors to be sex offenders.

The police chief told the council that he could find no records of a sex crime against a child on Halloween in Simi Valley.

Those who are convicted of violating the ordinance would be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in county jail, according to a city staff report.

California residents who have been convicted of or pleaded no contest or guilty to a sex-related offense must register with local public safety authorities. Offenders are listed on the registry for life.



OK, on the one hand, the attorney is a dumb fucking bitch (and will heretofore only be refferred to as such, by me) just for the Jews comment alone. Because all Jews were sex offenders, right dumb fucking bitch?

On the other hand, you have the Chief of Police saying that they are essentially trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist, which seems to be going around these days.

I kinda have to side with the city on this one, though. Even though I think many sex offender lists have too many "harmless" people on them, what's the harm in making them not put up Halloween decorations and not give out candy?



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-03 06:36pm
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First of all these sex offender lists are stupid to begin with and were generally created to solve problems that didn't exist. The police will know if you're a sex offender or not regardless and regular people should be safe just by following common sense rules about trusting strange adults. If they really want to be safe then parents can already ask for criminal record checks for people they're going to trust to watch their kids. This just takes the whole sex offender list thing to stupid extremes and prevents people who might not have ever done anything at all and doesn't allow them to celebrate Halloween.

It's also a freedom of religion issue. If you're a pagan sex offender putting out decorations to celebrate Samhain could land you in trouble in this city. Not to mention that the city could sue this dumb law as a precedent to stop people putting up decorations for other holidays and force them to put up signs warning away carolers at Christmas. Hell, the city could take the retard ball and run with it and try to force people to put up a sign saying, "I am a sex offender" all year long.

This law's dumb, the people involved with it are dumb, and I can't wait for them to be slapped down for even trying this.

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-03 10:28pm
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Flagg wrote:
Even though I think many sex offender lists have too many "harmless" people on them, what's the harm in making them not put up Halloween decorations and not give out candy?
I see how this type of legislation further shows these people that rehabilitation is bullshit and they'll never be able to reintegrate with society. I might loathe pedophiles (even though in some states, pissing in public can put you on the registry, because fuck sanity), but I also loathe legislation that charges certain people with felonies for turning on lights or opening up their front door because parents are too lazy to supervise their kids.

On a personal note: kids are fucking pushy about this shit. We were getting ready to leave for a Halloween party two years back and had all the front lights off (no decorations) and some snot-nosed little shit was pounding on the front door. I figured he'd go away, but then I heard "I know you're in there" in a mocking tone and laughter from the rest of the little punks. The conversation I had with him (maybe 13-14 years old) wasn't pleasant for either of us. Of course, his parents were nowhere to be seen because there's no danger in beating on someone's door after dark. I had to finally kill all the lights but the bedroom while we got ready to leave because 6-7 more groups kept ringing the fucking doorbell. I'd just set the sprinkles to kick on every 5 minutes or so this year, but I wouldn't put vandalism past these idiots.

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-04 09:35am
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Not to mention that it's oversimplifying things by just assuming that anyone on a sex offender registry is a mustachioed kiddy fiddler who will impulsively kidnap toddlers, or will put their penis in the candy bag and ask kids to reach in and grab a lollipop. You can end up on the list just for having sex with a minor who lied about their age.

The comparison to Jews under Hitler is still a really bad comparison to make, but I see her point. Such restrictions basically turn any on the list into pariahs to be shunned and feared by the community. And then there's the statistics on sexual assault regarding how most victims know the assailant, so you're hardly making society safer by keeping them away from strangers.

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-04 08:36pm
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Flagg wrote:
OK, on the one hand, the attorney is a dumb fucking bitch (and will heretofore only be refferred to as such, by me) just for the Jews comment alone. Because all Jews were sex offenders, right dumb fucking bitch?

I kinda have to side with the city on this one, though. Even though I think many sex offender lists have too many "harmless" people on them, what's the harm in making them not put up Halloween decorations and not give out candy?

You know what's the harm? It makes everyone who doesn't want to celebrate Halloween capable of being suspected of being sex offender. So, celebrate, or turn into third class citizen. Just like these Jews. Sweet, no? :roll:

You know, if the 'offender lists' in USA weren't stupid, full of shit and targeted you for things that no one outside USA would even notice, maybe I'd be more inclined to agree with you, but as it is, comparison to these armbands while tasteless is not entirely without justification. Especially seeing most of these people are supposed to be rehabilitated, but I guess USA doesn't give two shits about that either.

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 02:27pm
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I kinda have to side with the city on this one, though. Even though I think many sex offender lists have too many "harmless" people on them, what's the harm in making them not put up Halloween decorations and not give out candy?


Plenty. Dont participate in halloween? You must be a sex offender!

Didn't hurt anyone? Well now you are a danger to society and will be shunned! In CA, mooning streaking, and public urination are sex offenses. Long drive? Need to urinate between rest stops? Congrats! You get on the Public List if a kid happens to see you! Did someone lie about their age? Yes? Oh, well there you go! To the List. Like to walk around naked in your house/yard? Kid hop your fence to get a baseball? Sex offender! No halloween for you!

All this does is further stigmatize even harmless sex offenders, and make it impossible for them to live a normal life, destroying any chance that they will rehabilitate.



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 04:23pm
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Alyrium Denryle wrote:
You get on the Public List if a kid happens to see you!
Depending on state, a child doesn't even have to be present (I think Texas is one, but it's not a law I've personally read). It's pretty terrible that a class C misdemeanor (essentially a speeding ticket) can ruin you for life. And people will honestly defend the idea that a "terrible crime" that leads to a maximum fine of $500 is worthy of putting someone on a list containing of violent rapists.

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 04:30pm
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In the article it states that only felons end up on the sex crime database in CA where the law is.



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 04:52pm
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Yeah, the article says that only those convicted of a "crime against a child" are on the website, although we don't know what a "crime against a child" might be (it could include outdoor urination and a kid sees you, like AD said).

That actually makes them unusually tolerant. Most cities with these kind of sex offender ordinances don't bother to discriminate amongst them at all.

As for these ordinances, how effective are they? I thought most cases of sexual assault with children as the victims were usually from people the victims knew, whether friends or family members. Knowing that some strangers are sex offenders doesn't help you there.



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 05:52pm
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Flagg wrote:
In the article it states that only felons end up on the sex crime database in CA where the law is.
California likely break out "harmless" (for lack of a better term) sex crimes which requires extra legislation. Sexual assault legislation is hard to pin down, even for Texas, because it seems to be spread out among many different statutes and it's usually either extremely vague and/or widely covers multiple aspects under one law (such as statutory rape vs forced rape) It's annoying to say the least.

Guardsman Bass wrote:
Yeah, the article says that only those convicted of a "crime against a child" are on the website, although we don't know what a "crime against a child" might be (it could include outdoor urination and a kid sees you, like AD said).
It's the vagueness that scares me.

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I thought most cases of sexual assault with children as the victims were usually from people the victims knew, whether friends or family members. Knowing that some strangers are sex offenders doesn't help you there.
They are. And it really doesn't:
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90% of child victims know their offender, with almost half of the offenders being a family member. Of sexual assaults against people age 12 and up, approximately 80% of the victims know the offender.

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 05:53pm
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Flagg wrote:
In the article it states that only felons end up on the sex crime database in CA where the law is.


Yeah, but how those laws get classified as felonies or misdemeanors varies a LOT by state. In CA for example, it can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony.



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 06:45pm
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I'm sorry, but I'm not going to get worked up about child molesters not being able to invite children to their homes and distrubute candy. I do agree that the offender lists need to be worked on, though. Prefferably candidacy based on the circumstances of the crime and liklihood to reoffend.



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 07:04pm
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Flagg wrote:
I'm sorry, but I'm not going to get worked up about child molesters not being able to invite children to their homes and distrubute candy. I do agree that the offender lists need to be worked on, though. Prefferably candidacy based on the circumstances of the crime and liklihood to reoffend.


So what about the lonely old dude that doesn't want to give out candy that starts hearing rumors that he must be a sex offender. After all, only those people don't celebrate Halloween.

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 07:10pm
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Jub wrote:
Flagg wrote:
I'm sorry, but I'm not going to get worked up about child molesters not being able to invite children to their homes and distrubute candy. I do agree that the offender lists need to be worked on, though. Prefferably candidacy based on the circumstances of the crime and liklihood to reoffend.


So what about the lonely old dude that doesn't want to give out candy that starts hearing rumors that he must be a sex offender. After all, only those people don't celebrate Halloween.

Does he have a sign on his house saying he cannot hand out candy as the article describes?



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 07:34pm
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Flagg wrote:
Does he have a sign on his house saying he cannot hand out candy as the article describes?


Yes, because that's how kids and paranoid people look at things?

Also, do you support such signage for all crimes? If you get caught speeding should the government hand you some orange spray paint and tell you to spray inch high letters on your car saying, "I'm a speeding douche bag" and forbid you to get within 5 lengths of another car? If you get a public disorder should you be made to wear a sign saying, "I'm a disruptive person, stay away from me"?

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 07:42pm
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Jub wrote:
Flagg wrote:
Does he have a sign on his house saying he cannot hand out candy as the article describes?


Yes, because that's how kids and paranoid people look at things?


So because idiots might be idiots we shouldn't protect children from possible harm? Do you know how weak your argument is? Hey, lets allow molesters to live around kids, too or else men without kids will be assumed sex offenders!

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Also, do you support such signage for all crimes? If you get caught speeding should the government hand you some orange spray paint and tell you to spray inch high letters on your car saying, "I'm a speeding douche bag" and forbid you to get within 5 lengths of another car? If you get a public disorder should you be made to wear a sign saying, "I'm a disruptive person, stay away from me"?

No.



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-05 07:56pm
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Oh and hey, let's not take drunk drivers licenses away either, or people might think bike riders are drunks!



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-06 01:34am
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Jub wrote:
Flagg wrote:
Does he have a sign on his house saying he cannot hand out candy as the article describes?


Yes, because that's how kids and paranoid people look at things?

Also, do you support such signage for all crimes? If you get caught speeding should the government hand you some orange spray paint and tell you to spray inch high letters on your car saying, "I'm a speeding douche bag" and forbid you to get within 5 lengths of another car? If you get a public disorder should you be made to wear a sign saying, "I'm a disruptive person, stay away from me"?


Indeed, people are totally going to be rational about an issue which is driven by a large amount of hysteria.

Does America have "violent criminal" lists available to the public? "Prostitute" lists? "Possible Gang Member' lists with pictures and addresses?

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-06 07:04am
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Flagg wrote:
So because idiots might be idiots we shouldn't protect children from possible harm? Do you know how weak your argument is? Hey, lets allow molesters to live around kids, too or else men without kids will be assumed sex offenders!

Yeah, because it also affects someone urinating 50 metres from the child, as was pointed above, who is totally going to rape every kid come Halloween :wtf:

Flagg wrote:
Oh and hey, let's not take drunk drivers licenses away either, or people might think bike riders are drunks!

Wrong. It's like a drunk driver who got his licence suspended for a year, fined, then... After a year, he asks to get it back, only to hear yes, he will get it, as long as he never exceeds 20 mph, never gets closer than to within 5 lengths of another car, and never takes any passenger either. Oh, and in case he breaks any of the above, fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in county jail. He can totally still drive, no? :wtf:

You know, given the banging on the door incident above, all it takes is one child with petty streak or someone who like you doesn't give a damn about presumption of innocence but wants to do something about them rapists to tear the sign away, then it's one call and the guy lands in jail for half a year. Sweet, no?

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-08 03:03am
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Sex offender lists encompass far more people than psychotic rapists who will instinctively tackle and molest children on sight, or drive white vans with tinted windows offering candy to children. There's people who got drunk and took a piss on the side of the road, or had sex with a minor who lied about their age, or got cocky and pushed their luck with a young girl. Would you say that all of these people are worthy of being branded as pariahs?

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-08 03:15am
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chitoryu12 wrote:
Sex offender lists encompass far more people than psychotic rapists who will instinctively tackle and molest children on sight, or drive white vans with tinted windows offering candy to children. There's people who got drunk and took a piss on the side of the road, or had sex with a minor who lied about their age, or got cocky and pushed their luck with a young girl. Would you say that all of these people are worthy of being branded as pariahs?

No, and I never said I did, so you can take the strawman and shove it right back up your ass where you pulled it from.



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-08 06:21am
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But if you favor a law that says "no Halloween for sex offenders," you're hitting everyone, not just the complete drooling psychos.

Are you telling us we need a separate list of sex offenders to put on this law, Flagg? One that's shorter and harder to get onto, where we watch people closer and restrict their behavior more? I don't recall hearing you ever say that, but that's actually not such a bad idea. Who decides which sex offenders need to be on the list of extra-horrible people?

Or am I just putting words into your mouth here?

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-08 02:06pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
But if you favor a law that says "no Halloween for sex offenders," you're hitting everyone, not just the complete drooling psychos.

Are you telling us we need a separate list of sex offenders to put on this law, Flagg? One that's shorter and harder to get onto, where we watch people closer and restrict their behavior more? I don't recall hearing you ever say that, but that's actually not such a bad idea. Who decides which sex offenders need to be on the list of extra-horrible people?

Or am I just putting words into your mouth here?

I do think the list should be more exclusive. Targeting pedophiles and repeat offenders. But it's not as of this moment, so we should just let pedophiles invite kids to their houses and give them candy, apparently. God forbid someone somewhere might have an easily quashed rumor spread about them. As if that's even likely.



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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-08 06:56pm
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Flagg wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
But if you favor a law that says "no Halloween for sex offenders," you're hitting everyone, not just the complete drooling psychos.

Are you telling us we need a separate list of sex offenders to put on this law, Flagg? One that's shorter and harder to get onto, where we watch people closer and restrict their behavior more? I don't recall hearing you ever say that, but that's actually not such a bad idea. Who decides which sex offenders need to be on the list of extra-horrible people?

Or am I just putting words into your mouth here?

I do think the list should be more exclusive. Targeting pedophiles and repeat offenders. But it's not as of this moment, so we should just let pedophiles invite kids to their houses and give them candy, apparently. God forbid someone somewhere might have an easily quashed rumor spread about them. As if that's even likely.


Yes, yes we should. We should because if parents are being responsible they're with their kids as they go door to door and not even the craziest people will try to drag away a kid while their parents are standing behind them. You have more to fear from a pedo/rapist wearing a costume and pulling people into a van, and frankly that is way down my list of things to fear.

Besides, all those guns that Americans are carrying should be able to blow a rapist away before he can do much. Right?

Stop living in this paranoid action movie PSA world and start living in reality.

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 Post subject: Re: No Halloween For Sex Offenders? PostPosted: 2012-10-08 06:59pm
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Flagg wrote:
So because idiots might be idiots we shouldn't protect children from possible harm? Do you know how weak your argument is? Hey, lets allow molesters to live around kids, too or else men without kids will be assumed sex offenders!


Molesters can already move into whatever neighborhood they like Flagg, or are you suggesting we restrict their movements and choices of homes now too?

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Quote:
Also, do you support such signage for all crimes? If you get caught speeding should the government hand you some orange spray paint and tell you to spray inch high letters on your car saying, "I'm a speeding douche bag" and forbid you to get within 5 lengths of another car? If you get a public disorder should you be made to wear a sign saying, "I'm a disruptive person, stay away from me"?

No.


Why not? Aren't released violent felons an equal risk to society? Why are they allowed to hand out candy to kids? Do you support letting murderers give candy to kids Flagg?

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