Judge blocks prop 83

I heard this on NPR yesterday and found it pretty fascinating. A judge has blocked the implementation of prop 83, as it’s generally considered illegal to impose new punitive measures on people who have already done their time. If enacted, the bill could have forced sex offenders who have been out of prison for twenty or more years to sell their homes, quit their jobs and move out to the country so they’re at least 2,000 feet from a school. They served their time in prison, parole, etc. and we cannot impose new penalties on them, according to this judge.

Mostly because the proposition contains no grandfathering language.

You’d think that somewhere along the way the people who wrote the bill would have looked into this and not wasted everyone’s time and money pushing a bill that is unconstitutional. The author of the bill, state senator George Runner, is now saying the bill was never meant to apply to the 60,000 current sex offenders we have here in California. It will only apply to new sex offenders.

You can read more about it here, at the Contra Costa Times.

4 Comments so far

  1. Mark (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 11:36 am

    … it’s generally considered illegal to impose new punitive measures on people who have already done their time.

    You probably meant that tongue-in-cheek, but just to make sure: It’s not just “generally illegal” but unconsitutional: The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution (emphasis mine):

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

  2. Poormojo (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 11:58 am

    “Due process.” Man. I wonder how all of the people being held at Gitmo or who are being rendered by the CIA and who haven’t been charged or given access to lawyers feel about those words?

    Thanks for dropping the law-bomb though, it is appreciated.

  3. Aaron B. Hockley (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

    This sort of thing happens up here in Washington and Oregon as well… folks form committees, write ballot measures, spend millions of dollars campaigning, yet apparently can’t bother to have a lawyer to check little details like constitutionality ahead of time.

  4. ed (unregistered) on November 10th, 2006 @ 2:22 am

    They did a harsh crime but sometimes I get the impression that there is no chance for convicted pedophiles to re-enter society… ie.. communities getting wind of a soon to move in former pedophile will start protesting and eventually get the person to move. Then to get tracked permanently by satellite… maybe if they specified for repeat offenders but folks should be given a second chance at life once they done the time… either that or change the sentencing to a longer time frame.

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