August 13, 2017

Sex offender housing restrictions: where the law, common sense and politics collide

8-13-17 California:

It seemed simple enough.

A law on the city of San Diego’s books to restrict where registered sex offenders can live has provisions deemed unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court.

City Attorney Mara Elliott wanted the City Council to repeal the ordinance because San Diego could still be sued with it in place, even though the law hasn’t been enforced for years.

But on Aug. 1, a majority of council members balked. It seems nothing is actually simple in politics when it comes to doing anything that could be distorted as going easy on sex offenders, no matter the logic or law.

By a 5-4 vote, council members earlier this month rejected the repeal and days later the city was sued, according to the Union-Tribune’s Karen Kucher.

So, unless something changes, the city will spend money going to court for a dead-letter law that doesn’t do anything to protect children and others from sexual predators.

Elliott suggested that winning such a case is beyond unlikely. She further told the council that San Diego police do things other things to protect children from sexual abuse.

“She said the police department was there to explain further,” wrote Andrew Bowen of KPBS, “but no council member invited the police department’s representative to speak.”

Some members made comments about the need to protect children, but no one suggested that the city start trying to enforce the law. ..Continued..

No comments: