As Hillary takes her hits from the crowd, allow me to bring you up to date with the eventual demise of Florida state Senator Dave Aronberg's proposal, SB 1430.
Aronberg's bill pushed for much-needed changes in the Draconian Laws forced upon sex offenders living in the state of Florida. The mish-mosh of municipality residency restrictions would have faced repeal and compliance with a standard "... statewide 1,500-foot buffer between where sex offenders live and places children gather. In doing so, his bill would repeal get-tough sex offender housing ordinances passed by more than 120 Florida communities in the past few years, including Miami Beach and New Port Richey."
SB 1430 also designated "no lingering zones"--areas such as parks, schools and libraries where those convicted of certain sex offenses would not be permitted to loiter.
Aronberg's bill died in messages at the close of session.
And that's not such a bad thing.
The political long arms of those who support such blatant unconstitutional ex post facto punishment became quite evident as their sticky fingers got into the legislative mix, with the end result downsizing 128 bad laws into 1 really bad law.
Aronberg himself slid in this caveat at the ninth hour:
775.215 Residency distance limitations for persons convicted of certain sexual offenses; certain local ordinances preempted and repealed.--The adoption of residency distance limitations for persons convicted of sexual offenses, including, but not limited to, violations of s. 787.01, s. 787.02, s.794.011, s. 800.04, s. 827.071, or s. 847.0145, regardless of whether adjudication has been withheld, is expressly preempted to the state. The provisions of ss. 794.065, 947.1405, and 948.30 establishing such distance limitations supersede the distance limitations included in any such municipal or county ordinances. Any such residency distance limitations adopted by a county or municipality prior to July 1, 2009, are hereby repealed and abolished as of July 1, 2009. However, after July 1, 2009, the governing body of a county or municipality, may, upon the written recommendation of the chief law enforcement officer of such county or municipality and upon a finding of public necessity by said governing body, adopt by a 2/3 vote an ordinance that increases the distance limitations contained in s. 794.065 up to a maximum distance of 2,000 feet. Any person who is subject to the residency distance limitations in s. 794.065, s. 947.1405, or s. 948.30 who changes his or her place of residence after July 1,2009, is subject to the residency distance limitations adopted pursuant to such county or municipal ordinance.
All that talk about a uniform state residency restriction and within a few years, a municipality could change it right back.
Dave, darling...that's going on NOW. Good Lord, do your homework.
When bad laws are passed, we must rely on the courts to slowly strike the buggers down. "In Duval County, a circuit court declared the 2,500-foot restriction unconstitutional on due process grounds. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Orlando cast doubt on the federal offender-registration law."
The Daytona News-Journal goes on to offer this resolution.
"More rational states do it better. Massachusetts' offender registry, for example, doesn't confuse offenders and predators. It keeps most offenders' information restricted to police files. Police track offenders and predators, including through periodic, in-person visits at the individual's address. Residency restrictions according to arbitrary buffers don't apply -- both because they're indefensible as a matter of civil liberties and practically pointless as a matter of effective public safety. But hysteria still sells for now in Florida. Aronberg's bill detects some problems, but instead of addressing them, it universalizes them. ...it replaces 128 misguided and counterproductive prohibitions with one big misguided and counterproductive prohibition."
The best part of this editorial is the one simple fact many have been screaming ad nauseam:
The law makes no distinction between predators, who are the more violent but much rarer type of sexual attacker, and offenders, whose misconduct usually does not involve violence and may not directly involve another person.
That's the first time I've read the absolute truth in print.
Thank you, Daytona Beach-Journal, for saying that.