I know there are many out there who don’t give a crap about what happens to sex offenders. It’s debatable whether or not a sex offender can be rehabilitated. What’s not debatable is how difficult it is to even start the process when you are so tightly restricted that simply finding a place to live is near impossible. So I think this is terrific news.
The Supreme Court of Georgia has ruled as unconstitutional the Georgia law that prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of child care facilities, schools, churches or other areas where children congregate.
Anthony Mann, a convicted child molester, sued the state Department of Corrections in Clayton County Superior Court, challenging the constitutionality of Section 42-1-15 of the Official Code of Georgia, which restricts where sex offenders can live and work.
When Mann and his wife purchased their current home in Hampton, GA, there were no prohibited facilities nearby, and he was in compliance with Georgia’s Sex Offenders Statute. Similarly, when Mann entered into a business agreement as half owner and operator of a barbecue restaurant in Lovejoy, GA, there were no facilities nearby where children would possibly congregate.
Subsequently, two different day care centers were built within 1,000 feet of his home and his business. His probation officer demanded that Mann physically remove himself from his business and his home or face arrest and revocation of his probation.
The Court ruled for Mann on the grounds that, given the strict nature of the law, Mann could be forced to uproot himself and his family at the whim of anyone who brought a child into his neighborhood.
I wasn’t sure what to file this under. Politics seems right because the only reason we have these registries in the first place is to make us feel good and to make politicians appear tough on crime.