California's version of Jessica's Law, passed with about 70 percent of the vote by a Chris Hansen-rattled electorate, has already been knocked for making sex offenders more secretive. More news about the law: It's damn near unenforceable.
The difficulties include the impracticality of tracking sex offenders who no longer must report to parole or probation officers, the lack of any penalty for those who refuse to cooperate with monitoring and the question of whether such widespread tracking is effective in protecting the public.
The biggest issue, however, is that the law does not specify which agency or government should monitor felony sex offenders—and shoulder hundreds of millions of dollars a year in related costs.
And the biggest weakness in the law is a mandate for round-the-clock, satellite-based GPS tracking of creeps.
"I don't know of any agency that has the resources to track and monitor… in real time," said Vacaville Police Chief Richard Word, president of the California Police Chiefs Assn. "You'll need an air traffic controller to track these folks."
Word and other law enforcement leaders said the global positioning system satellite technology probably would never be used for full-time electronic surveillance of sex offenders as the law suggests. They said GPS is more effective for acting on tips about potential crimes or investigating incidents that have already occurred than for blanket monitoring that reveals a location as a blip on a map but not what the subject is doing there.
Honestly, who didn't see this coming? Oh…
[Gov.] Schwarzenegger, former state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer and law enforcement groups throughout the state supported the measure, and public officials have been reluctant to acknowledge its faults.
But they obviously knew that the law was garbage. If a pol as popular as Schwarzenegger (whose re-election was a fait accompli after the Democrats nominated an unelectable, primary-weakened left-wing challenger) isn't going to stand up to this paranoia and legislation-by-terror, who will?