Sex Crimes Update: Residency Restriction Rollback and Tax Incentives for Friends of Sex Offenders


In a ruling Missouri's governor calls "an outrage," the state's Supreme Court says sex offenders don't have to abandon their homes when the legislature decides to place buffer zones in their neighborhoods:

Dozens of Missouri sex offenders can continue living near schools or child care centers as a result of a state Supreme Court decision.

In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, Missouri's high court upheld a decision in May by a circuit judge striking down a portion of Missouri's sex offender statutes that could have forced the sex offenders to move.

Missouri, like many other states, has enacted progressively tougher laws targeting its roughly 7,200 registered sex offenders.

Since 2004, Missouri has prohibited sex offenders from moving into a home within 1,000 feet of a school or day care. A 2006 law expanded that ban to cover sex offenders who already lived near a school or child care center before the law took effect.

The ruling isn't as sweeping as Georgia's, which struck down the residency laws themselves, but it's always surprising to see limits imposed on legislative persecution of registered offenders. In other news, Connecticut residents living nearby a sex offender are demanding a tax break to compensate for lost property values, which suggests that overtaxed homeowners might soon want sex offenders in their neighborhoods.

Reason on residency laws here, here, and here.