Sex

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

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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.

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  1. Connecticut residents living nearby a sex offender are demanding a tax break to compensate for lost property values

    Hey, if you had to live next door to Woody Allen, you’d want a tax break too.

  2. 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.

    IMNA(C)L, but it seems like the law should be unconstitutional as being ex post facto punishment.

  3. When has that ever been a concern?

  4. Mo- exactly!

    David- also true

    if these guys are so dangerous (and I’m aware of the reports of high recidivism rates), then change the laws, and don’t let them out of prison, or make them live in supervised housing. you don’t get to change the rules after the fact.

  5. One problem, is they throw so many people on the “sex offenders” list that it becomes meaningless. These laws are always described as though they applied only to child molesters.

  6. ……being ex post facto punishment.

    Agreed. Unless, of course, they are out on parole or got a reduced sentence with some probation attached to it. In that case, you are trading jail time for free time and that comes with a whole set of CCR’s.

  7. Pleban said. “The fact of the matter is sex offenders are not popular people in this state.”

    Unlike all those states where sex offenders are very popular.

    Seriously, I could see that such a law could qualify as a government taking in the case of offenders who own their own homes.

  8. One problem, is they throw so many people on the “sex offenders” list that it becomes meaningless. These laws are always described as though they applied only to child molesters.

    That’s the thing, Warren. Any crime that is even tangentially related to sex is instantly equated with raping five year-olds in the public mind.

  9. Next step in CT: low level offenders taking out ads offering to move to your neighborhood for a fee. Hey, would you kick in 100 bucks if it lowered your taxes by 300? (don’t forget to factor in food for the doberman)

  10. if these guys are so dangerous (and I’m aware of the reports of high recidivism rates), then change the laws, and don’t let them out of prison, or make them live in supervised housing. you don’t get to change the rules after the fact.

    I’m not aware of any reports of high recidivism rates. I thought recidivism was around 10-20% for untreated sex offenders, and substantially lower following treatment. That’s about a quarter of the rate at which car thieves and burglars re-offend.

  11. “One problem, is they throw so many people on the “sex offenders” list that it becomes meaningless. These laws are always described as though they applied only to child molesters.”

    That is like pointing out that a 18 yr old making out with a 15 yr old is not “pedophilia,” which is sexual attraction to a child who has not yet reached puberty.

    Also – the London Economist ran a story about a year ago in which it showed that the recidivism among “child predators” in England is actually among the lowest for all crimes, less than 20%. If I had time I’d dig up the link.

  12. “if these guys are so dangerous (and I’m aware of the reports of high recidivism rates), then change the laws, and don’t let them out of prison, or make them live in supervised housing. you don’t get to change the rules after the fact.”

    In California they passed the 1000 foot law (cannot live within X feet of school or park) and that has resulted in many of them going into halfway houses in residential neighborhoods. Instead of one random sex offender every 4 blocks you’ve now got 50 of them crammed into 2 square blocks all living in apartment buildings. The locals living next to these structures are not pleased. I guess maybe they should have thought about that before picking a job that forced them to live next to an apartment building.

  13. One problem, is they throw so many people on the “sex offenders” list that it becomes meaningless.

    I am not sure that is a problem, anyone convicted of a crime related to sex requires monitoring.

    That is like pointing out that a 18 yr old making out with a 15 yr old is not “pedophilia,” which is sexual attraction to a child who has not yet reached puberty.

    That is statutory rape, which is pedophilia.

  14. No, that is ephebophilia.

  15. I am not sure that is a problem, anyone convicted of a crime related to sex requires monitoring.

    Agree/disagree, Sharon?

  16. No, that is ephebophilia.

    Well, if one person is at or above 18 and the other is below 18, it is a sex crime.

  17. Agree/disagree, Sharon?

    If it is a violent crime like rape, murder, drug dealing, yes. For a non violent crime like theft, vandalism, no.

  18. If you are on parole, otherwise no. If you pay your debt to society, it’s done. If we don’t like the punishment, we can change it.

    People who are pedophiles are not in the same catagory as an 18 or 19 year old, who’s girlfriend is two years younger. As if it’s not a big deal for a 17 year old to date a 16 year old, until the 17 year old turn 18, then it’s a crime. That’s stupid shit. The sex crime issue has slipped from reasonable thought.

  19. It’s a lie. It’s all a BIG FAT LIE! Recidivism for offense sex crimes according to the Dept of Justice is 3.5%. New York’s scientific study cqame out last year with 2.1% recidivist reat for first time offenders. California’s Department of Corrections just released their facts. Recidivism rates for dirst time offenders . LESS than 4%

    If 90 to 95% of first time offenders NEVER, EVER commit another sex crime, just what in the he– are we doing hyping the citizens up to waste BILLIONS and BILLIONS of our tax money.

    These laws do MORE HARM THAN GOOD.

    http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/09/06/usdom16819.htm

  20. Sharon says convicts should be monitored if—-

    If it is a violent crime like rape, murder, drug dealing, yes. For a non violent crime like theft, vandalism, no.

    So drug dealing is a violent crime?!?! Sharon’s a troll….

  21. As someone mentioned above, the range of offenses that can lead to being labeled a “sex offender” is quite broad. Some guy taking a piss between cars in a parking lot in a night club district can be charged with “indecent exposure” and wind on up these lists in some states.

  22. So drug dealing is a violent crime?!?!

    Drugs cause violence, which is one of the reasons they are illegal, therefore selling them causes violence, therefore it is a violent crime.

    Some guy taking a piss between cars in a parking lot in a night club district can be charged with “indecent exposure” and wind on up these lists in some states.

    I really doubt that.

  23. “if these guys are so dangerous (and I’m aware of the reports of high recidivism rates)…”

    I’m not aware of any reports of high recidivism rates. I thought recidivism was around 10-20% for untreated sex offenders, and substantially lower following treatment.

    perhaps I should have used the word “claims” instead of “reports”. my point remains the same.

    Drugs cause violence…

    yeah, I got my nine…gonna score me some penicillin

    just like prohibition of alcohol, it is the illegality of certain drugs that promotes the violence and much of the other socially deleterious side effects

    “Some guy taking a piss between cars in a parking lot in a night club district can be charged with “indecent exposure” and wind on up these lists in some states.”

    I really doubt that.

    your doubts don’t make it any less true

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