Dying, Wheelchair-Bound Sex Offender Must Leave Hospice Care Because There's a Preschool Nearby

But please, think of the children.


Kempski / Dreamstime

In Florida, a wheelchair-bound man with end-stage Alzheimer's must move out of the hospice where he's dying, because he is a registered sex offender and the hospice is too close to a preschool.

Phew! That will certainly make the kids a lot safer.

Not that he was ever a threat to kids anyway. The dying man, Jack Ehrhart, was convicted of a sex offense about 30 years ago, when he was a doctor. Several patients accused him of touching them sexually during their gynecological exams—with a nurse present. He now faces arrest unless he gets himself out of the Heartland Hospice. As Izzy Kapnick reports in the Courthouse News Service:

The City of Boynton Beach purportedly issued a notice to Ehrhart and the hospice accusing them of violating an ordinance that prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school, daycare center or playground.

"Heartland claims to be incurring fines imposed by the city due to plaintiff's status and has threatened to have Boynton Beach Police arrest [him] for a violation of the ordinance," according to the emergency petition, filed by Ehrhart's wife under a power of attorney.

Ehrhart's wife is arguing that the residency restrictions apply only to people who have deliberately chosen to live where they live. But her husband's condition means he not only had no say in where he's living, he has no idea where he is now.

Still, Heartland is trying to ship him out, but having a hard time, because it can't find other hospices that will take him.

Meanwhile, Ehrhart's attorney is trying to get him off the sex offender registry, arguing that Florida allows some former offenders to be removed from the list after being on it 25 years.

If the court does not grant an emergency injunction, according to CNS "Ehrhart is in imminent danger of being arrested and placed in a detention center with inadequate hospice care."

This is how we treat people on the sex offender registry. They are considered a horrible threat to children even when drooling in a wheelchair. If Ehrhart had been convicted of manslaughter, or heroin manufacturing, or massive fraud and had served his time, he would not be on a registry 30 years later. He would be allowed to die in peace.

Now all that stands between him and a jail cell is a hearing, as soon as possible. But as Kapnick reports, the court has ruled that "this matter is not [an] emergency and shall be heard in the ordinary course."

It's an emergency for Ehrhart, but the court doesn't seem to view him as a human being.

NEXT: Globalization and Poverty

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They are considered a horrible threat to children even when drooling in a wheelchair.

    +1 OMWC

    1. Makin’ America Grate[sic]

  2. The are no words to describe the feeling of knowing Top Men are looking out for our safety.

    1. I can think of some words, but they’re not nice ones.

      1. The two words that spring to my mind are “Guillotine bait.”

        1. Many of the phrases i’m thinking of contain the word “fuck.” The rest go downhill from there.

    2. Could have been Top Person, but unfortunately, The Patriarchy.

  3. WTF? Is he going to chase children down from his wheelchair?

    1. Hey, them electric ones are pretty fast.

    2. A friend of mine served on a grand jury, and one of the cases was a drug dealer in a wheelchair chasing down a competitor and pistol whipping him with a handgun. So apparently those things can be fast.

      1. A former co-worker of mine is in a wheelchair for life after he lost his legs in an auto accident. He can really move when he wants to, and is a very athletic guy too (was a defensive lineman on the Auburn Football team in 1993-1995, started in 1993 when they were under NCAA sanctions because he was on academic scholarship). Only problem is that as he gets older, the wear and tear on his shoulders is becoming more pronounced.

  4. I find it hard to believe the registry was on the books 30 years ago. Fucking ex post facto laws.

    1. “Thirty years ago” may seem like forever, but by the mid 1980s sex offender registries were not exactly a new thing.

      1. Yeah, but the registries of that era bear no resemblance to today’s registry with its laundry list of intentionally life-crippling restrictions. Anyone who supports the registry should leave because you’re certainly not an American in my book. You don’t deserve the title.

        I invite all you who think these laws are so fair and just to live under them for 25 years or so and then tell us what you think.

  5. Get Alzheimer’s like a thug, die in the street like a thug.

  6. Because I was triggered in an earlier thread, please allow me to quote the beloved and well missed J sub D – “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!

    1. RIP, J sub D.

  7. Cruel and unusual punishment.

    1. In Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84 (2003), the Supreme Court upheld Alaska’s registration statute, reasoning that sex offender registration is civil measure reasonably designed to protect public safety, not a punishment, which can be applied ex post facto.

      Wikipedia article

      1. Having a wiki and dumbass court decisions to back it up doesn’t make it any less cruel and unusual.

      2. By any layperson’s reading of the Constitution, kicking an Alzheimer’s patient out of hospice care is cruel and unusual punishment.

        If he were a convicted murderer serving a life sentence, they’d let him out of prison under these circumstances using the same logic.

      3. And they were wrong to have done so.

      4. The Supreme Court’s Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics ? ‘Frightening & High
        It is very important that you read the abstract below and then the full 12 page essay by Ira Mark and Tara Ellman.
        This brief essay reveals that the sources relied upon by the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, a heavily cited constitutional decision on sex offender registries, in fact provide no support at all for the facts about sex offender re-offense rates that the Court treats as central to its constitutional conclusions. This misreading of the social science was abetted in part by the Solicitor General’s misrepresentations in the amicus brief it filed in this case. The false “facts” stated in the opinion have since been relied upon repeatedly by other courts in their own constitutional decisions, thus infecting an entire field of law as well as policy making by legislative bodies. Recent decisions by the Pennsylvania and California supreme courts establish principles that would support major judicial reforms of sex offender registries, if they were applied to the actual facts.

        1. Vicki, Check these links out, please and reply once you’ve read the material, please.


          http://www.aclumich.org/sites/default/files/6th Circuit_SORAopinion.pdf

        2. Vicki, let us consider what the state is doing here and how evil their move truly is. This is a man dying of end stage Alzheimer’s disease. In all actuality this man probably has no idea of who he is, where he is, let alone his own criminal history. Anyone with the smallest scintilla of common sense knows this man is not competent to even assist in his own defense. That a threat could even be made shows a malicious disregard for laws as they apply to the mentally incompetent. So when you see this kind of evil, cruel move you know beyond a doubt there will be no fair or equitable application of law. This is a classic and undeniable case of “F*** him!! He’s a f****** sex offender! We don’t care how sick he is. We want him gone. He’s less than worthless in our eyes!!”

          When you see this kind of mindless evil coming from the state, do you think anyone ever has any intent to fairly apply the facts? I don’t.

      5. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, in striking down Michigan’s practice of retroactively applying newer restrictions imposed on sex offenders in 2006 and 2011, stated that Smith v. Doe is no longer a ruling that should be used to uphold the strictly a civil and informative nature of the registry. Their correct reasoning for this stance is that the registry of today bears no resemblance to the first generation registries that were solely informational. So many onerous and life-crippling restrictions have been added to the registry that the registry now dictates nearly every detail of an offender’s life from where he can live and work to where he can even be present. The 6th Circuit also made an important step by calling at least the retroactive application of the registry restrictions punitive in nature. The court recognizes that the modern-day registry meets every legal definition and description of a traditional punishment.


        http://www.aclumich.org/sites/default/files/6th Circuit_SORAopinion.pdf

      6. SCOTUS also upheld slavery, Eugenics and Japanese internment at one point, so they’re not exactly infallible, especially this current Roberts “Money is Speech” court.

  8. Gun rights eh who really cares. Somewhere in the world a sexual predator is being inconvenienced and it’s a fucking outrage. This is why libertarianism is limited to guys on the spectrum.

    1. I agree with the completely shitty dude here. Libertarians should be concerned with one area of government abuse, and one area only! Fuck a comprehensive philosophy, everybody pick an issue!

      1. Well, I know what I am picking.

        1. I am certain you picked the wrong one, you fuck.

        2. no, dammit, not your nose!

      2. Perhaps if we had proper respect for gun rights, we would be able to defend our kith and kin and not need registries of scary predators* (l0b0t, searching for an acorn in a pile of dung).

        *SLD about the abhorrent nature of such arbitrary lists and the never-ending punishment of those therein.

      3. Eh, he kinda has a point. This is a fairly fringe example that doesn’t affect a whole lot of people. The people it affects have been convicted of aggression against others, and the law in question is overly broad but not terribly unjust in the way that, say, a law forbidding marijuana use or gun rights would be. Yet Reason will spare no outrage at this while publishing mealy-mouthed nonsense about how, really, Democrats’ legislative agenda is no threat against gun rights at all.

        That is not a slam against libertarianism per se, but rather against Reason’s silly editorial policy. If you want to focus on socially liberal reform, there are some truly terrible and widespread cases in the area of criminal justice or drug policy. This really isn’t an angle that almost anyone gives a shit about or that affects almost anyone. It is the Terry Schiavio of libertarianism.

        1. There are a lot of people who give a shit about this angle. I couldn’t care so much about people’s stupid gun rights. It seems the only Amendment Repugnants seem to care about is the right to carry guns. Stop worry about your fucking gun rights, Obama never took your precious guns away, nor Bush Jr, nor Clinton, nor Bush Sr, nor Reagan, nor Carter, nor… Well, you get the idea.

          The fact we treat registered citizens this way IS part of the widespread problem of our imperfect “justice” system.

      4. Not to defend that Haysom guy, who is obviously an idiot, but this case, while it points out the difficulty inherent in governance, does not have a libertarian solution.

        Presumably, even a very minimalist government would outlaw physicians molesting underaged patients.

        And if there is a law, there has to be a provision for punishment.

        If there is a law and a punishment, there has to be a situation where the law and punishment seem excessive (and another where the law and punishment seem inadequate to the offense).

        1. Not a libertarian sol’n, but a common sense sol’n. Sheesh, does “libertarian” mean “opposed to common sense”?

    2. Yeah, because people on the registry are all sexual predators and being subjected to ex post facto punishments and having your constitutional rights systematically violated is a mere inconvenience. And of course, libertarians don’t care about gun rights. What are you smoking?

  9. Wheelchair-Bound Sex Offender

    Nice band name.

    Also, your tax dollars at work!

  10. “It’s an emergency for Ehrhart, but the court doesn’t seem to view him as a human being.”

    As far as the courts are concerned, he’s not. Once you cross that fictional line into the land of the sex offender registry, you are no longer a human being. Some of us would call that cruel and unusual punishment. But then we would be labeled sex offender sympathizers.

    1. Yup. Anyone who argues against such cruelty and tyranny under guise of civil regulation is labeled as either a sex offender sympathizer or a sex offender themselves!!

      I don’t see how this will ever stand up in court. With end stage Alzheimer’s, the man doesn’t have even a scintilla of competence to stand trial for anything. If this was to go to court and result in a conviction, it would be at the hands of a criminally dishonest court. The man is dying!! He probably has no sex drive or desire whatsoever.

      Shame on all those who dehumanize him. That’s exactly the thing everyone condemns sex offenders for; objectifying their victims!!! A wrong never makes a right!!

      Anyone who supports this line of action against this dying man should get out of this country now because you sure ain’t an American!! You don’t deserve the title!!

  11. Shorter Reason:

    Life still not fair in 2016.

    The navel gazing…. sheesh

  12. He’s a man who touched a vagina. In 2016 he’s a dangerous sex offender and kid toucher as a given.

  13. PATRIARCHY!!!!!!!

  14. What do you expect from a corrupt state that just gave a free Senate seat to a Lauren Book, the bimbo blonde daughter of a convicted criminal lobbyist (Ron Book) who helped pass a law named after her to force registered citizens to live under a bridge?

    Quite frankly, I hope the polar ice caps melt due to global warming because it will put that cesspool of a state underwater.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.