California Supreme Court to Review Jessica's Law
California (like many states) passed its own variant of Jessica’s Law which prohibited convicted sex offenders from living close to parks, schools, and other places which people believe children are likely to congregate. California granted an exception to the law to people who already lived near such places, but any subsequent arrest for any offense required the offender to move. J.S. was convicted of sexually assaulting a fifteen year when he was sixteen. For years J.S. continued to live with his mother. Then he received a ticket for driving the wrong way down a street, which was technically a misdemeanor under California law. This required him to move from the home he was living in for years. Jessica’s law is being challenged on constitutional grounds. Some former supporters of the law have changed their position because the law has made sex offenders homeless, more transient, and therefore potentially more dangerous. Earlier this year, California's Sex Offender Management Board, which includes many law enforcement officials, urged changes in Jessica's Law and found that the residency restrictions were counterproductive, particularly because of a surge in offenders declaring themselves transients, making it even harder to track their whereabouts To read the Silicon Valley (formerly San Jose) Mercury News story on this case, click here. To read the Contra Costa Times summary of the case, click here.