The day is upon us: It is Halloween. For most, that means they have a bowl
of candy ready to dish out to children who ring their doorbells this evening.
It's a night of fun, remembering the fun of childhood vicariously
through the costumed children.
For those who are registered sex offenders in some areas, however, this
night of fun comes with stipulations. A report about an out-of-state decision
regarding sex offenders and Halloween rules is notable enough to share
on this New Jersey criminal defense blog. It highlights how life changes
for those convicted of
sex crimes and forced to register as sexual offenders.
In Simi Valley, California, registered sex offenders are not allowed to
participate in the normal Halloween fun that others enjoy. The simple
acts of decorating one's yard and handing out candy to trick-or-treaters
are beyond their reach this year.
A new city rule says that registered sex offenders cannot use outdoor Halloween
decorations and they must avoid opening their doors to kids. Essentially,
the rule suggests that the décor would attract kids to a home that
is potentially dangerous for them to visit.
Several registered parties and their families fought against the proposed
Halloween rules and got one win out of the battle. They don't have
to put signs in front of their homes that say "no candy." The
plaintiffs argued that having to do that would put all people in their
homes in danger of violence.
More than just about any other label, the label of sex offender has a destructive
effect on a person's reputation and freedoms. The public doesn't
easily understand the different types of offenses that require a person
to register as an offender; nor do they understand that past offenders
have the right to try to move on with their lives after serving their time.
Source: CNN, "California judge's ruling a partial victory for registered child sex offenders," Michael Cary, Oct. 29, 2012