Judge Perry Anderson of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles has issued a notable injunction in Simi Valley to prevent the city from enforcing a law requiring convicted sex offenders from having to post signs to warn away trick-or-treaters.
The new law was set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. today but Anderson notably did not block portions of the law that prevented sex offenders from turning on outside lights, decorating their homes, and answering their doors to trick-or-treaters.
The required sign read: sign “No candy or treats at this residence.”
The judge found that the sign provision constituted a type of Halloween scarlet letter and “the public interest is not served — indeed it is undermined — by enforcement of an unconstitutional law singling out a discrete, outcast group to speak in such a way that their persons, property and loved ones may be endangered.”
Part of the criticism of the law is that it does not allow these former offenders to return to society and does not consider the very broad definition of sex offenses — which often do not involve children. Indeed, reports indicate that there are only 119 registered sex offenders who live in Simi Valley and many are guilty of misdemeanors. While 67 have been guilty of more serious crimes, none involved in crimes involving children on Halloween. There are no records of any such crime occurring in Simi Valley during Halloween trick-or-treating.
The lawsuit involves five registered sex offenders, three of their wives and two of their children who want to participate in the annual celebration.
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Source: LA Times