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State Supreme Court: Sex offenders may challenge 'Jessica's Law' residency rules

February 1, 2010 | 10:46 am

The California Supreme Court decided Monday that registered sex offenders who are paroled to places where it is impossible to avoid living near parks and schools may challenge the residency requirements imposed by “Jessica’s Law,” which voters passed overwhelmingly in 2006.

In the 5-2 ruling, the majority rejected several constitutional challenges brought by four parolees who contended they would be forced to leave their homes and families if subject to Proposition 83’s residency requirements, which bar registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any public or private school or park where children regularly gather.

But the court said the four men could challenge the residency requirements as unconstitutional when applied to them on the grounds there would be no place for them to live in the cities where they are serving parole.

Proposition 83, passed by 70% of voters, makes it impossible for some registered sex offenders to live in densely populated cities. Nearly all of San Francisco is off limits to them because of the number of parks and schools close to housing.

-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco

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