Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sex-offender residency concerns

Sex-offender residency issues are in the news again.

Last week the Ohio Attorney General’s Office announced it requested and was granted a motion to assist in defending the constitutionality of Revised Code §2950.031, which prohibits a sex offender from residing within 1,000 feet of a school, and gives authorities the right to evict those violating that mandate. The case is Mikaloff v. Walsh, Case 5:06-CV-96, in the U.S. District Court for Northern Ohio, East. A class-action, Mikaloff’s complaint says Ohio’s statute is unconstitutional as applied to those sentenced prior to July 2003, and represents ex post facto legislation.

Its press release on Feb 6th. also mentioned Attorney General Petro’s participation in a similar District Court case last year, here in Cincinnati, also alleging in part that residency requirements represent punitive legislation. [See Coston v. Petro, 398 F. Supp. 2d 878 (2005)].

Meanwhile, Covington, Kentucky is holding public hearings in advance of a proposed city ordinance which will increase the requirement to 2,000 feet from any school or day care in that city, a measure already being done in several other cities such as Des Moines, Iowa. Other towns and cities have forbidden convicted sex offenders entirely.

The “blogsphere” hasn’t been mute, either. The reader may find posts at Prawfsblawg and Kipesquire of particular interest. Prawfsblawg’s discussion centers in part with Doe v. Miller, an 8th. Circuit decision which also tested the constitutionality of sex offender residency restrictions last year, reversing a district court’s having invalidated Iowa’s registry requirements.

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