Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Minority Report

Posted by Maggie on January 24, 2008

We all got excited when Georgia struck down its sex offender residency restriction law as unconstitutional. But since then it’s been all down hill. The AG claimed the Supreme Court didn’t really mean what it said. Then the Supreme Court stepped in and agreed that maybe they didn’t mean exactly what they said and watered down the opinion with a grammatical change. And then the legislature just went right back in to plug the little hole the Court poked in their law with a brand spanking new one that’s pretty much as bad as the original.

Today, the Southern Center for Human Rights has the Minority Report for the new bill. That is, the Judicial Committee that considered the bill approved it, and now the group that’s opposed to it is coming out and saying so. Here’s a link to a pdf of their report. They hit the nail effectively on the head, and do their best to appeal to everyone. They point out that it’s not just a flawed law that’s probably yet again going to be found unconstitutional, but that law enforcement hates it. I suspect that one of these days the frustrations of law enforcement will get through to someone and we’ll start seeing some better laws.

One troubling statistic from the Pardons and Parole Board found that every time a parolee moves, their chance of recidivism goes up 25%. And every day they are unemployed, their risk of reoffending goes up 1%. That’s per day. I’m not hopeful really, but at least there’s a few more people willing to speak out against residency restrictions.

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