Kris Murray's politically motivated, unenforceable law to ban sex offenders in Anaheim parks has been deemed illegal.
"A controversial Orange County sex offender law that bans some people from visiting parks and beaches has been ruled illegal by a panel of Superior Court judges, who have asked the state appeals court to now review the get-tough rule.
The panel reached the decision after overturning the conviction of a registered sex offender who was ordered to serve 100 days in jail after he was caught attending a Cinco de Mayo party at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.
The Orange County district attorney’s office, which has pushed cities across the county to adopt the sex offender ban, said it would continue to enforce the law.
“I believe that protecting children from sex offenders is one of the highest priorities in law enforcement,” Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said in a statement.
But the ruling has drawn immediate fallout.
Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has asked her department to stop enforcing the law, and Lake Forest, one of the many cities that adopted the rule, is considering repealing its ordinance.
Nearly half the 34 cities in Orange County have adopted the law, and of those, almost half are now being sued."
Here is our original article on this issue:
Kris Murray brought forth an ordinance to ban sex offenders in Anaheim parks. Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? The only problem is that it is unenforceable.
In August 2012 the City of Cerritos passed a similar ban. Councilman Joseph Cho, Ph.D. stated that:
"These unenforceable laws don't make children safe, they are designed to make politicians look tough on crime and to make people feel good."
Councilman Joseph Cho, Ph.D. asked the City of Cerritos Director of Community and Safety Services Gary Berg what information he had to justify supporting the ordinance, such as the number of child sex crimes committed at parks. Berg stated "We have no information to suggest we have a problem in our parks. " He also said enforcement of the proposed ordinance is problematic.
In reality, deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department don't know the faces of all registered sex offenders and would have to wait for someone to report an incident to them before they could investigate, Berg said.
Irene Pai, a lawyer with the Orange County public defender’s office, said “child safety zones” give parents a false sense of security, punishing many offenders who are not dangerous without actually stopping predators from entering parks."
“The very notion that a park ordinance could in any way protect children, more than an attentive caregiver’s presence or any other way we protect our children, is absurd,” she said.
Thus far, the parks bans here in Orange County have led to just three convictions across the entire county.