Judge Rules Sex Offender Law Unconstitutional

When Kentucky's new sex offender law went into effect last October, Lexington police officers went door-to-door looking for convicted sex offenders. The law ruled that they could no longer live within 1,000 feet of a church, school, day care or a park with a pool. But now a Kentucky judge has ruled the law is unconstitutional.

The ruling came after several sex offenders in Louisville who were in violation took legal action claiming the new residence restrictions violated their rights. Tuesday, Jefferson County District Judge Donald Armstrong agreed.

He ruled the law is unconstitutional and should not apply to anyone convicted prior to the date it went into effect. Armstrong also said it should only affect accused sex offenders with pending criminal charges. The judge said convicted sex offenders who have already served their debt to society should not be dealt another penalty, years, even decades after their crime.

For now, the ruling only impacts cases involved in the suit. However, the attorney representing the offenders said he hopes other judges will consider the decision when evaluating other cases.

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  • by AJ Location: TN/KY on Jul 9, 2008 at 05:39 PM
    More facts and a link to a court decision: Myth: Registries and Residency Restrictions protect children. Fact: Studies show that relatives, friends, teachers, etc, commit over 90% of molestations. From a 2000 DoJ report: only 3.1% of victims under 5 and 4.7% of victims 6-11 were assaulted by strangers. Studies show NO connection between recidivism and proximity. In one study of 500 SO's residing near schools, only 1 was re-arrested (not for a sexual offense.) Another study showed only 2 recidivist acts on strangers...miles from the SO's residence. The DoJ has determined that residency restrictions are ineffective. Myth: Molestors always molest Fact: From a 2003 DoJ study of 29,000 SO's: within 3 years of release, 14% were re-arrested for a violent crime, only 3% for child sexual assault. Comparatively, 68% of ALL prisoners were re-arrested. http://theparson.net/so/residencyrestrictions.source.prod_affiliate.79.pdf Before depriving a citizen of their civil rights, learn the facts.
  • by AJ Location: TN/KY on Jul 9, 2008 at 03:55 PM
    Hate-mongering due to ignorance and fear never ceases to amaze me. There is a physiological difference between pedophiles and other sex offenders. Pedophilia is a sexual orientation and IS incurable...but far less than 1% of offenders are pedophiles. Unsupervised pedophiles WILL re-offend. Statistically, non-pedophiliac sex offenders who have successfully completed an SOTP program have a LOWER recidivism rate than ANY other criminal. (Compare that to the stats on DUIs...better a treated sex offender in my neighborhood than a drunk driver.) Depression, feelings of exclusion, anger and powerlessness are the primary triggers for offenders. Registry and residency restriction laws, coupled with the ignorance and fear of employers and landlords cause many homeless, jobless sex offenders. (Because of this, per many VICTIM'S GROUPS' spokespeople, these laws are counter-productive.) Let low-risk offenders put their pasts behind and live in peace...both for civil rights AND child safety.
  • by CFC Location: TX on May 20, 2008 at 07:44 PM
    I too am concerned about the safety and well being of children. I am also concerned about punishing young men and women for having consensual nonviolent sex with their boyfriends or girlfriends. This act does not constitute the requirement of registering for a lifetime. Young people make bad choices in life. Heck, my husband of 32 years is 6 years older than I am. By todays standards he would have been a sex offender for having sex with me when I was 16. My grandfather was 10 years older than my grandmother and he was not a pedophile or predator. He loved her dearly and she loved him the same. I truly believe that we need to differentiate between those who are dangerous and those who just made a bad choice. These kids are treated as if they were a predator or pedophile and they are neither. Understand, that I am only talking about those who had consensual nonviolent sex.
  • by mary Location: kendrick on Apr 3, 2008 at 05:28 AM
    I think that is sooooooooooooo wrong. There is people out here that have been taking, used, abused and have life with that. Why can't the sex offenders have to life that they took away from their sick minds. They should have NO RIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by KMP Location: ky on Sep 4, 2007 at 08:55 PM
    Hey RS of Lexington. I don't know why you think you are so high and mighty and so smart. Just think about where you live also makes you a hillbilly. And if disagreeing with the judge makes me a hillbilly well them I am darn proud. I for one are one of the statistics and it will live with me for the rest of my life. If I could keep it from happening another child (I was 6years old at the time) then that will make me happy.To me if you are convicted of a crime (felony) you should have no rights. The safety of these kids should come first. They may have (so called) paid their debt to society but 90 percent will commit the same crime and if we can prevent another crime against a child then we should do what it takes to do it. Sex offenders can not be "cured". They will do it again. They are preditors for life. No amount of debt they serve could ever pay for the life of a child and the pain and fear they faced as they are being attacked. Victims may forgive but they will never forget.
  • by kevin Location: nyc on Aug 16, 2007 at 07:57 AM
    I cant believe it. A judge who actually did his job. protecting the rights of individuals. there are a lot of judges who rule on personal feelings rather than doing what is right. kudos to judge Armstrong
  • by Bub Location: Georgetown on Jul 28, 2007 at 06:06 PM
    I agree with Rob from London. Sin is sin but some sin produces stiffer consequences. I have a small child as well and if ANYONE touched my baby in this fashion, I would go ahead and order 2X prison fatigues because I would ensure that the molester didn't molest anymore!!!! I don't know if you have children or not but if you do then just imagine someone sexually assaulting them!!! I think sex offenders should be placed in a separate institution in the middle of nowhere for the rest of their earthly lives!!!
  • by Tonya Location: kentucky on Jul 28, 2007 at 05:06 AM
    First of all J from Paducah, I personally don't think you served enough time. Although your victim lived, you still took their life. You should still be in prison. I agree with the law on sex offenders, and no J I will not move because you can't control yourself. Just make sure you stay away from my children, you are sick and always will be. There is no room for sick people like yourself in this world. As for the judge he is just as sick and perverted. Maybe the judge and J can move in togather.
  • by Amy Location: Lexington on Jul 27, 2007 at 05:05 PM
    I would personally like to see some statistics comparing sex crimes before & after this law. I do not want sex offenders near my child and am thrilled they were forced to leave my neighborhood. On the other hand, I don't think forcing them to move will stop their actions. I don't see that being forced to live away from places children congregate is going to slow them down. I also check the Registry periodically and now see more "clusters" of offenders living in the same neighborhoods. While my family might be safer, other neighborhoods are surely feeling MUCH less secure.
  • by Dave Location: Garden Springs on Jul 27, 2007 at 03:48 PM
    You really know your Bible Rob.


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