By JOSH FRANCIS
San Juan Capistrano City Council decides to look further into the legality of a proposed ordinance to ban or restrict registered sex offenders from city parks.
Though all members favored the idea of keeping sex offenders out of San Juan Capistrano city parks, legal concerns about a proposal to put the idea into law prompted the City Council to postpone a vote on it Tuesday night.
- So, can any reporter or politician point me to a slew of news reports where a sex crime occurred in a park, school or other place these laws forbid people? Like said below, the ones you pick, are not the norm, but the exception. So stop passing laws based on the exception and not the vast majority. If we passed laws based on the exceptions, then why do we not punish everyone in this country, since a few criminals have done bad things? Because we are, or were, a just society, but that is changing, especially when it's the modern day "monster" sex offenders.
"I think there are too many question marks still," Councilwoman Laura Freese said. "Even though our hearts are wanting this stringent mandate, I don't think we're ready for it yet."
The council decided to research the legality of the ordinance and vote on it at a later meeting.
City Attorney Omar Sandoval presented the council with two options for an ordinance to ban or restrict registered sex offenders from city parks.
- It's nothing more than discrimination and state mandated exile, based on lies.
Option 1, modeled after Orange County's Child Safety Zone ordinance approved in April, would allow authorities to charge registered sex offenders with a misdemeanor if they enter a city park without written permission from San Juan Capistrano Police Services. Penalties would include a fine of up to $500 and/or jail time for up to six months for the first violation. Second and third violations would mandate jail time and fines of up to $500.
- So, since ex-offenders pay taxes on the parks they can no longer use, are you going to give them a tax break?
Option 2, a modified version of the county law, would allow Police Services to grant date-, time- and location-specific written permission for individual registered sex offenders if they have a reason to be there under specific guidelines, such as accompanying a minor for whom the offender is the legal parent or guardian, or using the park for free speech or assembly, lawful employment, voting in an election or attending a religious service. Signs would be put up in all city parks.
- Is this for those on probation/parole only, or as usual, all ex-offenders? When are we going to start working on "hall passes" for all other criminals as well? Like one for DUI offenders to not be able to enter stores that sell alcohol, which would basically be all stores? Or gang members from entering gun shops or stores that sell drugs? Fair is fair, right? Oh yeah, this is not about being fair, it's about punishing the modern day leper (sex offenders) to pacify the sheeple from the fear-mongering spread by the politicians, media and police agencies, for money, ratings and votes.
A requirement for either option is that notifications be sent to registered sex offenders who live in San Juan.
Sandoval said the city has 17 registered sex offenders, 13 of whom have been convicted of offenses against minors. The city is home to nearly 35,000 residents, nearly one-fourth of whom are younger than 18, according to a city staff report.
- So out of the 13 who committed crimes against children, how many were done in a park? I am willing to bet ZERO!
The council was shown a video of Phillip Garrido, a paroled sex offender who pleaded guilty this year to kidnapping and raping Jaycee Dugard, as an example of why such an ordinance should be implemented.
- Yes, instead of showing the facts from the vast majority of sex offenders, they pick one of the worse to show everyone. That is how politics and propaganda work. Mr. Garrido is not the norm, but the exception, and most of those convicted of sex crimes, do not go on to commit more sex crimes, or kidnap children, and that is easily seen, if you read the true facts instead of what the politicians, media and police want you to see. The vast majority of studies show that sex offender have the lowest recidivism of all other criminals. So why don't we have a national shaming registry for all the other high risk criminals?
"I think this is a very important issue and a very important thing to prohibit because sex offenders who are not on probation or parole are actually more dangerous, in my opinion, than the sex offenders who are on probation or parole," said Susan Schroeder, chief of staff for Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
- Are you kidding me? Show me the proof, not your personal opinion!
Council members had differing opinions on which option they would like to see implemented, but they had concerns with both.
Orange County sheriff's Lt. John Meyer, chief of police services in San Juan, said only Sheriff Sandra Hutchens could grant permission to allow a sex offender to enter a park and that the Sheriff's Department has no intention of granting any permissions.
- Sure would be nice to see the hard data on how many sex crimes have occurred in parks, but we all know we will never see that, because it would prevent them from passing laws based on lies, like this.
That being the case, "the city would be exposed to the liability" for any lawsuit that may occur if the ordinance is enacted, Sandoval said.
- It is my opinion, that all ex-offenders should sue the state for this infringement of their rights, even if they cannot afford a lawyer, swamp the legal system with law suits, even if you have to get a court appointed lawyer. Eventually it will bankrupt the state.
"I'm not too crazy about this," Councilman Derek Reeve said. "We have an ordinance but we don't make the decision, and you (Meyer) already said you don't foresee ever approving one. ... It just seems like we're opening ourselves up potentially to a lawsuit for a law that no one seems to know if it's even constitutional."
- Hell, if you had common sense and read the Constitution, you'd know banning people from public places is unconstitutional. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that, only someone who is corrupt and violating their oath of office.
Sandoval answered questions about a legal challenge brought in San Diego in which that city removed restrictions from an ordinance similar to the one considered Tuesday. San Diego settled with the Public Defender's Office in that case, Sandoval said.
"They didn't want to be the first test case on this matter, and the surrounding cities are also on a holding pattern because nobody wants to be the first city to get sued," Sandoval said.
- So, just like you are suppose to do in a court of law, and find someone guilty based on facts, and if there is any reasonable doubt, then throw it out, why not do the same here. Clearly it's unconstitutional
The San Juan council also would have to decide which parks to ban sex offenders from. The county ordinance lists specific parks where offenders are banned.
"I think we really need to take a very close look at each of these parks and determine which of these would be more workable," Mayor Sam Allevato said.
The District Attorney's Office has sent letters recommending that each city in Orange County consider adopting sex-offender bans like the one in effect at county parks, recreational facilities and beaches.
- Once again, what are the facts on sexual assault cases being committed at parks, beaches, or any other place you mentioned? I am willing to bet none, or very little.
In June, Westminster passed an ordinance identical to the county's, and it went into effect in July. Irvine adopted a similar ordinance but only banned sex offenders who have committed an offense against a minor. Rancho Santa Margarita and Huntington Beach are among other Orange County cities moving toward adopting such bans.
According to Schroeder, the county ordinance and the ordinance presented to the San Juan council are not ex post facto laws (one that applies retroactively to punish an act that wasn't illegal at the time it was committed). The DA's Office conducted months of research to support that claim, she said.
- Months of research? Really? So where is this "research?" I'd like to see it. And by the text the reporter added in parenthesis above, it's clearly unconstitutional, if you don't bend the meaning to suit your own purpose. Also, I like how the reporter inserted "punish" into the meaning above, when the true definition is not about punishment, as you can see here.
"I believe (the county ordinance) is constitutionally sound," Schroeder said.
She said she is confident that San Juan eventually will pass the ordinance.