The Associated Press reported today that “the state Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from revoking the parole of four recently released sex offenders who are illegally living too close to schools and parks. In a one-paragraph order, the court said it will consider whether Jessica’s Law violates the parolees’ constitutional rights.”
The state still plans to immediately start revoking parole for violators unless it is blocked by another court order, said Bill Maile, a spokesman for the department and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maile said, “We intend to move forward on implementation with all other offenders subject to the law.”
Attorneys for the four parolees argue that the law punishes sex offenders after they have already paid for their crime by serving prison time. They allege the law is unconstitutionally vague and imposes unreasonable conditions on parole. It could also force offenders underground because they can’t find housing that fits the strict rules under the law, said Specter, one of the attorneys who won the injunction Wednesday.
“It will cause more problems than it will solve,” Specter said. “It makes them homeless in many counties. It’s irrational in that it doesn’t prevent them from going near these places (schools and parks) – they just can’t sleep there.”
The Supreme Court gave the parolees’ attorneys until Oct 31st to respond and ordered the state to file its objects by Oct 24th. The court could then issue a ruling on whether Jessica’s Law is constitutional.