In recent years, state and local officials across the country have restricted where sex offenders can live, hoping to keep them away from children. Related Links Communities with zoning ordinances restricting sex offenders. Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson globe. Follow him on Twitter mlevenson. Advertisement Phelan also expressed shock that the court would compare historical atrocities against people based on their heritage with laws aimed at sex offenders convicted by courts and then classified by the state as dangerous.
Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson globe. That law, with few exceptions, banned Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders — those with a high or moderate risk of reoffending — from living within 1, feet of a school or park in Lynn. Advertisement Phelan also expressed shock that the court would compare historical atrocities against people based on their heritage with laws aimed at sex offenders convicted by courts and then classified by the state as dangerous. The court found that such restrictions would have to be imposed on a case-by-case basis, not as a blanket policy. In February, the New York State Court of Appeals threw out a Nassau County law that prevented sex offenders from living within 1, feet of a school, ruling that such local measures were preempted by a state law restricting residency for sex offenders. There are 2, Level 3 offenders and 6, Level 2 offenders in Massachusetts, according to state officials. Sign Up Thank you for signing up! The dominant view is that such rules, if applied statewide, are legal, said Daniel M. Filler, a Drexel University law professor. But Phelan said sex offenders, because their crimes do such extensive psychological damage, should lose certain rights and privileges. In recent years, state and local officials across the country have restricted where sex offenders can live, hoping to keep them away from children. Get Fast Forward in your inbox: Related Links Communities with zoning ordinances restricting sex offenders. Advertisement Local officials who supported the restrictions decried the ruling and vowed to lobby Governor Charlie Baker and the state Legislature to pass statewide residency rules. Advertisement Legal specialists said those questions would probably be tested if the Legislature adopted statewide rules or empowered cities and towns to impose their own restrictions. Follow him on Twitter mlevenson. Get what you need today in this early-morning email. The court did not address the broader Constitutional questions raised by the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit and had argued that residency restrictions amount to cruel and unusual punishment and violate the fundamental rights of sex offenders to travel freely and live with their families. The problem, he said, has been with cities and towns passing a patchwork of local laws that simply force sex offenders to move to the next town.
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