Judge says Jessica’s Law not retroactive

first_imgSACRAMENTO – A federal judge ruled Friday that a voter-approved restriction on where sex offenders can live can’t be applied retroactively, potentially freeing thousands of offenders from a ban on living within 2,000 feet of schools, parks or places where children gather. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton said there was nothing in Proposition 83, commonly known as Jessica’s Law, that specified its provisions were intended to be applied retroactively. When that’s the case, California law requires that the statute apply from the date it takes effect, he added. “The court finds that the law does not apply to individuals who were convicted and who were paroled, given probation or released from incarceration prior to its effective date,” he wrote. Proposition 83 was approved They sought a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the residency restrictions, but Karlton denied the motion, saying it was unnecessary because the restrictions didn’t apply to the plaintiffs. The attorney for the three plaintiffs, Scott Wippert, said he interpreted the decision as also freeing sex offenders who were released before Proposition 83 was passed from its tracking requirements. “It’s actually a victory for our clients,” he said. “It clarifies the law consistent with what we argued all along, that it’s prospective.” He said the only remaining question was whether the proposition covers sex offenders who were still incarcerated when the measure was approved. “That issue is still up in the air,” he said. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Bill Sessa said the ruling wouldn’t affect residency and monitoring requirements the state imposed on paroled sex offenders before Proposition 83 was approved. Those laws require parolees to live more than 2,000 feet from schools and other areas where children congregate for three years after they’re released, Sessa said. Those sex offenders the state classifies as high-risk also face GPS monitoring, Sessa said. Child molesters also have other restrictions, such as not being allowed to socialize with people who have children or loiter in areas where children gather. “Sex offenders, out of all our parolees, are on the shortest leash and under the biggest microscope of any of them,” Sessa said. “Whatever we do to enforce Jessica’s Law is just an extension of what we do already to regulate these parolees, and, in fact, have been doing since long before passage of the law.” Sessa said that at any one time the state is monitoring some 10,000 paroled sex offenders. Altogether, there are about 90,000 registered sex offenders in California. Attorneys representing the governor, attorney general and local prosecutors disagreed at a hearing on Feb. 5 about whether the proposition should be applied retroactively. Only the attorney general’s office said it should be retroactive, an interpretation Karlton called “frivolous.” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was pleased that the ruling removed a potential impediment to enforcing the statute. “The people of California passed this important initiative to help protect themselves from sexual predators and today’s ruling allows the state to continue its implementation of Jessica’s Law,” he said in a statement. Gareth Lacy, spokesman for Attorney General Jerry Brown, said his office was still interpreting the judge’s order. He said Brown’s goal is to implement the law in a way that protects Californians and gives guidance to law enforcement. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nov. 7 by 70.5 percent of voters and took effect the next day. As well as barring sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of places where children gather, the measure increases prison terms for sex offenders and requires lifetime satellite tracking for rapists, child molesters and other felony sex criminals after they are released from prison. The Sacramento case is one of two lawsuits that asked federal judges to interpret the restrictions. A day after the election, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco temporarily blocked the 2,000-foot residency requirement from applying to current registered sex offenders who are not on parole or probation. Karlton’s decision Friday was in response to a lawsuit filed by three unidentified sex offenders, including one on parole and one on probation, who said they lived within 2,000 feet of schools or parks. last_img read more

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Western Gaze: Country Of Contrast

first_imgIf there is one sight that sticks out for an American visiting India for the first time, it is the wild juxtaposition of cows and traffic on city streets. For those of us accustomed to a culture in which bovines are considered livestock rather than sacred creatures, the combination makes for a bizarre spectacle. We are ill equipped to make sense of the scene. The four cows roaming around outside our hotel were enough to attract the attention of everyone in my traveling group. We pointed, stared and took pictures. Though it lasted only a short while, the encounter reflected what is likely to be a defining characteristic of my India trip: a confrontation with contrast.The first thing an American notices upon stepping off the plane is the distinct nature of India’s roads. On any given highway, one sees a freestyle pattern of traffic that gives the impression of mass chaos. Cars, trucks, motorcycles and rickshaws crowd the streets, coming within inches of one another at every turn. Despite the presence of street signs and painted lines, the roads have a defacto absence of designated lanes and are filled instead with a mass of weaving traffic. Inside tiny rickshaws, six or seven people are squeezed in.  Add to the mix the astounding presence of car horns, used more for announcing location than expressing anger. All of this can be quite overwhelming for someone experiencing India for the first time. In America, the dominant culture emphasizes consistency and organization. Cars drive in lanes regardless of traffic. This orderly structure is something we accept as a given, so we tend to conclude that any divergent system is mayhem. The sight of clustering traffic and the sounds of relentless horns seems catastrophic. Not surprisingly, many Americans are appalled by the chaos they while riding a taxicab in India. For the drivers who must navigate the streets everyday, however, the frantically weaving traffic and people hanging out of trucks is normal. Could it be that our sense of order is designed to control us, while in India, everyone takes account of the other and traffic flows easily, even amidst chaos.Traveling in India means coming to grips with the chaos not just on the roads, but in the vast discrepancies in wealth and poverty. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in the contrast between the slums of Dharavi and the surrounding city of Mumbai. Walking through Dharavi can be disturbing to an outsider. Many of the tiny shacks in which people live are little more than collections of scrap metal pieced together, and the unbearably narrow alleyways outside are lined with litter and goat droppings.  Even more striking than these conditions is the knowledge that, within blocks of the slums, there is a skyline filled with elegant skyscrapers and billboards advertising designer clothes. For an American, it is hard not to wonder whether there is any excuse for allowing the conditions of Dharavi to exist amidst the excess of Mumbai.The divisions of wealth and poverty in our economic system are evident even in the United States, but for the most part Americans are spared the sights of poverty, as the poor are segregated into separate and distant neighborhoods. To see the effects of a global capitalist market on the villages of Dharavi is to witness a contrast of rich and poor on an entirely different scale. Yet those who live in the slums, unarguably the greatest victims, seem to take the contradiction in stride. They go about their work, tend to their children and carry on much the way of people in any community. What’s more, the vast majority of them don’t even appear to be unhappy. Perhaps the contrasts around them are too overwhelming to do anything about or perhaps they simply accept lives.  Is it that only Americans are sensitive to contrasts and contradictions, or is it just the “foreigner” in us? Here, the sight of slums next door to expensive condominiums merely reflects a fact of life.A visit to Khajuraho challenges our concepts of divinity. While viewing the beautiful ancient temples on this site, visitors will undoubtedly come across naked and erotic images for which it is best known in the United States. Someone unprepared for these images is disoriented by sculptures of both gods and erotic scenes. Many may even find inappropriate as Americans are educated in a Western religious tradition that skirts sexuality, going to great lengths to hide the details of intercourse and the physical organs involved in the act.I found the contrasts I observed in India confusing, chaotic and contradictory. Over time, however, I began to recognize that these perceived contrasts existed only in my mind and those of my fellow travelers. While we marveled at the cows on the road, those who drove or dodged around them didn’t seem to even notice their presence. For an American visiting India for the first time, the reaction to the cows on the road might be a good metaphor for how well they have tuned in to the charms of the country.  Related Itemslast_img read more

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Indina boxing mess: State units hold meeting with ad-hoc panel

first_imgShillong, Feb 15 (PTI) Making another attempt at sorting the administrative mess in Indian boxing, representatives of 18 state units held a meeting with the AIBA ad-hoc committee and the coordination panel to discuss formation of a new federation. The meeting was also attended by four government units and the draft of a new constitution was circulated to get the observations. “The observations would be put forwarded to the International Federation (AIBA) within seven days for ratification. Were trying our best to secure Indian boxers participation in Rio Olympics (in August this year),” chairman of the Sports Ministry-constituted coordination committee Asit Banerjee told PTI. The next meeting of these stakeholders would be held within three weeks in Kolkata to take the discussions forward. He further said they are organising two tournaments — All India Youth Championship from February 19-23 in Bhimavaram and Junior and Youth Championship in New Delhi in March. Banerjee further proposed the hosting of a sub-junior Nationals in Kolkata after the formation of the new federation. The sport is being administered by the ad-hoc committee, which was formed by AIBA after it terminated Boxing India last year. PTI TAP PM PMlast_img read more

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