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California: federal court blocks enforcement of sex-offender initiative

The Los Angeles Times reports: Hours after California voters approved a ballot measure authorizing a crackdown on sex offenders, a federal judge Wednesday blocked enforcement of a controversial provision limiting where ex-offenders may live.

The order by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco means that implementation of a key portion of Proposition 83, which captured 70% of the vote, will be on hold until its constitutionality is resolved by the courts. A hearing is scheduled later this month.

The initiative prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. In a lawsuit Wednesday, attorneys said that constitutes a new penalty imposed on ex-convicts years after they have been punished for their crime. The measure also is unconstitutional on due process grounds, the lawyers argue, because it would force offenders from their homes without notice. ...

In granting the temporary restraining order, the judge said "John Doe" has been "a law-abiding and productive member of his community" since his conviction and would suffer "irreparable harm" if forced to comply with Proposition 83. His lawyers, Illston said, probably will prevail in challenging the initiative as unconstitutional. -- U.S. judge blocks portion of new sex offender measure - Los Angeles Times

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