It's difficult to make me feel sympathy for convicted sex offenders, but Broward County Florida is doing its best.
Following the lead of other cities and counties, Broward County Click here for restaurant inspection reports commissioners last week enacted tougher restrictions for unincorporated areas. Sex offenders won't be able to live within 2,500 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds or school bus stops.
It's difficult to find a location in Broward County that isn't within 2,500 feet (almost half a mile) of some school, park, playground, or bus stop. So difficult that newly released offenders are now forced to live "beneath a roadway overpass, overlooking a canal, surrounded by broken glass and forced to sleep with a stick to beat back rats."
It seems Broward is attempting to duplicate the feat of Miami-Dade County, which has so restrictively "zoned" its population of offenders that all are forced to live beneath the Julia Tuttle Causeway Bridge: current population fifty-two men and one woman.
Of course the unstated purpose of these laws is to force newly released sex offenders to move to other parts of the state, where they will become Someone Else's Problem. Since the Supreme Court has held in cases like Smith v. Doe that even the most draconian living restrictions on sex offenders can be classified as non-punitive, public safety measures, we have the odd situation where a de facto sentence of exile (the only alternative being to live underneath a bridge) is held to be entirely legal, even though a de jure sentence of exile, if imposed by a court, would be reversed as unconstitutional.
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