Some residents of the California city of Simi Valley are preparing to take legal action against a new law that they argue violates their 1st Amendment rights.
The city’s new law bans Halloween displays and outside lighting every Oct. 31 at the homes of people convicted of sex crimes. For offenders listed on the Megan’s Law website, the city also requires a sign on the front door in letters at least an inch tall: “No candy or treats at this residence.”
Okay, Janice Bellucci, the attorney that is representing five offenders, three of their wives, and two of their children, did make the terrible analogy of comparing this law to the branding that Nazis inflicted Jewish people with in the form of the yellow stars they were forced to carry in public to let everyone know of their heritage. That is total nonsense. Jewish people did absolutely nothing to warrant the treatment they suffered while Bellucci’s clients were at least convicted of crimes, not so innocent.
On the other hand I do have to wonder about such a ban. Being a registered sex offender already carries some types of similar treatment like not being able to live within a certain distance of places where children may be (like schools and churches) and they having to make their presence known to local law enforcement when they move into a neighborhood.
Is not only stripping them the ability to decorate for Halloween but also putting up signs to basically ward children off a reasonable measure?
Why not just go round them up and put them in a holding cell for the night?
Maybe this law goes too far?
Perhaps not far enough?
Are there other measures you would employ along with what’s already included (like no costumes)?
What do you think?
Photo courtesy of Flickr/Free Flower