"William Wiyakaska calls it a witch hunt.
Joanne Pratt says her civil rights are being violated.
Michael Price says it's a legal shunning, that makes people like him pariahs.
"It's banishment," he said. "What the city councils fail to realize is that they are punishing the families of the offenders as well. Children don't understand why they will have to move."
Price and Wiyakaska are convicted sex offenders. Pratt is married to one. All three are joining growing protests across Florida against movements to limit where they can live and work."
These people should be pariahs because they have proven themselves unfit to live in normal society. Look at their twisted logic. It is they, by their own vile behavior, that have punished the families of the victims as well as their own kin. Yet, they try to portray themselves as victims using their own families to evoke sympathy for a situation of their own making.
'Legal experts and city officials say they may be right, but that won't stop the surge of municipalities all across the country -- including Palm Bay, Melbourne and Cocoa -- considering more restrictive laws against sex offenders.
Price, who is involved with the Sex Offender Support and Education Network, has organized what he calls an "educational rally" in Palm Bay on Thursday. He contends the restrictive laws violate 14th Amendment guarantees that prohibit states from denying residents life, liberty or property without due process of law. He's hoping to march with a few hundred sex offenders and their families.
"There are lots of issues here," said Professor Drew Lanier of the University of Central Florida, adding that we don't have a right to live wherever we want. "It's a balance of the interests of the community versus the interests of the offender, and they are not exactly sympathetic figures."
Public outcry over the high-profile slayings earlier this year of two Florida children prompted many Florida cities to seek more restrictive measures on sex offenders. Nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford of Homosassa and 13-year-old Sarah Michelle Lunde of Ruskin were killed and in both cases, convicted sex offenders were charged.
State Rep. Mitch Needelman, R-Melbourne, said the public must be careful grouping offenders and predators in the same category. But when it comes to predators complaining about restrictions, he has two words: "Too bad."
"Those people should be wearing scarlet letters," he said. "I have no problem with communities saying we don't want you here."
Now, though, offenders say the crackdown has gone too far.Wiyakaska, who said he was wrongly convicted, spent time in prison in Massachusetts for molesting his brother's children. He said the tougher laws may force sex offenders to stop registering.
"Sex offenders need places to live. If town officials say you can't live there, then they force you to break the law," said Wiyakaska, now a registered sex offender living in Palm Bay. "People are being panicked. Why are all sex offenders being punished after they pay their debts to society?"
That's something Florida's ACLU lawyers are also looking into. Spokeswoman Alessandra Meetze said the new laws are simply being fueled by politicians.
"This isn't the smartest approach to keep our children safe," she said. "Effectively, are they trying to create fences around entire cities?"'
Of course, the ACLU weasels are involved on the wrong side, as usual. If there is a risk to be taken, it should be assumed by the perverts not innocent children and their families.
If we need fences to protect our kids, we'll build them. If we need to eliminate the ACLU to protect our kids, then the ACLU will become history. Family loving, God fearing, concerned and caring American parents can turn this nation on its ear and they will deal with the ACLU, its lawyers, its members and its fans in good time. We will win this war and the nation will be better and stronger because of it.
And this from The Seattle Times:
"The movement to restrict where sex offenders live is not just a Florida occurrence. Fourteen states, including California, New York, New Jersey and Arkansas have passed measures restricting where offenders can live. And many places are looking into making those restrictions even tougher.
One New Jersey town has prohibited known offenders from living 1,000 feet from a school bus stop and in New York, there is a movement to ban sex offenders from municipal pools.
The U.S. Department of Justice has also created a National Sex Offender Registry, listing names and residences of offenders.
Challenges to these laws are already being made. An Iowa judge tried striking down the law, calling it unconstitutional. But a U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals recently declared the restrictions to be in the public's best interests."
The above quotes were from floridatoday.com.
The American Civil Liberties Union this week withdrew a motion in King County Superior Court that sought to bar the city of Issaquah from enforcing an ordinance restricting where sex offenders can live.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit last month on behalf of Kyle Lewis, a Level 3 sex offender, and his mother, who owns the property where her son lives. The Issaquah ordinance passed last month also makes it illegal to rent homes to sex offenders in prohibited areas.
Last week, a court commissioner denied an ACLU request for a temporary restraining order to block the ordinance until the preliminary-injunction hearing date of Sept. 23. The city then began issuing fines of $250 a day to Lewis and his mother.
Lewis didn't want his mother to be penalized and has agreed to move out of Issaquah, said ACLU spokesman Doug Honig.
"The lawsuit is proceeding, just on a slower schedule," Honig said. A trial date is set for Feb. 27, 2007, but a summary judgment could be issued earlier, he said.
The battles are forming. Pick your side.
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