By Sam “The Boogyeman” Lea
It never occurred to me before reading this story,
but Halloween has got to be like Christmas for sexual predators. Not to make light of a very serious situation, but I can completely imagine the old man on Family Guy using a fishing pole with a Snickers bar at the end to lure unsuspecting little children into his home.
In an effort to curb this potential scenario, Gov. Matt Blunt of Missouri signed into law a statute requiring registered sex offenders to “refrain form all Halloween-related contact with children from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.” It requires them to remain inside their homes with the outside lights off, and to post a sign saying they have no candy.
This Monday, a US District Court Judge granted a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the statute in part. The Court held that the requirements forcing offenders to remain in their home and refrain from being around children was overly broad, while finding that keeping a sign on their door and the lights off was constitutional.
The Court reasoned that a registered offender could easily be confused as to whether or not they could leave town or if they could see their own children on Halloween.
As a law student for 2.4 years now, I can set my emotions aside and see the validity in the Court’s decision. However, the parent in me longs to see the courts base their decision on “protecting the children.” How many times have the courts limited Constitutional rights in obscenity cases based on the “what about the children excuse?” Why not here?
The courts seem to place more importance on preventing children from being exposed to pornography than they do molestation. This raises another point, why are we even having to deal with these people? There has been a rash of new laws across the country limiting the personal freedoms of registered sex offenders from requiring tracking bracelets too limiting the areas in which they can live. Its time we stop having to worry about the personal freedoms of these S.O.B.’s and require life in jail without parole, where they can experience the other end of what it means to be raped.
Have a happy and safe Halloween, and if you are going to egg a house in Missouri this Halloween, do it to the house with the lights off and the “no candy” sign on the door.