Friday, August 10, 2012

U.S. v. Collins (9th Cir. - June 22, 2012)

This is the latest in a series of opinions that makes clear that the federal judiciary is starting to take a different attitude towards internet-only child pornography cases; e.g., being very dubious of lifetime residency restrictions that essentially require the defendant to live in a rural area for the rest of his life.

The only thing I'll add to the opinion is that the court might want to include an actual citation in footnote seven, which reads:  "The California Coalition on Sexual Offending’s website provides maps, produced by the Senate Office of Demographics, showing the exclusion zones pertaining to Cal. Penal Code § 3003.5(b), which prohibits a registered sex offender from residing “within 2000 feet of any public or private school,” or a subset of parks “where children regularly gather.” One exclusion zone map for Central California, for example, shows that only a few isolated areas remain in the Greater Los Angeles area for defendants to live when subject to the restriction."

There's no citation (or link) in the opinion, though I think the court was referring to something like this:

But it took me about thirty minutes to find the thing.  It's not at all prominent, nor is there a particular link in the CCSO's web page to this data.

I'll also add that, looking at the map for San Diego, the exclusion zones here only appear to be for public schools and (perhaps) larger parks.  The area around my house, for example, is listed as a permissible zone for sex offenders, but I'm positive that's not true:  we're very close to a private elementary school, right across the street from a park, etc.  So the areas in which sex offenders can reside are even fewer in number than the map might reflect (moreover, as the Ninth Circuit's opinion mentions, the conditions here are even broader than those imposed by California, and would effectively banish sex offenders from any large city).