Yes, the politically correct Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has given us another one of those decisions that we have to laugh at because if we didn’t we’d cry thinking that we have entrusted those judges with the power to make the law in this state.
What’s great about the MA SJC is that the judges rarely dissent. They all seem to walk in lockstep bizarre as that seems. Did you ever wonder why? I can only suggest they are cut out of the same cloth. It is a pity that we have no high court judges who view the world from other than those similarly tinted rose-colored glasses.
The latest case making our children less safe is John Doe v. City of Lynn where all seven judges agreed. Now here is what made me laugh to avoid crying. The judge who wrote the opinion, Justice Geraldine S. Hines, stated: “Except for the incarceration of persons under the criminal law and the civil commitment of mentally ill or dangerous persons, the days are long since past when whole communities of persons, such Native Americans and Japanese-Americans may be lawfully banished from our midst.”
You understand what she is saying. That class 2 and class 3 sexual offenders as a group are to be treated in an equivalent manner as the Native Americans and Japanese-Americans. If she was consistent in her logic she would also object that the legislature require this community to register. Neither Japanese-Americans nor Native Americans are required to notify the authorities of their home addresses so why should the community of sexual offenders be so required.
She did note that the Legislature “prohibits level three sex offenders from living a rest home(sic) or other regulated long-term care facility. . . . has limited a sex offender’s ability to live with adopted or foster children. . . , or to work as a child care provider . . . a school bus operator . . . , or an ice cream truck vendor,. . .” I assume that type of banishment is all right even though if the Legislature imposed similar restrictions on Japanese-Americans or Native Americans it would be found abhorrent and unconstitutional.
Judge Hines seems to be at sea on this issue. The Japanese-Americans and Native Americans committed no crimes; the community of class 2 and class 3 sexual offenders have. Like those who have been incarcerated for their crimes – the community of the incarcerated – there are consequences to committing crimes, Suggesting that a community of criminal offenders are to be considered in the same manner as a community that exists because of race, gender, ethnicity or any other reason that is an inherent part of a person’s existence is trying to pretend these people committed no crimes.
Judge Hines did note that persons who are serving prison sentences are banished from our midst; why then not compare apples with apples. The sexual offenders are more like those who are incarcerated because both groups have committed serious crimes. The sex offenders here are considered as individuals where the risk of re-offense is moderate (level 2) or high (level 3). They are unlike people who have no fault attached to them.
What the case is about is that the City of Lynn requires the sex offenders at those levels not to live within 1,000 feet of where children are expected to gather. Unfortunately for these offenders that rules out 95% of the city. There are 40 other communities that also have similar restrictions as to where these individuals can live. The restrictions in those communities are also tossed out. No community can bar this community of level 2 and level 3 offenders from living anywhere they please.
Justice Hines and her colleagues reasoned that the state legislature in passing the sex offender law did not set any restrictions on where sexual offenders could live except in circumstances not relevant here. The SJC reasoned that if the legislature wanted residential restrictions it would have done so itself or at a minimum set guidelines for cities and towns to impose them. However given Justice Hines broad language regarding banishment it too may be disabled from stopping class 3 high risk sexual offenders from living next to playgrounds and school yards where your kids gather and play.
The communities affected are: Ashland; Ayer; Barre; Barnstable; Braintree; Charlemont; Charlton; Chelsea; Colrain; Dedham; Dudley; Fall River; Fitchburg; Framingham; Hanover; Hanson; Hopkinton; Hubbardston; Leominster; Lynn; Marlborough; Mendon; Natick; Norwood; North Reading; Oxford; Pembroke; Revere; Rockland; Shirley; Somerset; Southborough; Spencer; Springfield; Swansea; Townsend; Waltham; Warren; Webster; West Boylston; and Weymouth.