A professor in California asserts there are likely no
constitutional grounds that would give sex offenders the right to
participate in Halloween activities.
Sex offenders in Simi Valley are suing the city for limiting
what they claim are their First Amendment rights to display
Halloween decorations, open the door for trick-or-treaters,
and display festive lighting after dark on October 31. The
lawsuit asks a judge to reject the law that bars sex offenders from
participating in Halloween activities. The sex offenders are
represented by Janice Bellucci, who heads the group California
Reform Sex Offenders Laws.
Ronald D. Rotunda, distinguished professor of
jurisprudence at Chapman University's school of law, further
explains the reasoning behind the law.
"I think it's unlikely to be unconstitutional for the state or
the city to prohibit sex offenders from handing out candy to little
kids," he states.
"It seems like we often have rules that prevent them from
hanging around playgrounds and things like that, but if they don't
answer the door and don't give out candy, sex offenders have a
Bellucci argues that the ban is similar to Nazi Germany, when
Jews were forced to wear a yellow star on their clothing. Rotunda
"This restriction is not on people who the state thinks are sex
offenders or on people who are Jewish," he says. "It's on people
who have been convicted of a heinous crime."
During a city council meeting in August, officials decided
that allowing sex offenders to participate in Halloween
activities would give them an opportunity to further victimize