Update: L.A. County still enforcing Jessica’s Law
On Wednesday, I reported that Peter Espinoza, supervising judge for L.A. County Superior Court, ruled that Jessica’s Law, the state law that bans sex-offender parolees from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, would no longer be enforced in L.A. County:
In his ruling (pdf), Espinoza points out that the court’s received 300 petitions asking for relief from the law and “dozens of parolees continue to file new petitions every week.” The petitions argue that in L.A. County, there’s virtually no affordable housing that complies with Jessica’s Law’s requirement that registered sex offenders—regardless of offense—reside at least 2,000 feet from parks and schools.
Espinoza argues that because filing a petition requires the assistance of legal counsel, “In the interests of equity and judicial economy, the Court now deems it appropriate to consider the procedural rights of all similarly situated parolees….” In other words, if some parolees have been able to get a stay of enforcement, all parolees should be granted a stay.
The state Attorney General (representing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) filed a request for reconsideration of Espinoza’s ruling and, late Thursday, was granted a stay pending a hearing which, CDCR spokesperon Gordon Hinkle told me, will likely happen next week. So, pending the outcome of that hearing, Jessica’s Law continues to be enforced in L.A. County.