Under a new Georgia law, thousands of registered sex offenders, even the old and feeble, could be pushed from their homes and hospices, says the Washington Post. As states have sought to control the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders, Georgia’s law stands out as one of the toughest. The state’s 10,000 sex offenders have been banned from living within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, church or school bus stop. Taken together, the prohibitions place nearly all the homes in some counties off-limits — amounting to banishment. The law’s sponsor, House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R), wants the offenders to move to another state.
Since the law’s enactment in July, a federal judge, human rights advocates, and even some of the sheriff’s departments that are supposed to enforce the measure have suggested that the zeal for safety may have gone too far. The law applies not only to sexual predators but to all people registered for sexual crimes, including men and women convicted of having underage consensual sex while in high school. Advocates for the sex offenders say the law is unfair to people who have served their sentences and been deemed rehabilitated. Critics say that by forcing predators to move, the law may make them more likely to commit other offenses.