Can a state tell a convicted sex predator where he can and cannot live even after he's served his sentence? The Cincinnati Enquirer says that high courts in both Ohio and Kentucky are set to hear arguments in two local appeals arguing that it's unconstitutional – and bad public policy – to prohibit where sex offenders can live. Ohio and Kentucky restrict sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, some day care centers and, in Kentucky, public playgrounds.
Lawyers for the sex offenders say the residency restrictions constitute an unconstitutional ex post facto law because they retroactively punish a sex offender for something he's already served time for. Increasingly, some critics, including sheriffs, prosecutors, and victim advocates – argue that sex offender laws may be ineffective and perhaps counterproductive because they separate offenders from their families and could make them more likely to reoffend. Tthey say some sex offenders, faced with the threat of eviction, are likely to simply stop registering.