The Scarlet Letter for Maryland sex offenders this Halloween will be a bright orange pumpkin, reports the Washington Times. That is the symbol on a sign they are required to post on their doors with a warning, in capital letters, to trick-or-treaters: “No candy at this residence.” The paper signs began arriving last week in the mailboxes of the roughly 1,200 violent and child-sex offenders across the state with a letter explaining how they are to comport themselves on Oct. 31.
In addition to posting the sign, the offenders must stay at home, turn off outside lights and not answer the door. Maryland has joined other states across the country in steadily increasing restrictions on convicted sex offenders over the past few years. Maryland’s new regulations are almost identical to those adopted in Missouri this year. Four convicted sex offenders and the American Civil Liberties Union are challenging the Missouri law in federal court. Louisiana lawmakers this year barred convicted sex offenders from wearing masks on Halloween.