A new Missouri law aimed at protecting children from sex offenders on Halloween night has created nothing but confusion for those who are supposed to enforce it, the Kansas City Star reports. In some parts of the state, authorities have planned spot checks Friday evening of offenders' homes to make sure their outside lights are off and they are not handing out candy, as required by the new law. Others who had planned full enforcement are scaling back after a St. Louis federal judge this week found fault with parts of the law.
Some say they won't do anything to enforce the legislation, because it appears to them that the law applies only to offenders convicted of their crimes after Aug. 28, the date the law took effect. “I've had offenders call and ask what they need to do on Halloween night,” said Sgt. Gary Kilgore of the Jackson County sheriff's office. “And I have to unfortunately tell them, as I tell anyone else, that the law is unenforceable in Jackson County.” The law requires offenders to avoid all Halloween-related contact with children, remain in their residences between 5 and 10:30 p.m. and turn off all outside lighting. Plus, they must post signs stating, “No candy or treats at this residence.” U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson said that parts of the law were unclear. While she was OK with outside lights being turned off and no candy, she said other parts were vague and too broad.