INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge has upheld an Indiana law banning registered sex offenders from accessing Facebook and other social-networking sites used by children. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said in an 18-page order Friday that the state has a strong interest in protecting children and that the rest of the Internet remains open to those who have been convicted.
“Social networking, chat rooms, and instant messaging programs have effectively created a ‘virtual playground’ for sexual predators to lurk,” Pratt wrote in the ruling, citing a 2006 report by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that found that one in seven youths had received online sexual solicitations and that one in three had been exposed to unwanted sexual material online.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the class-action suit on behalf of a man who served three years for child exploitation, along with other sex offenders who are restricted by the ban even though they are no longer on probation. Federal judges have barred similar laws in Nebraska and Louisiana.
Courts have long allowed states to place restrictions on convicted sex offenders who have completed their sentences, controlling where many live and work and requiring them to register with police. The ACLU claimed that Indiana’s social-networking ban was far broader, restricting a wide swath of constitutionally protected activities. The ACLU contended that even though the 2008 law is only intended to protect children from online sexual predators, social media are virtually indispensable and the ban prevents sex offenders from using the Web sites for political, business and religious activities.
This is serious misinterpretation of the point of restricted use. It might make sense to prohibit a sex offender from visiting a playground because that’s a place explicitly designed for children but it’s entirely different to ban someone from anyplace that children could potentially be. It’s comparable to banning a sex offender from airports, restaurants, or movie theatres because like Facebook they “don’t prohibit children.” It’s a fucking ridiculous ruling and I suspect that both the lawyers and the judge have no clear understanding of what’s going on. I suppose a judge could ban a sex offender from seeing G rated films or going to restaurants specifically for children (McDonalds for example) but that’s too fine grained. Furthermore, if a person is still such a threat to society that being on facebook constitutes a danger they should still be in prison. Or we should send these people to places that actually help with rehabilitation.
A Tampa rape victim can sue the Hillsborough County Sheriff for allowing a jail guard to refuse to give her a prescribed emergency contraception pill because it was against the guard’s religious beliefs, a federal judge ruled. R.W., whose full name is not disclosed in court records, says she was raped on Jan. 27, 2007. After an examination at Tampa’s Rape Crisis Center, a doctor gave R.W. gave two anti-contraception pills, according to the complaint. R.W. says she took one pill immediately and held the other to ingest 12 hours later, as directed. While taking R.W.’s report of the crime, however, a Tampa police officer learned that there was an arrest warrant for R.W. for failure to pay restitution and failure to appear. At the Hillsborough County Jail, staff confiscated her second pill. R.W. says she requested her second pill the next morning, but jail employee Michele Spinelli refused. “Spinelli told the Plaintiff that she would not give R.W. the pill because it was against Spinelli’s religious beliefs,” the first amended complaint states.
raped, held in jail, denied contraceptives. wtf. Note this article only reports that the guard CAN be sued not that WERE sued.