National AP News | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Georgia Sex Offenders

ATLANTA (AP) _ Georgia's attorney general asked the state's top
court today to clarify its ruling striking down a law limiting
where sex offenders may live.
Thurbert Baker said there is confusion about whether the
decision applies to all 11,000 sex offenders in the state or only
to those that own property. The Georgia Supreme Court last week
found the law unconstitutional because it violated the "takings
clause,'' effectively forcing homeowners to abandon their property
without compensating them.
Passed in 1996, the law banned registered sex offenders from
living within 1,000 feet of schools, churches and other areas where
children congregate.
The court warned that sex offenders could be forced to leave
their homes if a facility catering to children springs up nearby.
Civil rights groups have fought the law, saying it could leave
Georgia sex offenders with few housing options and could backfire
by driving them underground.


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