Reader Mail: Time Magazine Covers Pedophiles in Miami.
Reader Nathan Skirvin sent in thisĂ‚Â Time Magazine article detailing a problem with the laws in Miami-Dade country forcing ex-Pedophiles into living in tent communities under a bridge because it is the only place legally far enough from restricted zones.
County officials, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, hope the law will prod states and perhaps even the U.S. Congress to craft more-uniform laws to prevent the kind of residency-restriction arms race that Florida let local governments wage. “The safety of Floridians has suffered as local politicians have tried to one-up each other with policies that have resulted in colonies of homeless sex offenders left to roam our streets,” says state senator Dave Aronberg, a Democrat running for state attorney general. The excessive rules, he adds, “have the effect of driving offenders underground and off law enforcement’s radar.” Aronberg is co-sponsoring a new bill that would establish uniform statewide residency rules fixed at 1,750 feet Ă˘â‚¬â€ť studies show that in many cities, over 50% of available housing is within 2,500 feet of schools Ă˘â‚¬â€ť and include the sweeping no-loitering zones.
Theoretically, Florida’s 1995 legislation should have pre-empted more-severe local ordinances. Yet most state politicians didn’t want to be seen as coming to the rescue of sex offenders. Governor Charlie Crist, now a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate who is facing a more conservative opponent for the GOP nomination, has largely ignored the municipal laws as well as the Julia Tuttle eyesore, even as it has become a cautionary symbol of how restrictions can backfire.
This current situation doesn’t sound safe for Miami-Dade county citizens to me.