Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Scary Halloween

It wouldn't be the Halloween season without a little fear-mongering. In keeping with other Halloween urban legends such as razor blades in apples or crack-filled candy, comes news that Missouri's law requiring sex offenders to "remain in their homes on Halloween evening," has been partially struck down.

A federal judge in Missouri on Monday temporarily blocked parts of a new state law that requires sexual offenders to remain in their homes on Halloween evening and to avoid any contact with children related to the holiday.

The judge, Carol E. Jackson, of United States District Court in St. Louis, said the law was unclear, questioning language that prohibits “all Halloween-related contact with children” and allows sexual offenders to leave their homes from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. only if they have “just cause.”

Chief Judge Jackson allowed two provisions in the law to stand, requiring sexual offenders to post a sign stating “no candy or treats at this residence” and to turn off any porch lights.

Illinois and Louisiana have also passed state laws restricting sexual offenders’ activities on Halloween, and some other states have similar agency regulations or municipal ordinances.

I'll defer to Saturday Night Live for a more definitive statement on the matter.

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