shih_2010 - Sex Offender Allowed to Live Near School By...

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Sex Offender Allowed to Live Near School By GERRY SHIH Published: March 6, 2010 o A convicted sex offender has moved into a home across the street from Wildwood  Elementary School in Piedmont, infuriating parents, who are asking school officials and the  police why the 2006 state law mandating a minimum distance of 2,000 feet between schools  and the residences of sex offenders is not being enforced.  Enlarge This Image Jim Wilson/The New York Times James F. Donnelly, a convicted sex offender, is living in the house on the right, across from Wildwood Elementary School. Enlarge This Image Jim Wilson/The New York Times Parents walk their children to school at Wildwood Elementary. But the Piedmont police, on the advice of county and state law enforcement officials, say  there is nothing they can do.  On Feb. 12, James F. Donnelly, 71, a convicted sex offender, registered his new address as  256 Wildwood Avenue, where a blue-hued house overlooks Piedmont, Oakland’s upscale,  uphill neighbor.  Shortly after Mr. Donnelly filed his registration, Chief John Hunt of the Piedmont police  realized that the house was almost directly across from the school.  “We said, Wait, this can’t be, somebody dropped the ball,” Chief Hunt said in an interview. 
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His department began looking for ways to remove Mr. Donnelly — who was arrested in 2005  and later convicted on federal charges of possession of  child pornography  — from the home  of his sister, Patricia McCaffrey. But the offices of the Alameda County district attorney and  the California attorney general both told the Piedmont police to back off.  Whatever the intent of California’s version of the minimum-distance law — designed to  replicate a Florida statute named for a 9-year-old girl, Jessica, who was raped and murdered  by a convicted sex offender in 2005 — the 2,000-foot requirement is unenforceable, they  said.  For Mr. Donnelly’s housing decision to be considered a violation of state law, “there has to  be a punishment attached,” Nancy O’Malley, the Alameda County district attorney, said in an  interview. “Jessica’s Law never assigned a punishment.” 
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course 920 292 taught by Professor Stein during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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shih_2010 - Sex Offender Allowed to Live Near School By...

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