The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a state law that says sex offenders can’t live within 2,000 feet of a school or child day care. A sex offender convicted of abusing his teenaged daughter was released from prison, and he moved to Riverside, Iowa, but he was told he couldn’t live where he intended because it was too close to a day care. The man sued. A district court ruled the law restricting where sex offenders can live in Iowa was unconstitutional — “cruel and unusual” punishment after a convict had completed their sentence and probation. Five Iowa Supreme Court justices have now ruled the law is constitutional. The justices cited the “frightening and high” chance that a sex offender would commit another sex crime, and the court said the legislature and governor had “important public interests in mind” in trying to protect society from sex offenders. A federal court has also upheld the residency restriction. Two Iowa Supreme Court justices disagreed, though, saying the law amounts to putting a scarlet letter on an offender after they’ve done their time and banishing them from the community.
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