Restrictions on what registered sex offenders whose crimes were against children can or must do on Halloween are common in a number of states. The constitutionality of such restrictions has been intensely litigated and is far from a settled question.
On October 29, a federal judge in California ruled on the issue. The holding was that sex offenders are not required to post signs outside their houses that say “no candy.” But the judge ruled that a local ordinance with several similar restrictions could be upheld.
The other restrictions prohibit outdoor lighting or decorating of a sex offender’s house on Halloween, as well as answering the door to give out candy to trick-or-treaters.
CNN’s online account elicited numerous comments. The question of protecting children versus unfairly branding sex offenders living in the community prompts strong feelings on all sides