In a surprise move, the US 7th District Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court ruling in the Case of “John Doe v. Lafayette.”
The court has found that the city does in fact have the right to ban a convicted pedophile from city park property. The ruling was based upon behaviors for which he was convicted, rates of recidivism among pedophiles, and confessed fantasies of pedophilic behavior specific to the public park system.
The children and parents of Lafayette won a battle against a monster. We may not be much more safe than we were yesterday, but we have at least some measure of control in our own self protection.
This isn’t about the thought police. If we all had cartoon balloons above our heads announcing our feelings, we would all be in a shit load of trouble! Our liberty to think must be protected. So also must be our freedom to live in a civil society. Had John Doe never been convicted of child molestation, his thoughts on the subject would be irrelevant. Had he not confessed to entertaining those thoughts while lurking in a park behind a grade school, there would be no reason to ban him from that place.
Certainly civil right must be protected. But those protected rights must be, above all else, civil.