Scarlet Pumpkins

There will be no trick-or-treating for registered sex offenders in Maryland. The AP reports:

Sex offenders in Maryland have begun receiving paper signs in the mail that read "No candy at this residence," which they must post on their front doors or possibly face a parole violation.

The signs began arriving last week in the mailboxes of the about 1,200 violent and child-sex offenders across Maryland. The signs were accompanied by a letter explaining they must stay at home, turn off outside lights and not answer the door on Halloween.

Maryland is also distributing pamphlets statewide to warn families to stay away from homes with the pumpkin signs.

According to the story, Maryland's law is modeled on similar programs in other states, and the ACLU is challenging Missouri's equivalent law in federal court.


Judge Limits Halloween Limits on Sex Offenders (But Leaves Scarlet Pumpkins Intact):

The NYT reports:

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."

Two issues raised by the case were whether sexual offenders could celebrate the holiday with their own children or grandchildren, for example by hanging decorations or carving pumpkins, and on what grounds they could leave home during the curfew. . . .

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.

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  1. Judge Limits Halloween Limits on Sex Offenders (But Leaves Scarlet Pumpkins Intact):
  2. Scarlet Pumpkins