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(St. Louis, Missouri) This past summer, a bill was signed into law which specified that convicted sex offenders must avoid Halloween-related contact with children by confining themselves inside their homes from 5 PM to 10:30 PM on Halloween unless there is just cause to leave. "Just cause" was defined as an emergency or a job.

Furthermore, convicted sex offenders must keep the outside lights off and post a sign stating, "No candy or treats at this residence."

As a consequence, the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, representing four Missouri convicted sex offenders, has filed a lawsuit in federal court asserting that the Halloween law is too vague to enforce and it adds punishment to sentences already served.

According to Sen. John Loudon, the bill's sponsor, "It's kind of silly that people are raising the constitutional right of people to hand out candy on Halloween."

Tony Rothert, ACLU legal director, indicated that defendants in the lawsuit will include Gov. Matt Blunt, Attorney General Jay Nixon, and all police chiefs and prosecutors in the areas where the convicted sex offenders live.

Speaking for Gov. Blunt, spokeswoman Jessica Robinson said that their office is not surprised that the ACLU is "now suing the governor to make it easier to victimize children."

Personally, I can understand the hardship experienced by convicted sex offenders, not only on Halloween but year-round. Nevertheless, I'm unsympathetic.
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