Judge blocks sheriff’s trick-or-treat warning signs
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/30/19, 01:54 pm
When Jackson, Ga., decided not to hold its annual trick-or-treating event on the town square this year, locals worried about the safety of children going door-to-door on Halloween. Butts County Sheriff Gary Long planned to put signs in the yards of homes of registered sex offenders warning kids to keep away. But a federal judge ruled Tuesday the sheriff can’t do that.
Why not? U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell said the sex offenders would likely win their argument that the signs violate their free speech rights. The sheriff not only wanted to put up the signs but also to forbid the offenders from removing them or posting competing messages. Long said there’s not time to appeal before Halloween on Thursday.
Dig deeper: Read Mary Reichard’s analysis of a 2017 Supreme Court case over the free speech rights of sex offenders on social media. The court ultimately ruled in the sex offenders’ favor.
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