Retiring judge comments on residency restrictions

Recently retired Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Geraldine Hines commented on residency restrictions for registered sex offenders during a recent interview. Justice Hines was on the court when it struck down Massachusetts’ local residency restrictions.

And not being immodest here, but one that I contributed to writing — the decision about where registered sex offenders can live. I think it takes a lot to understand why the law should protect a person’s right to be, no matter what crime they’ve committed. And in that situation we had cities and towns all over the Commonwealth passing ordinances or developing regulations that people who were registered sex offenders can’t live within certain places in their towns and when you have a whole lot of towns doing that that means that people aren’t able to live anywhere. And that’s a very difficult thing to explain to lay people who are understandably concerned about who lives next to them but, you know I’m really proud that our court understood the liberty interests protecting people.

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