- The Washington Times - Monday, July 3, 2006

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked Georgia from making registered sex offenders live more than 1,000 feet away from school bus stops.

U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper last week extended an earlier decision that covered eight sex offenders suing over the new law, which would have taken effect Saturday. He will decide whether to make his ruling permanent July 11.

The state is preparing to appeal, said attorney general’s office spokesman Russ Willard.

The new law prohibits registered sex offenders from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of just about anywhere children gather: schools, churches, parks, gyms, swimming pools and the state’s 150,000 school bus stops.

Judge Cooper’s order affects only the bus stop provision. The rest of the sweeping law, which stiffens minimum prison sentences and requires certain offenders to wear electronic monitoring devices, will take effect Saturday.

After the law was signed in April, thousands of offenders received letters notifying them that they must move. Others feared they would be forced to move if a bus stop was created near their home.


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