MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – If Mayor David Dermer (search) gets his way, convicted child molesters will be effectively banned from buying or renting homes in Miami Beach.
While Florida law bars all sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, Dermer wants to more than double that zone to half a mile if their victims were under the age of 16.
He's also asking the city to apply the no-sex-offender zone to school bus stops, parks and playgrounds — in effect, expanding the no-pedophile boundary to the city's limits.
"As a society, we need to ask ourselves, do we want to put these people in the middle of a place where children are playing and are potential targets?" Dermer said. "That seems illogical to me."
The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (search) says the beefed-up buffer zone isn't practical, won't be effective and would trample on civil rights.
"These people who are released and have paid their time in jail are going to have to live somewhere in America," said Jeffrey Harris, Esq., of the association. "And they have a right to live where they want to live within constitutional mandates."
The proposal is fueled by Florida's recent high-profile murders involving convicted sex offenders. Earlier this week, the state passed a law requiring increased sentences and lifelong GPS monitoring.
Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Julie Banderas.