The city of Atlanta is close to approving an ordinance that would impose harsher sentences for those convicted of prostitution … that includes solicitors and panderers.
Repeat offenders could be banished from city limits.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he has an obligation to protect residents and business owners who live and work unfortunately in areas also known for prostitution.The broadcast version of this story.
So, here’s the scope of the ordinance.
After the first conviction, the sentencing court could banish someone from those places designated as “areas of prostitution.”
And while on probation, a second conviction could result in longer jail sentences and higher fines.
But it also could result in being banished from the city.
WABE legal analyst Page Pate says this does not violate anyone’s constitutional rights, and if fact it’s not unusual.
“The Georgia constitution does contain a provision that prohibits a court from banishing someone from the entire state. But as long as the legislation and in this case an ordinance gives the person an opportunity to still live within the state and in this case live within the city, it’ll probably pass any constitutional challenge.”
But Pate says what could be a problem for the city is actually enforcing the law.
“How are you possibly going to monitor someone to that extent to know whether they ever enter into a zone? How are you going to mark the zones? I think practically it’ll be very difficult to implement this ordinance”
According to the ordinance, Atlanta Police would designate the so called areas of prostitution and that would be based on crime data.
The city council’s public safety committee unanimously passed the ordinance last week.
The full city council could vote on the plan today.