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"No candy" law affects those on Missouri registry

It's generally known that being on the Missouri sex offender registry can interfere with employment opportunity, residential rental options and relationships with co-workers and neighbors. But in late October of each year, those subject to Missouri Sex Offender Registration are reminded of another way in which their presence on the registry changes their life.

Missouri has a "no candy" law on the books, which regulates the behavior of individuals on the sex offender registry. Specifically, sex offenders who were convicted after 2008 are barred from handing out candy on Halloween night.

The law is quite detailed. Not only are sex offenders prohibited from giving away candy, but they must put a sign on their property reading "No candy at this residence." What's more, they cannot leave their outside lights on the evening of October 31.

This is obviously not a good deal for those subject to post-conviction registration. The posting of the required sign is a sort of scarlet letter that marks the person on the registry as an outsider, separate from the rest of the community.

And there are a myriad of problems associated with not being able to leave outside lights on. The danger of accidents from insufficient illumination during this darkening time of the year can be substantial.

There is some good news for people on the sex offender registry, however. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to be removed from the sex offender registry. Presence on the registry is determined by both Missouri and federal laws. If an analysis of the conviction and these laws indicates that a person should no longer be subject to sex offender notification, removal from the list and resumption of a normal life may then be possible.

Source:, "Are sex offenders passing out candy on Halloween?," Kaylee Pfeiferling, Oct. 25, 2012

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