The Detroit News: Editorial: Sex Offender Registry afoul of constitution

January 25, 2019, 4:37 pm

Michigan lawmakers seem keen on making important reforms to the state’s criminal justice system, which should expand protections for civil liberties. Another item they should add to the list: Revamping the state’s Sex Offender Registry Act.

The changes are overdue, especially since a federal appeals court decision in 2016 found several aspects of Michigan’s law were unconstitutional. Now the impetus is on the Legislature to fix the problems.

If it doesn’t, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is prepared to move forward with a federal class-action lawsuit that was filed last year. The ACLU, along with the University of Michigan Clinical Law Program, also brought the former legal action that led to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion.

“What is very clear is that Michigan cannot enforce the current (Sex Offender Registry) statute,” says Miriam Aukerman, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Michigan. “It was found unconstitutional, and the practical reality is that the state hasn’t come into compliance with the court’s decision.”

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Author: Florida Action Committee
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The opinions expressed within posts and comments are solely those of each author, and are not necessarily those of Women Against Registry.
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