Michigan has been known for it’s tough-on-sex-offenders approach for a long time. However, there’s a difference between wanting to make sure that convicted sex offenders pay for their crimes, and violating people’s rights. But the state of Michigan seems to struggle with separating the two at least according to one federal court. For years there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding how unconstitutional the restrictions are for registered sex offenders.
Up until August of 2016, the fights, lawsuits and inflammatory articles didn’t seem to have much effect. Then a decision was made by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which includess Michigan, and it found that Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act is unconstitutional. The state appealed to the Supreme Court which refused to hear the case, effectively upholding the Federal Appeals Court’s decision. However, even that didn’t have any impact, because several years went by without any sign of changes. Until one federal judge decided he was done waiting for Michigan to meet constitutional scrutiny with our SORA laws. .
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland says enough is enough!
Judge Cleland pointed out that Michigan has failed to comply with the Federal Appeals Court decision which found that Michigan was treating convicted sex offenders like “moral lepers” by putting excessive restrictions on them regarding where they may live, work and be. The current state law violates constitutional protections against increasing penalties for a crime after it’s been committed by limiting offenders in many ways, including:
- Prohibiting convicted offenders from living, working, or even standing within 1,000 feet of a school.
- All vehicles, email accounts, social media accounts and job changes must be registered immediately with the Michigan State Police.
- All offenders are divided into three tiers, which categorizes them according to basic groupings, and not according to their individual crimes.
- All the rules are retroactive, which means that even offenders who haven’t committed crimes for many years were suddenly required to comply with these unconstitutional restrictions.
This ruling will make a lot of people very happy!
The issue of Michigan’s unconstitutional penalizing of convicted sex offenders has been a sticking point for years, as has the state’s inaction. In June of 2018, The ACLU, the University of Michigan Clinical Law Program, and the Oliver Law Group filed a class-action lawsuit requesting that the court force the state to comply with the 2016 ruling. And it’s finally happened! According to Miriam Aukerman, ACLU senior staff attorney, it’s going to make Michigan a lot safer for everyone.
“Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry is not just unconstitutional, but it’s also counterproductive and actually makes our communities less safe. We need and deserve effective public-safety measures that protect our kids and families, rather than a bloated and ineffective registration scheme that in fact puts them at greater risk. Legislators should seize on this opportunity to protect the public by replacing Michigan’s failed registry with policies and programs that have proven successful in preventing sexual offending.” Like it or not, Michigan will have to change the way we treat convicted sex offenders very soon.
The best way to avoid rights violations is to avoid a conviction!
We’ve said this time and again – it doesn’t matter where in Michigan you live, whether you’re from Lansing, Berrien County, Jackson, Mt. Clemens or Brighton, if you’ve been accused of a sex crime you need to fight it immediately! Because the best way to avoid having to deal with all the drama and restrictions of the sex offender registry, is to not be convicted of a sex crime!
And how do you avoid a sex crime conviction? Simple. You make sure you have the best sex crime defense attorney available by calling us at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). After all, this is your future we’re talking about here! The experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have been fighting sex crime charges across the lower peninsula of Michigan for a quarter of a century. We’re very good at it, and we can help you. Call our main office as soon as you are ready to hire a top sex crime defense team at 1 866 7NoJail.