Six people who filed a lawsuit against the State of Michigan, challenging the constitutionality of its Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA), have been removed from the public sex offender registry after a final order in their case, Does v. Snyder, was issued in January.
The judgment, signed by The Hon. Robert H. Cleland of the Eastern District of Michigan, enforced a unanimous panel ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The court held that the 2006 and 2011 amendments to Michigan’s SORA violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and therefore cannot be applied retroactively to people convicted before the changes went into effect. The court said SORA “brands registrants as moral lepers solely on the basis of a prior conviction. It consigns them to years, if not a lifetime, of existence on the margins, not only of society, but often…from their own families.” The decision became final last October when the U.S. Supreme Court denied the state’s petition for certiorari. As a result, the Michigan legislature will have to rewrite the state law. Full Article