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MI: ACLU lawsuits look to reform Michigan Sex Offender Registry

[wsbt.com – 3/15/19]

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A federal court ruled three years ago that parts of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry laws were unconstitutional, but since then, nothing in the law has changed.

The ACLU is looking to reform, or even do away with the registry as part of an ongoing lawsuit.

“The law that we have now is broken, it’s bloated, its ineffective and it actually makes us less safe,” said Miriam Aukerman, an attorney with the ACLU of Michigan.

Aukerman said the state’s sex offender registry law is unconstitutional and ineffective, which was why the organization had ongoing lawsuits in both state and federal court.

“When someone has served their time and done their punishment, we say ‘go out and start your life over again,’” Aukerman said.

Michigan has one of the largest sex offender registries of any state, with 44,000 people.

The registry is easy to access, and searchable by location or name on the Michigan State Police website.

A search of the database shows 783 registered sex offenders in Kalamazoo, including 18 living within a half mile of Newschannel 3.

“I think people need to know where things are, where people are in their neighborhood,” said Calhoun County Prosecuting Attorney David Gilbert.

He said easy access to the database helps keep people safe.

In 2006 and 2011 the Michigan legislature toughened sex offender laws, requiring lifetime registration for certain offenses. Those registration requirements were implemented retroactively.

The toughened registration requirements meant people whose crimes occurred before the registry even existed had to register and were governed by strict standards.

A federal appeals court ruled the retroactive registration unconstitutional in 2016. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal a year later.

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Michigan ACLU Training Session (Michigan Citizens for Justice)

 

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@Everyone,

Here is another small article originally posted on Women Against the Registry (WAR) about an hour ago if anyone wants to read it, it’s the same as other Michigan articles but also different as well.

https://wsbt.com/news/regional/aclu-lawsuits-look-to-reform-michigan-sex-offender-registry?fbclid=IwAR3xnNtENX9cCICGe-zLYCTowXBG7Ev6u9gbC5oM-C1IZTnwn_YS1_YKx2U

“I think people need to know where things are, where people are in their neighborhood,” said Calhoun County Prosecuting Attorney David Gilbert. ……. “It’s not there for the person that was convicted, it’s there for people in the community so they can check their community and see if someone who they may consider a danger is in their neighborhood,” he said. I’m not sure if I am “Thing One” or “Thing Two”, but I do know that Gilbert and his ilk are lazy liars. All of these prosecutors, LEOs and legislators are lying when they roll out the overused tropes… Read more »

@ David: Regardless of the registry’s original intents (all predicated on falsehoods), it’s all about money now. LE wants them for the grants they receive from federal and state government, not their supposed use as a law enforcement tool or investigation aide (it does absolutely nothing for either). Legislators want it so they can pander and/or cover up their own misdeeds. Criminal court judges just like to hang people as much as they can. DAs love sex crime in general – free felony convictions – and the registry is merely a part of that. The Wendy Murphys and Nancy Graces… Read more »

@Dustin. My P.O. said that I had to inform a client of mine that I am a sex offender. The woman, in her late 60’s, had no idea what I was talking about. She thought I was hitting on her LOL. I’m serious. I had to explain what I meant. It was a little uncomfortable but I’m used to it. No problem. This woman and I have become very good friends!! She even said that throughout her life she has probably encountered a hundred people men & women alike that could be considered sex offenders.

Your PO is a dumbass who overstepped his duties. Unless there is a LAW or clearly written in the terms of your probation, you DON’T OWE anyone a gut-spilling session about your personal life. If a person has had a chance to know you then this sex offender bullshit won’t matter to them, but most importantly it shouldn’t matter to the PO who needs to minds his business which is what was written in the judge’s orders Only.

If you are $EX offender then you need to be in prison. Does your P.O. not know you are?

31 “special conditions” of probation for sex offenders. “Must inform employers of your history of sexual offending.” Do you want to know the other 30? Sickening.

Anonymous (March 18, 2019): Okay, so your P.O. did not overstep his/her duties. Personally, I don’t have a problem with requiring a person who is on probation or parole to tell any potential employer that. I only have a problem with it if it is only required for $EX crimes and not all others. If that is the case, then it makes no sense and is truly nothing but idiotic harassment. I expect the same could be said for all 31 “special conditions”. I expect that most likely make sense for all probationers/parolees, or they don’t make sense. Maybe you… Read more »

So what this comment tells me is that my buddy who has a few AKs, a couple ARs… And varoius guns is dangerous to the public? Naw I disagree… The gun owners are who I want on my side…

Exactly So basically we should put every single person in the world’s information out there Because hey I want to know if my neighbors in the past have been a bad neighbor or I wanna know if down the road somebody spanked their kid. How would everybody like all their news of their whole life being out in the public. My husband is in that situation that happened 29 years ago with a consenting 14-year-old that actually kept bothering him and jumped into bed with him when he was drunk, she pleaded with him to have sex and of course… Read more »

Sorry, Registries shouldn’t exist. If you think they should then you need to be the first person listed.

Perhaps I’d like to know if the guy next door is a wife-beater or the woman across the street is a thief.
If we’re going to have a registry, then by God let’s not discriminate between crimes, let’s have one for one and all!

@Will Allen – No I am no longer a sex offender. Probation and 250 “treatment” sessions are just kicking me down. Only 5 years of proba and forced weekly “treatment” to go. How many does that add up to? Another 250? And THAT is only for those convicted of sex crimes. No other criminal probationers. Oh, and the female “sex offenders” don’t get that much “treatment.” Not by a long shot.

Perfect.

People who do bad things to other people deserve to be punished. But fairly and proportionately. “Therapy” is none of that. It’s theft and nothing else.

I’m glad to hear that you aren’t a “$EX offender”. If anyone tells you that you are, tell them how far to shove it up their ass. It’s very enjoyable.

ACLU seems to have some balls in Michigan..why not California?

Janice needs all the help that she can get to fight all this nonsense..

Think I will call the ACLU and ask them..

I have written to ACLU on RC issues, they either never reply or they do not expect any success. The ACLU maybe changing, however, historically they have not been supportive of RC.

@Bobby@Bill and any other RC with 25+ years on Michigan’s registry: I had a lengthy conversation with my attorney late last week about lot of the ongoing injunctions, litigation, and negotiations taking place currently. I was given some information explaining why the Aclu won’t or hasn’t forced the state’s hand in court. Apparently, there are maybe fewer then 100 people on Michigan’s registry who would be removed for completing the initial 25 years like myself and the people mentioned above….I was also informed that a court decision in our favor would only give people their opportunity to get off the… Read more »

ACLU, “fewer than 100 would be receive relief”, that is bunk. With most other groups aclu will go to bat for one and many are not really civil right issues. They chase likely winning cases for the dollar. Imo, ACLU should of been active when RSO got started, but no they did nothing and sat on the sidelines and the most part they are still there.

Hopeful but not holding my breath, I say a lot more then a 100, maybe 2000? thanks for the post all!

@Bill
I thought that number was really low as well and maybe it is but even your number of 2,000 is still a very low percentage out of almost 45,000……when you figure that over 25 years has passed and with people dying or possibly re-offending in someway…That would shrink the amount down pretty significantly…either way, I just thought I’d pass along what I thought was a plausible explanation for why we’re not off the registry 18 months after the fact…

Ask your lawyer who were the 3000+ people who were already removed from the registry since the sept 2018 Detroit free press article about the Does 1 case. I have been on the registry since 93 and did 17 half yrs in prison at the age of 17. Im 43 now and been off parole 7 yrs and out 9. I think if i hired a lawyer to get me removed i would b sucessful however im not hiring an expensive lawyer to get me removed when i shouldnt have to spend money to get me removed Hopefully some relief… Read more »

@C Really? 3,000 people have filed to get off the registry in federal court and been successful? They aren’t getting anywhere in state district court because many of those courts are waiting to see what happens with Does II. The original six Does are still on the private non-public registry and that wasn’t a quick process even for them. I know SOME people have filed and gotten relief in federal court since that article you mentioned but I think your number is way high…I also think 3,000 sex offenders getting off the registry would have drawn some attention from the… Read more »

Josh, Yes read the Detroit free press article dated june 7 2018 and it states there are currently 43,623 people currently on the michigan registry. However if u go on the registry itself there are 40,112 thats actually 3500 who have been removed or whatever but theres 3500 missing since june 7. Another thing i found kind of interesting while doing a little research that ohio has 1.7 mil more people but has just over 17,000 sex offenders. Mich has 40,000.

@C Doesn’t really surprise me that Ohio has way less. There are many states that have far less than MI does. It’s crazy really. Hopefully the discussions and ACLU are really going to “water down” the registry like @AnonMom stated below. This has been the fight with the ACLU all along and even again in front of the MSC they kept pounding the rational relation to keeping someone on even for 25 years… When data shows recidivism to be the same as the general public at 17 years even for the worst of the worst. I’m hoping that the political… Read more »

The online registry size can be misleading there some states that don’t post level one offenders so the registry will obviously look a lot smaller

Norman. Wisconsin ACLU refused me completely in 98 when I asked the Milwaukee office for some advice concerning substantive due process claims. I’d not acquiesced in 92 by plea &; had trial unlike DPS folks. They just blew me off and sent fundraising material. I’d 10K cash but he wouldn’t even consider my case. Janice is one in A million. Problem is she can’t fight the federal surveillance saints who are funded by billionaires bent on maintaining political c!out. UNFETTERED uses of the electronic databases too useful to give up. See MI. The very second a state Congress limits gov… Read more »

Just read some notes from a local area meeting for local politicians, one of mine being Melissa Melendrez, the only things she talked about were “big gulps being banned, and the sex offender registry is being watered down.” And of course the idiot that posted the notes put a scared emoji face. I see all the comments here and feel some hope, then I am reminded by the extra stupidity that lives around me, and that have the ability to vote, and hope fades quickly!

@AnonMom

Can you share a link or anything where you read these notes? I’m interested to see what they said more specifically about it! I’m optimistic that all of these politicians will use the cover of the courts to blame the changes on. In reality, they don’t have a choice anyway… But making real change that makes sense, under threat of lawsuits and blaming the courts is an “out” for them. Don’t think they’re not playing that card either.

I was incarcerated from 1987 until 1997. I have been on the registry for many years and can honestly say that the impact for me has been minimal compared to some. I know at least 15 others that have been on the registry for the same amount of time, or close to it. So the “100” number is bunk. And if you could put me in touch with one or two of the 3,000 that have been taken off, that would be great. Lol. Because there is nothing I would rather do than get off of this ” Government Go… Read more »

This fight is similar to the war on drugs, war on terrorism, war on gangs, war on prostitution. Its always something with the govt. They have to waste money on something and mich is at the top of the heep. Jeff u probably remember the OHare law in early 90s where they constructed a law saying if u committed a crime while still on parole u had to finish max on 1st sentence before starting 2nd? That didnt last long There were people in level 4 prisons for stealing cigarettes from gas stations Everything is cyclical in this world and… Read more »

C, I do remember O Hare. Sometimes things take a little too long to change. I have been out for over twenty years and have personally séen the changes to the registry. None of it for the good of us, or for the public. Just something for them to exact some type of vengeance for any problems in their own lives. Things will change for the better. Stay strong..

Since the inception of The registry, it has been a tool for politicians to provide proof of their advocacy for minors and sexually abused. This is not going to end. Yea, maybe a minor easing in the form of residency restrictions, but even that has a built in trap to snare offenders who might not register on time. Law enforcement knows where to look for them. As long as those are considered victories, then the political bread crums will continue to be tossed to us. Accept this, We have no foot to stand on, the supreme court says as much… Read more »

@Dreamin, my opinion is that your gloom and doom Keyboard Warrior viewpoint results from an ignorance of the history of civil rights, a lack of actually showing up and standing up and speaking up, and a refusal to see the progress we have made. In California, ACSOL has been very effective in neutralizing presence restrictions and almost all residency restrictions. We have successfully lobbied to kill or modify many bad bills. We are engaged in multiple battles at multiple levels. We look at the long term fight. But we know social attitudes can take along time to change (it took… Read more »

Jeff. Yes i agree some things do take too much time to change. In the meantime, the whole state suffers because the resources the state wastes to chase us around could b used to for something better. I remember i got pulled over and taken to jail while on parole because i didnt go outside and clear my gps bracelet. While i was sitting in the cop car a call came over the radio of shots fired on a street 6 blocks from where we were sitting the car that i was in was out of the question for a… Read more »

Dreamin’ and Roger: When someone here adopts the posture of defeatism and pretends to speak with the voice of omniscience, I’m left to wonder what it is that distinguishes their goals from the goals of our enemies. If their speech appears to be similar and to argue for surrender, e.g. “You’re a fool to fight this system,” then I must conclude that their goal is also the same. Whether or not they are an actual stalking horse for the enemy hardly matters since their goal is the same.

I’m thinkin’ you’re sabotagin’.

Such a troll post. Suggesting we just lay back and take the abuse. Utter nonsense. Organizations have slowed and seen numerous laws repealed by fighting back. But you are free to heed to massa

I ceased being a sex offender when I ceased to commit sexual offenses. I was able to turn away from that, and stop. I went to court and took a plea deal for a sexual offense where a judgement and conviction was deferred based on the completion of 10 years probation without offending again. The government changed the deal on me after the fact, and although I completed the terms of the original deal, I have been forced to register each year, and was told that i will have to, under threat of jail for the rest of my life.… Read more »

Exactly. Only criminal regimes act like that. Make them and everyone who supports them pay dearly. Let’s move those scumbags to a P.O.S. country where they will fit in better. Time to make America actually free.

This is the boogie man law

Hello Guy’s and Gal’s Well, I finally received a response from the email I sent the other day concerning Does 2 and if there was any word on the injunction that was files after the March 6th Oral Arguments concerning Betts and Snyder I heard back from Tim P. and as always, most questions were ducked and not fully answered just more of the same, we are doing it this way or we are doing it that way responses, so anyway this is what I got back from Tim P. ACLU. We are working on it and hopefully we will… Read more »

Thanks Bobby , more waiting ! seems like the ACLU could do a lot better job on updates on what is going with the court cases, time frame, the injunctions and not just we’re working it, so tired of all the boogieman law!

@Bobby@Bill
The soonest we might hear something is end of April. The “injunction” was simply going back to Cleland and reactivating the lawsuit. The state has until the end of April to respond and the Aclu has until the middle of May to respond back or so I was told…..so yes, more waiting….I have questions too about the 1983 thing mentioned in the Betts/Snyder hearings. I’d be interested in suing the living hell out of anybody who keeps us on this thing one more day than was required…..

thanks Josh, I am with you all the way and think it needs done anyway, that was helpful info for me, I didn’t know that! Thanks, hopefully the ACLU would have there response ready the next day.

@Josh, Thanks for the update and the explanation about the injunction. Just hoping this crap will be over soon or by the end of the year.

i don’t believe we should judge who should or shouldn’t be on the register list i believe everyone should have a second chance. if detroit police was doing thier jobs in the first place there wouldn’t be alot of innocent guys on the sex offender list. everyone that has to register is guilty!!!! My husband has to register and didn’t have a fair trial because he was a Black young man in detroit back in the 90’s the police didn’t give a dam about being right they just had another Blackyoung man locked up…. Dna kits sat up in storage… Read more »

Hello, I was just wondering if anyone has heard any new updates or news on the injunction after the oral arguments on the March 6th, or of there has been any updates or news, on Does 2?. Apparently the Michigan ACLU is tired from hearing from me. They just keep repeating the same thing over and over, still negotiating please watch the news and newspapers for further updates. They won’t even answer questions on US 42, 1983, on during these idiots.

@Bobby
It’s been pretty quiet on all fronts…I haven’t heard anything about anything. I would suggest that you use google or a search engine of your choice to look up the “Us 42. 1983” mentioned in the Betts/Snyder hearings…that’s what I had to do. I would try to explain it all here but I’d probably get something wrong. I’m sure if we ask politely then @AJ will do his thing and lay it all out clearly…What I do know is that the Aclu wouldn’t help with those types of filings….

@Josh & @Bobby: Though I don’t have any specific info the the Snyder and Betts cases, I’d be surprised if anything came about quickly. The Court will (and really must, given its position as court of last resort) fully research and ponder the cases. Since they’re also kind of playing chicken with the legislature to see if it will act, the court may drag its feet a bit more, too. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a decision is published in June or July. Then, if they’ve decided to take the cases, they’ll have to put it on the… Read more »

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