DETROIT – Approved changes to Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act are unconstitutional and ineffective at stopping offenders, argues the state’s ACLU chapter in an appeal for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to veto.
State lawmakers approved altering registration protocols for sex offenders during the Legislature’s Wednesday, Dec. 16 session, fulfilling a 4-year-old mandate from the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The federal court ruled in 2016 that it was unconstitutional to impose new restrictions on people convicted before the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act was updated with added rules in 2006 and 2011. The ACLU of Michigan asserts that the new changes are a continuation of that unconstitutionality, saying the state will spend “millions of wasted tax dollars defending it” and actually perpetuate bad behavior by offenders.
“This legislation ignores the judicial rulings, rejects the science and makes Michigan communities and families less safe,” said Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney for ACLU Michigan, in a release. “The research is clear: registries don’t work. As the courts have pointed out, registries are counterproductive and may increase offending because they make it extremely difficult for registrants to obtain a job, find housing, and rejoin their families, sabotaging their efforts to become productive members of the community.”