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MI: Michigan poised to double down on failed sex offender registry

[ – 2020-12-10]

In early 2012, more than eight years ago, five people challenged Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA) in court, arguing that the registry branded them as dangerous “sex offenders” without any individual review.

One was a man — we’ll call him John — who met a woman at a club open only to those 18 and older. They slept together and only later did he learn that she was actually 15. They fell in love, eventually married, and now have three kids. But due to her age, John was prosecuted and put on the sex offender registry. As a result, he has lost countless jobs, was often home­less and unable to live with his family, and couldn’t even attend his own kids’ basketball games.

Another man in the lawsuit — we’ll call him Paul — never even committed a sex offense. In 1990 when he was 20, he tried to rob a McDonald’s. But because he threatened the manager’s teenage son — an offense charged as “child kidnapping” even though it had no sexual component whatever — he was placed on the sex offender registry for life.

John and Paul won their case in 2016, when the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that SORA is unconstitutional. The court not only found that Michigan treats registrants as “moral lepers,” but it also concluded, based on a mountain of evidence, that registries don’t make people or communities safer.

Four years and another lawsuit later, the House has now passed a bill to revise SORA. But that bill ignores the judicial rulings, rejects the science, and would put John and Paul right back on the public registry.

Read the full article


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The Hit Lists aren’t going anywhere. I think a real problem with the Hit Lists is that the criminal legislators and law enforcement are not sufficiently afraid. They think they are immune. They don’t fathom that this war should end up on their doorsteps and inside their homes. They don’t think it will affect them or their families. What a shame. It will, of course. Probably not as destructively as I would like, but it will.

All moral people need to be engaged in the WORST (War on Registry Supporters/Terrorists).

How nice to see this op-ed in the DFP. Hopefully this wakes up the public some and can (finally!) create some willingness to have a rational approach to things. I’m skeptical but maybe, just maybe, the sheeple will learn something from this piece. Clearly the legislators have not.

No matter what legislation Michigan passes, they can’t undo all of the various court rulings. It’s only a matter of time until Michigan is forced to take down it’s registry entirely.
Big win out of the 9th Circuit. California registrants and in other states in the 9th Circuit take notice. A registry in the 9th Circuit may be the next registry on the ropes right behind Michigan.

Hi Everyone! We need to pull together and keep addressing to: Vote No on HB 5679! We have 44,000 people in Michigan hurt by this sick unconstitutional registry and 44,000 people should be picking up their phone and taking 5 minutes out of the day to provide a message as Tim outlines below to their senator. Let’s debunk this together!!! Everyone has to do this now or write an email again to say simply say: Vote No on HB 5679! Give the reason as well. Change happens with unwavering persistence and numbers. We got it! Do this today!!! Change will… Read more »

Here are my two cents. Anyone that has become ensnared on this bastard registry should be glued to their telephone whenever they have any free time. Chance, Janice, or any other civil rights attorneys that litigate these cases are very valuable, but the sheer number of registrants and their loved ones would look more like an army than a one man show. These laws that accumulated over time came to be, because their supporters CALLED and CALLED and CALLED. They can only be undone if we CALL and CALL and CALL.

Get on the phone….don’t wait.

If the courts have ruled that SORNA is unconstitutional, and the lawmakers ignore the rulings, why can’t you bring a civil rights lawsuit against the author/s of the bill? Hit them where it hurts the most in the wallet.

@ Political Prisoner if what your saying is possible and the plaintiffs win, the money doesn’t come out of their pockets. It’s all taxpayer money. Besides, they’d be happy to defend themselves. Win or loose, they sub contract the lawyers who are their friends or law partners, then they get “thank you’d” for the referral.

Great ! most of those tax cattle along with LE are begging for registries , I am all for sending the buzzards/IRS to steal more money from these walleyed cows that think nothing about anyone’s rights in till it is rights violations that affect them , so let them pick up that unconstitutional tab oink oink feed the lie

matter of fact what (Political Prisoner) is saying is an idea , don’t know if that can be done or not , But at least its an idea ! thought that was at least part of this site (ideas) and trying to end this unconstitutional registry , you know fighting back ?

Sometimes I feel
Like Glenn Closes character in Fatal Attraction,” Government we can’t be ignored much longer.” I wish SORNA was in the pot boiling away.

Hi everyone, I am just curious , but has any one gotten any responses from any Senator, like I did?, I actually got a response from Senator Irwin, who says he is voting NO on HB 5679, because it doesn’t come close to fixing the registry or what Cleland and the 6th Circuit says is unconstitutional. I can post it if anyone would like to read his response to me.

Has anyone ever stopped to think that even the general public will not want HB5679 to pass!!?? We, you , I have any army, a union….we are still part of that and need to be smart of that. So if this passes the Senate A SEX OFFENDER CAN LIVE ACCROSS THE STREET FROM SCHOOL PROPERTY!!!!!! We better let EVERYONE know and the numbers for everyone proposing the changes as well as those voting on changes!!!! I’m sure we are easier to make a deal with than the entire public. 44,000 people is small compared to all the voters that turned… Read more »

So winning the Fed lawsuit(s), or the blatant disregard for ex post language prohibition means nothing to “the people.” Precisely why training individual registrants about defending themselves in FTR scenario is important. Call it what it is! Slavery!

Resistance is futile… must comply with the collective.

Gratiot co. Prosecutors office is involved?
I had no idea,,,,,,,,wow

@BobbyS…yes, would you please post your complete response from Senator Irwin, as you have offered. I would like to read his response. I am hoping more senators take the same approach to House bill 5679. Thank you. Peace be with all of you.

@Quietman, and anyone else interested, Senator Irwin’s response to H.B.5679 Bobby S. Thank you for contacting me about this issue. As you know, HB 5679 aims to reform Michigan’s sex offender registry in response to Judge Cleland’s ruling that found it unconstitutional. I oppose this bill as written because it does not fix the real problems inherent in our sex offender registry or the issues identified by Judge Cleland. In general, almost all sex offender registries have been useless in promoting public safety and reintegrating people who have committed sexual offenses back into society. Michigan’s registry in particular is overly… Read more »

Senator Irwin has my vote from here on out. Very, very intelligent man and I only wish there were more like him. Very proud that he is a senator and our state.

@Nick@Bobby Thanks for that post Bobby! I agree with @Nick about Senator Irwin seemingly being a guy we can get behind. It makes you wonder WHY he’s so reasonable on this topic. Is someone in his life affected by this piece of $h!t registry and new legislation? I tend to not take politicians at their word as a general rule but if his given reasons are legitimate then there aren’t many politicians who would publicly take that stance… wouldn’t hurt to take a closer look at his voting record on this issue and similar issues and see if he’s put… Read more »

@Michigan….Senator Jeff Irwin is apparently the real deal when it comes to SOR issues.. he was the only state senator to vote AGAINST the new child abuse registry and he voted favorably on several other smaller issues as would seem we have at the very least 1 politician who isn’t afraid to swim against the current.

My arm is in pain because I have pinched myself over a dozen times after reading this. This can’t be real. I must be dreaming. [sarcasm]

@Michigan…Well, not unexpectedly in my opinion but it appears that HB 5679 just passed the senate and will go back to the house for concurrence…..

Hope is dwindling…..5679 passed the Senate 21-17.


I just watched the live stream of the Senate meeting , and if i understood it correctly HB 5679 passed with 21 yes votes and 17 NO votes, and Mr. Irwin was a NO vote, then it went to a vote for immediate passage, which I think also passed, it all went so fast it was almost hard to follow what was happening, so now i guess we just have to hope that Whitmer vetoes it i guess, not sure how all this works exactly.

BILL HB5679 just passed in the Senate floor. Passed 21 Yea to 17 Nay.

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It sounds like they are adding further “punishments” – retribution for suing the state, I suspect – to their newly approved Bill: If this law were passed, and I was subject to the new provisions – especially those about regarding internet and social media identifiers – I would constantly be adding new internet email addresses, social media identifiers, etc. I would flood them with all these new addresses and make the registering agencies suffer a living hell of paperwork!! 🔸F#ck_the_Registry@aol.comm 🔸Unconstitutional_SORs@gmail.comm 🔸U_R_criminal_regimes@email.comm 🔸MI_Senate_scum@ gmail.comm 🔸Etc., Etc., Etc.!! And all the information about any vehicle you might use? Rental vehicles?… Read more »


I am with you on this one, as long as I could notify them online, and not have to go to my registering office each time.
This year was an exception, but in past years I have rented upwards of 20-25 cars. Would be hilarious to have them all on the registry.
If I worked for a used-car company, I guess I could register every car on the lot, since I might have to move them around 🙄

I’d interpret vehicles you “may” use to literally be every car on the road. Who’s to say you may not buy that vehicle down the line or become friends with that person and borrow it? So just register every car parked outside of the registry office. Remember that the law is 99% technicalities. No judge is going to rule on the “spirit” of it. So unless they want to explicitly describe within the law what “may” means in regards to the registry, I’d say 100% of cars qualify.

Over the past 10 years, that I am aware of, the tide is certainly shifting. It wasn’t that many years ago that 17 would not of voted no. We are slowly making headway. Some are listening. We now have a stance to sue on. The legislature has just approved a known unconstitutional bill.

Warpath… The way I read Tim’s letter he was saying that all new laws that are passed or automatically assumed to be constitutional. What a bunch of BS. Next year will be my 30th anniversary and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

So Crazy.. Can not believe it has gone this far that these Ass Holes will Win . Sad ! Aclu melt down in my opinion . What a Shame ! .. Merry Christmas !

Yes, all new laws passed are assumed to be constitutional, but that does not mean that they are so. Prepare yourselves for the next lawsuit to prove it once again. It should not be difficult to get a preliminary injunction based on the fact that Snyder is controlling law in the 6th Circuit, so the law will likely be DOA. Even the 6th cannot overrule Snyder unless it does so enbanc. Snyder has been used to obtain preliminary injunctions in other states within the 6th, like Tennessee as recent as this year. The State will likely lose by default at… Read more »

John Doe… You brought up some very good points. I guess eventually we will prevail but I just don’t know if it’ll be in my lifetime or not.

@Michigan – Unfortunately I’m not quite sure all of your assumptions on this new law being more restrictive and unconstitutional are accurate. The most weight given by the 6th Circuits decision was where a person can work, live, etc.. This is gone. This new law will have to be reviewed by the courts in toto, ie using Mendoza factors. And since the 6th recently stated that SORNA is not punishment, I’m not sure how this new law will reconcile the 2 competing 6th Circuits decisions. I can see a new First Amendment argument on posting identifiers online – Chilling Free… Read more »

If they are not going to strictly follow the constitution why comply With them ? why wait for them to drag us through hell for years fighting on unfriendly ground ? why not move to Michigan where they are already beating back the registry and winning ? why not use our numbers to hold this strong hold ? California is going backward . at least we have a shot at a huge lawsuit and injunction forcing these tyrants to prove that its not punishment as well as strongly unconstitutional , sick playing this game over 30 years pretending that I… Read more »

So they are requiring us to provide more information, but yet removed the residency restrictions, all while completely ignoring the reasons why Judge Cleland ruled it to be unconstitutional. No, I do not want my freaking email address published for everyone to see and possibly harass me. Hell, might as well put my phone number on there too. Obviously there were some senators who actually read the bill and are aware of the current litigation, but still too many who see Sex Offender Registration and just blindly vote yes. I hope AG Nessel is in the Governor’s ear and she… Read more »

A few questions: 1. It looks like the public posting of internet identifiers provision will only apply to people convicted after 2011? That’s bad and very unfair for them, and likely will be subject to the same constitutional challenge that the requirement of internet identifiers was for pre-2011 registrants, but I just want to clarify that I’m reading this right. 2. It doesn’t look like they’re getting rid of tiers, in terms of how often registrants are required to do in-person address verification, just not publishing tier level online? 3. They actually haven’t changed the window of time we have… Read more »

It says if you are required to register after July 1, 2011 then you need to provide that information. So since I’m still required to register after that date, then I assume I still have to provide that info. It basically does nothing and makes no sense with how it’s worded. I’m pre-2011 and I feel like this does nothing for the pre-2011’s or any of us for that matter. It’s one step forward and two steps back. I too plead guilty to one count of “Using a computer to commit a crime” under both my and my lawyers understanding… Read more »

Confused. Hire an attorney that has been successful winning set-aside cases. Ask the attorney if you are even capable to get it before you give them a retainer. It cost me $3,000 and I had to get about 30 letters from family Friends and co-workers. I lost my first attempt but was finally set-aside the second time. It doesn’t show up on criminal investigations but I have still been fired from a job cause my name was out there. I am thrilled that they have allowed removal after expungements. I wish you luck. My prayers are with all of you… Read more »

You should still be able to have it expunged. Expungement is actually a direct criminal legal thing and can’t be mucked about like they keep doing with the registries. Just about anything with registering is a civil thing which is why they can do whatever. Expungement is not that. So if your conviction was prior to the change, you’re grandfathered in to still be able to get it as that’s part of your plea promise that applies equally to all. How it affects you registering is what they can play around with. So go get your record cleaned up. It’s… Read more »

I have learned that 99% of the registrants that say they want to fight the registry don’t follow through. Almost all are all talk and no action. Their prefer to complain but won’t lift a finger to help.
I already have a lot going on. If you are prepared to jump into the fight, email me at

If you are in Michigan and covered by the Does legislation you WILL be removed from the registry. Any legislation to the contrary is irrelevant. Does II is pending. You have to remember that these rulings affect thousands on the registry. I believe it will be at least 10.000 and more likely north of 20,000. The problem is Michigan has to make individual determinations and this won’t happen overnight. I believe Michigan will ask for months that will turn to years. I believe it will be 2023 or 2024 before the dust settles, 2026 at the latest. If you are… Read more »

@Detroit,. I emailed the entire list that Tim provided, but Irwin was the only one that responded. I was also shocked to hear his take on the registry. Now I’m just hoping Whitmer vetos the stupid Bill, or Cleland might act and finally rule on Does ll, and gets the ball rolling. As alot of others on here I am pre- 95 it’s been 28 years for me, my original 25 years had passed obviously, and now that I’m 51 I am hoping I’m still alive when Does ll is finally finalized.

Bobby… I don’t know if this is true or not but it seems that I read recently where if Witmer vetoes 5679 the house and senate can override her veto? Does anybody know if this is true?

I can actually answer this one factually. They would need 2/3rds of the Michigan house AND 2/3rds of the Michigan senate to override a Whitmer veto. They might get that in the house but the senate vote to pass 5679 was 21-17 so I doubt they would be able to pull it off.

The bill has been presented to her. Once she signs it does anyone know how long before it takes affect?

@Detroit…is the “Recapture law” a part of the Michigan SORA law? And if so, was the law effective pre-2011…is the recapture law under the DOES II 6th circuit court’s 2016 ruling? I am not a legal beagle, so I really do not know how to ascertain this information without asking someone with a legal background. I committed the csc first, then another non-csc felony a month later, before I was eventually arrested. I was convicted of the csc first, then convicted of the second felony later. This all happened about 25 years ago… I’m still paying for my bad choices.… Read more »

@Lost Hope
I expect with a bill like this that she’ll sign or veto at a time where it’ll get lost in the news cycle. People usually try to break news late on a Friday so that by the time Monday rolls around there is other news taking the spotlight. This is just a opinion or somewhat educated guess. I don’t see this being hushed up either way because it is sensationally newsworthy.

@Josh I would agree with your news cycle comments. To clarify my question, after signature does it become law immediately or is there some additional waiting period?

@Lost Hope
Don’t know for sure but I think it goes into effect upon her signing of it…anybody else know for sure?

Immediate effect was defeated on the 16th, so it’ll be 90 days before the new law kicks in. (assuming she signs it.)

Bobby S.: If you survive covid you will probably live to see Does II become final. Hopefully, covid will be over by next November. Does II could be final by then. The ACLU hasn’t posted anything on it’s website. I believe they will as soon as things start to move. We don’t know what the ACLU will be requesting. They can ask that the entire registry be taken down and registrants be added as their cases are determined, which makes the most sense to me. I don’t think that will happen because a lot of people will feel it’s too… Read more »

@Detroit…thank you for the encouragement in your response. Both my cases antedate the recapture provision of the law. So, I reckon I wait on the DOES II finalization process. I’ve been waiting for 24 years, I can be patient some more. (So many opportunities to be patient in this fallen world!) Thanks again. Peace be with all of you.

@Detroit / ALL Michigan I know Detroit keeps talking about Does II and I understand his thinking process. What I have not heard him or anyone else talk about is the other 6th Circuit decision that came after Does II. The case was posted on here with a link to the decision (below). It flies squarely in the face of the Does II decision as it addressed Ex Post Facto as well. I’m assuming a different panel heard this case and came to a different conclusion. SO my question is: HOW does the 6th Circuit reconcile their own differences and… Read more »

BM: I am more than familiar with the Willman decision. It was a facial challenge to the federal SORNA. There have been several decisions stating that registrants have a federal duty to register even if they don’t have a state duty. Law enforcement is a traditional state duty in this country. I am not aware of any state requiring someone to register under federal SORNA if they are not required to register under state SORA and Willman is no different. So, for the most part, these decisions aren’t affecting registrants at the moment. When you think of the number of… Read more »

Willman does not conflict with Does. It is consistent with Does. Willman settled the narrow issue if someone has a federal duty to register even though he has no state duty. The federal courts in Does have ruled that placing many sex offenders on the Michigan registry is unconstitutional. The federal court told Willman that he has a federal duty to register. Michigan cannot force him to register because his registration is unconstitutional. The federal attorneys who pushed this case are asses that wasted an incredible amount of money and court time to get a decision that can’t be enforced.… Read more »

Detroit, you state above “The federal courts in Does have ruled that placing many sex offenders on the Michigan registry is unconstitutional.” Is that in fact true? The 6th stated (and I’ve read Doe I / II many times) that MISORA was unconstitutional punishment in relation to EX POST due to restrictions on residency, Tier publication (key) corresponding to risk without assessment and reporting requirements. But the new SORA law, if passed, does not publish corresponding Tiers, removes residency and school restrictions. What I see as an issue is IF you have to report in person still. That part is… Read more »

In re: Willman
Look on MIPSOR. The bottom line is that Willman is not on the Michigan registry even though the court ruled he has a federal duty to register.

@Detroit – appreciate you taking the time to respond and offer your opinion! Thank you. What you said does make sense and I was aware of the “facial” challenge portion of Willman.

What are your thoughts on Cleland and how he may rule?

BM: Cleland liked to play the role of hard assed prosecutor when he was prosecutor for St. Clair County. He has been no different as a judge. He is most famous for engaging in dirty underhanded conduct as prosecutor in sending Frederick Freeman to prison, who many, like former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Brennan, FBI and other federal agents and former agents, news anchors, etc., believe is innocent. If the ACLU had drawn a different judge most pre-2012 registrants would be off of the registry today. He only agreed to the portion he found unconstitutional which he absolutely had to.… Read more »

BM: You have to remember that we are in uncharted territory. 5679 contains many provisions that are in direct conflict with various court decisions. Even though Does I wasn’t a class action, those affected by Does I should have been taken off of the registry. Bill Schuette took the position that registrants must sue individually in order to be removed from the registry. Does II was filed as a class action so will lead to those affected by Does I to be removed from the registry. Once Does II becomes final you have to remember that Michigan has to review… Read more »

I understand what you’re saying, and it makes sense, but the people that are pre 2006 and 2011 and pre 1995. It seems like we should come of the registry automatically no questions asked, and they have no problem adding hundreds of people on the registry on a daily or monthly basis, so it should be just as easy to remove hundreds if not thousands on a daily or monthly basis as well. Just my opinion. It didn’t take them long to add me in 95 or 96, so it should be just as easy to remove me and there’s… Read more »

The die is already cast. Either registrants are affected by the Does litigation or they’re not. Any legislation that passes is only relevant to the affected registrants because it may cause a delay in their removal. The delay probably won’t be more than a few months. My concern is monetary damages. There is case law to support monetary damages after the courts have decided that the registry is unconstitutional. I don’t know if the Oliver Law Group is seeking monetary damages or not. It does no good to be sitting on pins and needles because you finally may be getting… Read more »

Interesting stuff Detroit. What I don’t quite understand is why are pre-2011 registrants getting off the registry? Is it because of the constitutional issues raised by the appeals court, and that they aren’t satisfied by this new legislation? Thus, there remains, for pre-2011 registrants, only an unconstitutional law on the books requiring them to register, and thus they will be removed from the requirement to register (albeit slowly)?

But what if Cleland says the new legislation satisfies the appeals court concerns? Can it be re-appealed to the appeals court? That doesn’t sound like a pre-ordained win to me.

Confused – I’m trying to understand it as well. I understand the 6th decision. So they remove us let’s say. THEN they pass this new law and boom, right back on. Lawsuits would have to start over. So I’m also confused. Cleland could rule the 2006 / 2011 amendments aren’t even MOOT since they no longer would exist. Or rule based on the 6th, which wouldn’t even be MI law and require us to start a new lawsuit based on the new law. My only thought is that Cleland does rule there must be individual assessments (which is also contrary… Read more »

Confused man:
The bill contradicts the court decisions so Cleland can’t rule that it is constitutional in it’s entirety. There is no need to appeal. The ACLU will hash it all out in the trial court. Pre July 1, 2011 registrants will just have to wait until the dust settles.

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