The leadership of the American Law Institute is scheduled to consider during its meeting on January 20 and January 21 the revised model penal code approved overwhelmingly by its members in June 2021. The revised model penal code includes recommendations that state penal codes be changed in a number of ways, including but not limited to, reducing the number of sex offenses that require registration, limiting registration to a maximum of 15 years, and making the registry available only to law enforcement.
After ALI members voted in favor of the revised model penal code, Attorneys General from 37 states formally objected to that code. This coalition effort is being led by Attorneys General from Hawaii and Mississippi.
In a letter to the ALI, the Attorneys General urged ALI “to consider the danger the proposed changes would pose to the public, especially children.” The letter also stated that the revised model penal code “fails to treat sex predators appropriately and would provide them more freedom to commit these heinous crimes.” In addition, Attorney General Clare Connors of Hawaii stated that the revised model penal code “will both reverse the progress we have made to hold sex traffickers accountable and increase the harm to victims of theses offenses. Laws that favor bad actors at the expense of victims must be soundly rejected.”
“Although ALI leaders are not bound by the opinions of the 37 Attorneys General, ALI leaders are expected to seriously consider their objections to the revised model penal code,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “If ALI leaders reject the revised model penal code, it will be extremely difficult to convince any state to adopt that code.”
The 37 states represented in the coalition opposing the revised model penal code are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia.