ALI Council Approves Most of Model Penal Code

The Council of the American Law Institute (ALI) has approved most of the model penal code (MPC) adopted by its members.  The Council’s approval took place during its meeting held this week following a decision in January to delay consideration of the model penal code.  

The most significant portions of the MPC include: (1) significant reduction in the number of offenses that require registration, (2) maximum registration period of 15 years, (3) elimination of all public registries and (4) prohibition against many collateral consequences.

“The American Law Institute is to be commended for its decision to approve most of the model penal code,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “They did so despite strong opposition from the U.S. Department of Justice as well as thirty-seven state attorneys general.”

Specifically, the ALI Council approved MPC limits the number of registerable offenses to a total of 11 offenses.  The offenses include (1) sexual assault by aggravated physical force or restraint, (2) sexual assault by physical force, (3) sexual assault of an incapacitated person, (4) sexual assault of a vulnerable person, (5) aggravated offensive sexual contact, (6) sexual assault of some minors, (7) incestuous sexual assault of a minor, (8) exploitative sexual assault of a minor, (9) fondling some minors, (10) aggravated offensive sexual contact with a minor under 18 and actor is more than 5 years older and (11) sex trafficking.  

Individuals convicted of a registerable offense would be required to register a maximum of 15 years which could be reduced to 10 years for some individuals.  In order to qualify for the 10-year registration period, an individual must not re-offend as well as comply with parole, probation or supervised release conditions.  

The ALI Council approved the elimination of public registries and would limit most disclosures of information on the registry to law enforcement.  Registry information could be available upon application to adult victims and parents of minor victims, as well as qualified public and private organizations that work with minors, the elderly, the disabled and other vulnerable populations.

Included in the MPC approved by the ALI Council are prohibitions in most cases regarding residency restrictions, access to schools and access to the internet.  These prohibitions can only be waived after an evidentiary showing that there are special circumstances in that case and only for a limited period of time.

In a sharply worded letter from the U.S. Department of Justice, the federal government stated it would “urge U.S. jurisdiction not to change their law to accord with it (the model penal code).”  The two-page letter criticizes the ALI, in general, and the model penal code, in particular.  According to that letter, provisions of the International Megan’s Law “could not function” if states adopt the model penal code.

“We must remember that ALI’s approval of the model penal code is the first of many steps leading to new registration laws in this nation,” stated Bellucci.  “The next step will be to lobby state legislatures to adopt the model penal code”.   



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I am in awe of Janice’s work and this news! I am wondering if Janice can shed some light on the process. Meaning, will they accept or reject the Model Penal Code or will there be a negotiation? ie: If they refuse something can you come back with asking for the modification for pre-SORNA folks? That is just one example I was thinking. Or is it an “all or nothing”?

This is my first post. I would like to say this is certainly some sort of progress. However one of the most onerous things about registration is residency restrictions. Where I live in Oklahoma I am barred from 98% of the city. 98%!!!!!! Residency restrictions have zero basis in community protection but rather are simply a means for other people to keep me from moving next door. Certainly the most disturbing thing is that Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can be indefinitely denied to a convicted person merely because the laws are popular. Even judges sit in courtrooms and destroy the Constitutional guarantees (which are there to protect ALL people) and the public stands up and claps. Say what you will, but people used to think it was OK to own other human beings. This should be the first clue to anyone about what the “public” will let happen to an unpopular group.

Child pornography would still be a registerable offense as it falls under trafficking.

Was there ever an answer about veiwing child porn pictures and if that’s still a registerable offense under the new MPC? If so, I missed it. Also, did the 15 year max registration pass and what about if a person remains offense free for 10 years, they can get off the registry? Thanks

I didn’t think viewing would pass this round because so many states get tons of money for each conviction is what “I’ve heard” my guess is 60% of the registration is made up from viewing which is BS in my opinion. It’s a no contact offense. THAT! should matter. Not that I support any of this dumbass registration. Nor do I believe viewing
re victimizes and I’M a victim being exploited in the CP section of the internet as a child. It’s immoral yes but a crime no. It’s a money maker for each state, that’s the crime. I thought that the ALI was all about contact offenses only. Maybe not since the AG’S raised hell I guess now. All we can do is hope they don’t water their final decision again in May. They went for 5 to 11, let’s hope they don’t add any more but subtract in their final vote.

Was perusing the progress of the Model Penal Code’s proposed changes to the sex offender registry. Came across a letter from lamo state attorney generals from 34 states, plus the Virgin Islands, objecting to the Model Penal Code. Thankfully California Attorney General Rob Bonta didn’t sign on to this scam. But with most state attorney generals objecting, it’s troubling nonetheless.

When will States adopt the mpc?