ACLU files 4th lawsuit saying Michigan Sex Offender Registry still 'unconstitutional'

Posted at 6:18 PM, Feb 03, 2022

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled. A federal judge has ruled that the Michigan Sex Offender Registry treated many people unfairly.

The Michigan Legislature made changes last year. But the ACLU of Michigan has filed a new class-action lawsuit saying it is still unconstitutional.

The Sex Offender Registry has been online for decades. It allows people to easily look up sexual predators around them. 45,000 people are on the list. The ACLU says many of those deserve to get a review of their status.

“Now courts have said again and again and again that this law is unconstitutional,” says ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Miriam Aukerman.

And she says, the Michigan Legislature has failed to make the proper changes adding, “They passed a law that looks so much like the old law, it's just more of the same. And I don't know, I'm frankly baffled by what the legislature did here. It's really time to see some real change.”

One of the “John Does” in the new lawsuit was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping, not a sex crime. He was paroled in 2009 but, because of the kidnapping, he is required to be on the registry for life.

The ACLU wants a process for individual reviews.

In a Zoom interview with Aukerman we asked, “In a perfect world, who would do the individual reviews if you get this change that you're seeking?”

Her reply, “So I think, you know, there's a variety of states that have this, there's lots of different ways that it can be done. That's something that would need to be worked out.”

The Michigan Attorney General would represent the state in this case. That office says this is under review.

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