Appeals court: Sex offender law flawed, not working

Aug 26, 2016

Credit Sixth circuit

A federal appeals court took aim at Michigan’s sex offender registry law. The court ruled on a narrow legal issue, but suggested the law may be unconstitutional. 

The Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals said changes to the law cannot be applied retroactively. That means restrictions could be lifted on hundreds of people on the registry.

But the court went further and said Michigan’s registry law isn’t working as intended and seems designed more to punish offenders than protect the public.

Miriam Aukerman is an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

She say it’s time to re-think the registry.

“We certainly hope that the Legislature will take the court’s concerns very seriously,” Aukerman says.

The court’s opinion likened the registry to banishing, and said it’s too often directed at people who’ve committed non-violent or minor offenses.