Michigan Sex-Offender List Declared Unconstitutional

Last week, a federal judge declared Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act unconstitutional, thereby striking down not only the controversial internet site that posted a list of 29,000 convicted sex offenders, but also the more detailed confidential list that was used by police departments to keep track of sex offender’s whereabouts. The Michigan Attorney General’s office has asked the Court to delay enforcement of the decision, arguing that the Judge did not understand that the police list would technically be illegal as well. The appeal will come before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the coming months. However, until the judge clarifies her ruling, the police have stopped tracking sex offenders. Opponents of the sex offender registry were taken aback that the police list applied to the judge’s ruling, having only objected to the public posting of the information on the Internet. The Michigan ruling comes two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a Connecticut case which could result in requiring states to evaluate each offender’s potential threat before posting the offender’s name on a public registry. Michigan’s registry was created in 1994 for law enforcement use, and became public in 1999.


Detroit Free Press, 06/11/02

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