In a groundbreaking ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it is unconstitutional to impose new severe restrictions on people with past sex offenses long after they were convicted. In 2006 and 2011 the Michigan legislature amended Michigan’s sex offender registration law by barring current and future registrants from living and working in a large portion of the state, restricting use of the internet, forbidding attendance of church if children were present, requiring compliance with onerous reporting requirements, and extending the amount of time they remained on the registry. In 2012 the ACLU of Michigan, working with the University of Michigan’s clinical law program, challenged the law in federal court on behalf of six registrants—including a man who was never convicted of a sex offense and several men convicted of consensual sex with younger teens, one of whom he has since married. In 2016 the Sixth Circuit ruled that the retroactive application of all of the amendments to those convicted before 2006 violates the U.S. Constitution’s rule against ex post facto laws. But despite the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, the State of Michigan has failed to bring Michigan’s registry into compliance, leaving the state’s 44,000 registrants at risk of prosecution unless they comply with the law’s onerous and now unconstitutional requirements. Therefore, in June 2018 we filed a class action lawsuit to ensure that all Michigan registrants obtain the benefit of the rulings in the earlier case. (John Does #1-5 v. Snyder; John Does #1-6 v. Snyder; ACLU Attorneys Miriam Aukerman, Dan Korobkin and Michael J. Steinberg, and Legal Fellows Sofia Nelson, Marc Allen, Juan Caballero, Monica Andrade and Elaine Lewis; U-M Clinical Law Professor Paul Reingold; co-counsel Alyson Oliver and Cameron Bell.)
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