Constitution, as they recognized the inherent unfairness and potential for tyranny.
Ex post facto laws could be used to punish individuals by targeting specific conduct or by increasing punishment long after an original sentence had been rendered. In the s, legislatures across the nation, including Tennessee, created sex offender registries.
These laws were designed to ostensibly to "protect children. The sex offender registries were first developed for law enforcement, allowing police easy access to names and addresses of known sex offenders who had been released on parole or who had completed their sentences.
But early on, in one of the federal laws, a clause was inserted to allow public dissemination of this information. With the advent of the internet, the public no longer had to appear in a sheriff's office and look at a physical list but could access the information online. In addition, as legislatures and politicians wanted to demonstrate their "toughness" on crime, they continued to add more and more requirements and restrictions onto these laws. In a case from , the U. Supreme Court found that a Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act SORNA that required individuals to register did not violate ex post facto prohibitions because they were mere regulations, not criminal punishment.
This was despite the fact that in many cases, the SORNAs had been made law after the individuals had been tried, convicted and for some, long after they had completed their sentences.
That precedent has prevented any successful challenge to SORNAs on ex post facto grounds until this year. The constant, incremental piling on of additional restrictions had changed it from a regulation to a punishment and made it constitutionally defective. No longer simply a "yellow pages" of sex offenders, the registries in most states now demand that an offender report at least once a year to a sheriff's office and verify their address and phone number, their vehicles and their internet identifiers.
Some laws outright prohibit any internet access. Some offenders have to report every 90 days, often in multiple counties if they live, work or go to school in different locations. Most now also prohibit an offender from living or working within a specific distance of schools and daycare centers. Many also include parks and bus stops and may not just prohibit living within a stated distance, but sometimes simply being within that distance, no matter if they are just passing through an area.
The court found that in San Diego County, the 2,feet rule meant that less than 3 percent of multi-unit housing was available to offenders. Temelkoski had pleaded guilty under a youthful offender statute with the expectation that no collateral consequences would attach to the disposition if he successfully completed its conditions. September 4, Two U. If yes, contact us at intern aclumich. Tier I offenders must register for 15 years. The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld sex offender registration laws each of the two times such laws have been examined by them.
The court noted that the and SORA amendments added geographic exclusion zones, imposed strict new reporting requirements, and extended registration up to life for the vast majority of registrants, without providing any review or appeal with rare exceptions. The court found SORA to be more like criminal probation or parole than like a civil regulation.
It is hard to know the answer to this question, because there is not yet a final judgment in Does v. If the state seeks en banc review or petitions for certiorari, and if either the full Sixth Circuit or the U. Supreme Court accepts the case, another months could pass before a final decision issues. The case was brought only on behalf of the six named plaintiffs.
The relevant date is the date of the offense, not the date of conviction. The Michigan Supreme Court currently has pending before it People v. Temelkoski also has due process claims with respect to the registration of individuals adjudicated under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. Finally, the legislature will likely make changes to SORA to address the constitutional problems in the statute. It is unclear what those changes will be or whom they will affect.
The Sixth Circuit reversed the decision of the U. Because the Sixth Circuit decided that SORA cannot be retroactively applied to the plaintiffs, the Court of Appeals did not have to decide many of the other issues decided by the federal district court, including that:. We recommend that all registrants stay SORA-compliant until there is a final judgment. State criminal courts are not bound by federal appellate decisions except for U. Supreme Court decisions , and is not yet clear how Michigan state courts will apply the Does v.
Snyder decision or what the Michigan Supreme Court will decide in People v. We strongly recommend full compliance to avoid criminal charges or other consequences. Registrants who are on parole or probation should follow all parole and probation orders related to their sex offender registration. Because there is not yet a final judgment, we do not recommend that registrants file motions to shorten their registration periods back to 25 years. If Does v. Snyder is modified or reversed during any further appeals, individuals whose registration is reduced back to its pre length could end up having their registration go back to life.
Furthermore, there are likely to be legislative amendments to SORA. Individuals could spend a lot of money challenging registration obligations without any long-term result if they file now rather than once Does v. Snyder is final. The one exception to this general principle is for individuals who would already have come off the registry under the pre version of SORA e.
Counsel may wish to consider filing for immediate removal from the registry since a decision in such a case could become final before the decision in Does v. Snyder becomes final. If possible, counsel should negotiate a stipulated order for removal with the prosecutor in the state criminal case.
Such an action should name the Michigan State Police director in her official capacity as a defendant. Nevertheless, sex offender registries in the United States have continued to survive numerous court challenges despite their growing scope and more intrusive requirements. However, in compliance with amendments to the Wetterling Act, SORA has greatly expanded its registration, monitoring, and community notice requirements. Furthermore, SORA also provides the public with information on the identity and location of sex offenders throughout the state of Michigan. This is done by a searchable internet database, known as the Public Sex Offender Registry, which includes a photo of the convicted sex offender.
There is also an e-mail notification system that allows citizens to sign-up to receive an e-mail whenever a sex offender moves into their area. Also, please visit our section on what to do if you have been charged with a sex crime. SORNA provides uniform minimum requirements for sex offender registration and notification in each state.
What You Need to Know About the Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) pass a new law that replaces Michigan's bloated and ineffective registry with a law that. More: Michigan's appeal of sex offender registry law turned back by . Based on a federal law enacted in and tying funding to states on its.