Appeals court issues scathing ruling against Michigan sex offender penalties

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Like so many states, Michigan is addicted to punishing sex offenders - not just once, but over and over again, through a series of measures designed to shame, stigmatize, and ostracize even those offenders who have been fully rehabilitated. [...]

Over the last decade, Michigan has amended its sex offender registry law to ensure that sex offenders are continually penalized for years after they complete their sentences. Offenders are required to inform law enforcement in person when they wish to move, change jobs, enroll or unenroll as a student, change their name, register a new email address or "internet identifier," travel for longer than a week, or buy or sell a car. They are also barred from living, working, or "loitering" in a "school safety zone." (These "zones" sprawl across most cities, driving sex offenders to the fringes of society.) Their names, addresses, photographs, and biometric data are provided to the public in an easily searchable database. Some purportedly "serious" offenders must update law enforcement (again in person) with the most minute updates of their life every three months. [...]

The aforementioned requirements were only passed in 2006 and 2011, yet they are purported to apply to all sex offenders, even those who committed their crime before the laws were enacted. A group of offenders challenged the constitutionality of this retroactive penalization, arguing that, by burdening them with these new requirements, Michigan had violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. In a unanimous ruling, a panel of judges for the 6th Circuit emphatically agreed.

source: Article 'Appeals Court Issues Scathing Ruling Against Michigan Sex Offender Penalties' by Mark Joseph Stern; www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/08/26/appeals_court_strikes_down_michigan_sex_offender_penalties.html; slate.com; 26 August 2016