Treatment of sex offenders depends on whether they’ve challenged rules

Here’s an interesting article from the Detroit Free Press about the confusion surrounding enforcement of Michigan’s sex offender registry laws following a federal court ruling that provisions of the law were unconstitutional. Apparently, no one knows exactly what the law requires or how it is supposed to be enforced.WASHINGTON — Eight months after the U.S. Supreme […]

A flurry of bills followed Larry Nassar’s conviction. Here’s why that’s a problem.

Several new laws have been proposed in Michigan following the conviction of former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar. The bills have broad bipartisan support, but Natasha Lennard writes that the proposed legislation is typical of the knee-jerk sex offender legislation that typically has followed high-profile cases in recent years.The 1994 Jacob Wetterling Act, […]

Pennsylvania Senate considers overhaul of sex offender registration law

The Pennsylvania Senate will consider an overhaul of the state’s sex offender registration laws. The move is necessary after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled provisions of the Adam Walsh Act could not be applied retroactively. The proposed legislation would turn back the clock for ex-offenders convicted before the 2012 law took effect, but still require they finish any […]

Indiana bill would restrict sex offenders’ time at church

It’s the silly season for Indiana lawmakers. A state senator there is responding to an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling allowing three registered citizens to attend church services with a bill that would restrict the time registrants could be at a church.Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond, has authored legislation that would allow a serious sex offender […]

New registry classification proposed in Iowa

An Iowa State Representative has proposed a new registry classification for the state — something called Tier IV registration. Rep. Dean Fisher explains his utterly misguided proposal in his newsletter.Tier IV Sex Offender Registry – House File 163. This is a bill that I introduced during the 2017 session which I am continuing to work […]

CA: Federal Court Limits Residency Restrictions to Parolees

From ACSOL, word of a positive decision from a Federal Court in California:A federal district court ruled on Dec. 22 that residency restrictions adopted by cities and counties may only be applied to registrants while on parole.  “This is a significant victory for registrants and their families,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “The Court’s decision dramatically reduces the […]

PA’s "sexually violent predator" process ruled unconstitutional

More changes could be coming to Pennsylvania’s sex offender registry laws after an appellate court ruled the state’s process to declare a sex offender as a “sexually violent predator” unconstitutional. The Superior Court decision in a Butler County case found that the process — the designation carries lifetime registry and counseling under the state’s Megan’s Law […]

Texas towns committed to useless ordinances

Eric Dexheimer, writing in the Austin American-Statesman, explains how small towns in the Lone Star State continue to bow to public hysteria and implement sex offender residency restrictions. Dexheimer cites a Nebraska study to explain why these ordinances are passed, despite evidence they don’t work and court rulings striking down restrictions in some places.Yet the fear […]

Michigan must rewrite its sex offender registry law

After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the 6th Circuit Court’s decision in Does v. Snyder, the state of Michigan will have to redo its sex offender registry laws. Pity the poor Michigan legislators.Sen. Rick Jones, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he’ll invite the ACLU, state police and prosecutors to discuss the […]

The politics of defending the sex offender registry

Another good article from Westword delves into why politicians defend sex offender registries, using the recent ruling against Colorado’s registry as a background.U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch recently ruled that Colorado’s sex-offender registry violates the due-process rights of three plaintiffs, thereby amounting to cruel and unusual punishment. Boulder attorney Alison Ruttenberg, who’s kept the case going for […]