Two years after court ruling, no changes to Michigan registry

Two years after a federal court ruled parts of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Act unconstitutional, the state legislature has still made no changes to the law.Michigan Public Radio talked with an attorney for the ACLU of Michigan and a Michigan State Senator about what changes are needed and why they haven’t been made yet.The American […]

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, […]

Kansas governor signs bill to compensate wrongfully convicted

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has signed a bill that will compensate people who are wrongfully convicted of a crime in Kansas.His signature on House Bill 2579 made Kansas the 33rd state to enact a wrongful conviction compensation statute. It was described by advocates as the “gold standard” for the nation. Individuals found by a court […]

Federal courts examining constitutionality of sex offender registries

A look at how several recent court decisions against sex offender registries in several states, and the predictable backlash from elected officials in response to those decisions. Colorado’s sex offender registry still hangs in limbo seven months after a judge said it violated the constitutional rights of former offenders, subjecting them to an extended punishment and […]

Pennsylvania Megan’s Law "legislative fix" no fix at all

Pennsylvania lawmakers thought they fixed problems with their state’s sex offender registry that led the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to declare portions of the law unconstitutional. Not surprisingly, they likely didn’t fix anything.Pennsylvania lawmakers insist they have fixed problems with Megan’s Law that threatened to allow thousands of sex offenders to avoid having to register with […]

Omnibus prison reform bill advances

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill that seeks to address overcrowding of the state’s prisons. Under LB 841 advanced on Tuesday, corrections and the State Board of Parole would be required to devise a plan, by Dec. 1, on how to deal with, or avoid, such an emergency… The bill advanced on Tuesday also allows […]

Kansas bill would reveal names of juvenile sex offenders

This is a big step in the wrong direction.The family of a Newton mother and daughter who were killed last year is pushing for a new law that would reveal the names of child sex offenders. Keith Hawkins was sentenced this month to life without the possibility of parole for the deaths of 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and 4-year-old Zaylynn Paz. In […]

LB693 would create new offenses, including "unmanned aircraft harassment by a registered sex offender"

It remains to be seen if this bill will get off the ground. The Judiciary Committee heard testimony on LB693, introduced by Bellevue Sen. Carol Blood, which would regulate the use of unmanned aircraft (drones) in the state. Much of the bill’s language prohibits the use of drones to trespass or spy on another person.Any […]

Increased penalties for registered citizens move forward in SD Legislature

Lawmakers in South Dakota have advanced legislation that would increase the punishment for failing to keep sex offender registration up to date.Senate Bill 61 would increase the penalty for sex offenders who fail more than once to register after moving to a new address. Currently, law penalizes second offenses the same as first offenses, a class […]

Bill would expand authority for mental health professionals

The Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week on another bill worth watching. While not focusing exclusively on registered citizens, LB964 does use the fear of the “dangerous sex offender” as a selling point.Mental health professionals would have the same authority as law enforcement to place people in emergency protective custody under a bill heard […]