Today, a federal judge issued a ruling invalidating portions of Michigan's Sex Offender Registry Act that are unconstitutional. Also known as SORA, the act includes passages that are in parts very vague and in others directly violate the First Amendment.
As we wrote earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland heard oral arguments in Port Huron Federal Court on February 5, 2020. This hearing was based on a previous ruling of his from 2015 and from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016 saying some provisions of the registry are unconstitutional.
Oliver Law Group, P.C. has been fighting alongside the ACLU and the University of Michigan for years to have this unlawful act updated in a more legitimate manner that is fair to registrants. As it stands now, SORA punishes sex offenders long after they have served time for their crimes by forcing them to give up personal information, such as their likenesses and email addresses, and restricts where they are allowed to live.
With the number of registrants reaching nearly 44,000, Michigan has one of the largest sex offender registries in the United States and each year the state adds thousands more. Many of these registrants were added to the list retroactively after SORA was amended, once in 2006 and again in 2011.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland’s decision that SORA is unconstitutional has been in the works since 2015. The state legislature now has a short window of time to come up with a new statute before the statute is obliterated due to the Court’s ruling.
Reforming SORA has been no easy task, but we are proud to have been part of the fight to repair it. We will continue to fight for our clients alongside the ACLU and the University of Michigan, and we look forward to helping them receive justice. Stay tuned for updates to follow.
Read the full press release here.
If you have been affected by SORA, or are looking for a competent and aggressive criminal defense attorney to represent you in a sex crimes case, contact the attorneys at Oliver Law Group, P.C. today.