April 14, 2015

Clean up sex offender registry, make it effective

4-14-15 Michigan:

U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland has found several of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry’s reporting requirements to be unconstitutional. As a result the Michigan Legislature must rework registration requirements.

Over the years legislators have passed sex offender laws that feed on public fear, not fact. Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry has grown into a list that does not serve to protect the people, but rather serves to protect the true, dangerous pedophiles.

People assume that registered sex offenders have sexually assaulted a child or committed a violent sexual crime against an adult, but this often not the case. Michigan has approximately 41,600 people on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. Those registered include juvenile convictions, HYTA completers (no conviction on their record), age-only convictions where the relationship was consensual, non-violent and victimless crimes, and people who have married their “victim” and now have a family of their own.

One of the requirements under the 2006 Adam Walsh Act is that a person who committed a sexual crime prior to the existence of the sex abuse registry — prior to 1994 —and has never been required to register may now have to do so if they commit any type of felony, even if it is non-sexual in nature. This serves no purpose in protecting us and our children from sexual predators and only further clogs the registry. ..Continue.. by Grace Grogan of St. Clair is a Times Herald community columnist.

"These are the things that registered sex offenders are required to do – but are they affording us any protection? Not really. What will provide us with protection is having a sex offender registry that is narrowed down to the truly dangerous child pedophiles and rapists. A useful registry combined with making our children aware of how to protect themselves and their bodies from everyone they encounter, friend, family, or stranger is the key to safety."

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