ACLU sues Michigan again over sex offender registry

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LANSING — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan sued the state Wednesday over the latest version of the sex offender registry, arguing it violates the rights of people who must live under unconstitutional restrictions.

The ACLU repeatedly has won key decisions in state and federal courts over Michigan’s registry. But the group said lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer responded with a new edition that still isn’t acceptable.

“What we’re asking for is very simple: Consider the facts in each case before someone is tarred as a sex offender for life. Dying shouldn’t be the only way a person can get off the registry,” ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman said.

The Michigan Supreme Court last year said a 2011 version of the registry was unconstitutional when applied retroactively to certain offenders. The decision followed similar rulings from federal courts.

The lawsuit said the new law fails to provide any individual review or opportunity to be removed from the registry. It said the law retroactively extends registration rules for thousands of people.

The plaintiffs include a man who was never charged or convicted of a sex offense. He pleaded no contest to kidnapping for forcing a McDonald’s manager and her teen son into the restaurant to open a safe. He’s required to register as a sex offender, the ACLU said.

The new law eliminated restrictions about living near a school and attending school events.

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