Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 1:36 AM
A modest proposal: Miriam Aukerman has a modest proposal for changing Michigan’s sex offense registry law, the registry laws in other states and a federal statute (SORNA), too! In a commentary published by The Hill she makes a strong plea for public safety while urging bold changes in how lawmakers – and the public – ought to reckon with sexual wrongdoing. Her perspective is all the more valuable for having convinced a federal appeals court to issue a ground-breaking 2016 decision that did serious damage to Michigan’s scarlet letter machinery. The aftershocks from that ruling (Does v. Snyder) are still being felt; she was co-counsel in the case. Aukerman’s cogently argued op-ed comes at a time when draconian punishments such as the registry are getting more scrutiny. Let’s hope her essay helps reboot the discussion. –Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire
The Hill | Oct. 25, 2017
Sex offender registries endanger the lives they’re meant to protect
By Miriam Aukerman
Excerpts: Our communities deserve effective public-safety measures that are based on facts and sound research, not wasteful and counterproductive measures born of fear. We all want to be safe. We have to demand our legislators pass laws that work and actually keep us safe.
This month the U.S. Supreme Court left in place a lower court’s decision that Michigan’s sex offender registry law is so ineffective that it is unconstitutional. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals not only found that Michigan’s registry treats those on it as “moral lepers,” but also concluded, based on a mountain of evidence, that registries don’t keep people safe.
As the Court pointed out, registries may actually increase offending and have “at best, no impact on recidivism,” probably because they make it so “hard for registrants to get and keep a job, find housing, and reintegrate into their communities.”
Michigan will have now have to rewrite its unconstitutional registration law. The only moral and logical thing for Michigan — and other states — to do is to abolish the sex offender registry. MORE:
Our vision for a just future
1. Abolish pre-crime preventative detention laws
2. Free our friends and loved ones from dehumanizing labels
3. Realign our justice system with the values of restoration and reintegration
Just Future Project is a new initiative focused on challenging pre-crime preventative detention laws. We are a people-driven grassroots advocacy campaign dedicated to building a movement of community members demanding an end to indefinite detention regimes.
Why Is This Important?
Pre-crime preventative detention systems are a dangerous departure from the traditional values of our legal system.
We believe in justice, that persons who have caused harm may be held accountable for their actions. But justice also demands proportionality and due process, elements essential to distinguish justice from mere vengeance. The goal of any true system of justice must be restoration and re-integration, not the perpetual containment and incapacitation that have come to define the U.S. criminal legal system.
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