A local Michigan news paper ran this story yesterday, which spoke about the state of Michigan’s sex offender registry and how out of date and inaccurate it is.
Essentially, since U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland declared parts of the State’s registry unconstitutional, Michigan has not been enforcing it. That means information on 44,000 people on their list has not been updated in months. Old information still appears online, new information has not been added. And things appear to be in limbo until their legislature can pass a law that will comply with the constitution. That’s something they have been working on for a long time with no resolution in sight. In the meantime, the people of Michigan are effectively without the registry.
The article talks about how terrible it is for people in Michigan to not have this tool, but don’t you think the real story should be what’s happened since? Have the instances of sexual assault skyrocketed? Have people on the registry used this as a hall pass to go out and commit crime? Have children started getting snatched off the sidewalks? Isn’t that the important information we should be looking at?
A few years back, when FAC’s president served on a task force in Palm Beach County, they were successful in rolling back the county residency restrictions to the state’s 1000 feet. And guess what happened? Nothing! Cutting the exclusion zone in half didn’t result in sex crimes doubling. In fact, in the years since, there’s been no remarkable change whatsoever.
Don’t you think, with all this ranting about the Michigan registry being out of date, the journalist should have investigated whether it’s had any impact? Isn’t that an essential part of the story?