Michigan filed a petition asking the US Supreme Court to review Doe v. Snyder.

News:  Just before the deadline, as expected, Michigan filed a petition asking the US Supreme Court to review Doe v. Snyder.   So far this effort to get help from the Supreme Court hasn’t made the news; the legal papers are not yet online.

Doe v. Snyder is an important decision concerning Michigan’s sex offense registry.  Lots of cheering by registrants, lawyers and civil libertarians last summer when the ruling was handed down by a federal appeals court, the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Michigan is unhappy and hoping to get some relief from the US Supreme Court.  The chances?   Many requests for review are made but few are granted…

The petition, recidivism fears:  The public has much fear about sex offenses, and that those convicted of such crimes will do it again—recidivism.  These  widespread fears play a role in the creation of registries and other draconian laws.  Michigan’s petition to the Supreme Court starts off with a bang, saying the recidivism rates related to sex offenses are “frightening and high,” quoting from a landmark 2003 Supreme Court case (Smith v. Doe).   That’s a very interesting beginning because in 2015 a widely circulated essay by Ira and Tara Ellman debunked that claim—the statement was based on the bragging of a treatment provider, not on research.  Recidivism rates are actually among the *lowest* for any category of offenses.  With its fateful words in that 2003 decision the Supreme Court promoted a falsehood that went on to infect a whole area of law and policy.  The Supreme Court’s own dubious reasoning has now come back to haunt – what will the court do?  “Circuit splits” are another big issue in Michigan’s petition, there’s plenty about federal and state courts who see the registry as a mere administrative mechanism and refuse to reckon with its power to incapacitate, to cause what Michelle Alexander calls, “social death.”

Background:  Michigan’s registry is one of the largest in the country with over 42,000 individuals required to sign it.  Lawmakers didn’t just get the registry rolling and call it a day, over the years they’ve been enacting ever harsher measures designed to slam registrants harder and harder.  A federal court lawsuit knocked some holes in the state’s registry law; Michigan, the losing party, took its plea to a federal appeals court.  Late last summer a three judge panel of the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a remarkable ruling in Doe v. Snyder that did really serious damage to Michigan’s scarlet letter machinery.  The appeals court blasted various registration requirements as “punitive,” the first federal appeals court to do so.   And it put a stop to piling more penalties on those already sentenced, ruling the practice is ex post facto and unconstitutional.

What’s ahead:  Next, the legal eagles fighting for justice for Michigan registrants will be answering this petition, led by Miriam Aukerman of the Michigan ACLU and Paul Reingold of the Michigan Clinical Law Program.  Below is the first passage of Michigan’s petition to the Supreme Court, and some past headlines and links to new stories about Doe v. Snyder.  Stay tuned.  –Bill Dobbs

News coverage and blog stories about Doe v. Snyder

Washington Post | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Fred Barbash

Court says Michigan sex offender registry laws creating ‘moral lepers’



Reason.com | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Jacob Sullum

6th Circuit Says Mich. Sex Offender Registry Is Punitive and, Not Incidentally, Stupid



Mimesis Law | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Andrew Fleischman

Sixth Circuit: Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Is Punitive



Simple Justice | Aug. 27, 2016 | By Scott Greenfield

The 6th Circuit Finally Said The Magic Word: Punitive



Michigan Radio | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Jack Lessenberry

Michigan’s sex offender law is unfair and probably unconstitutional



Slate | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Mark David Stern

Appeals Court Issues Scathing Ruling Against Michigan Sex Offender Penalties


18 comments for “Michigan filed a petition asking the US Supreme Court to review Doe v. Snyder.

  1. mike r
    December 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I really hope they debunk that so called 27% reoffending rate…maybe for any offense not for a sexual offense…

    • Lovecraft
      January 16, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Yea it has got to be any offense not a sexual reoffend rate of 27% that needs to be pointed out for sure if the writ is accepted.

    • Bill
      January 25, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      I was reading some FBI crime numbers for charges entered. Over 900,000 violent property crimes in the U.S. vs 43,000 sex crimes. The offender of the violent property crime is 7 times more likely to re-offend than the sex crime offender. Also the success rate for actually convicting someone of a sex crime is much higher than convicting someone of a violent property crime.

      • January 29, 2017 at 6:37 pm

        That is because, as we know, the majority of sexual crime adjudications are garnered via plea deals.

        • Bill
          March 11, 2017 at 12:28 am

          Plea deals come after initial charges. I believe the FBI report above points out that convictions are not handed out equally. As we know, violent property crimes have more plea deals than a sex crime.

  2. Will Bassler
    December 17, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Today Gini and I spent about four hours trying to find a 20 year study done by the department of justice or the Bureau of statistics that was completed in 2013 14 or 15 if someone has an idea what this study is that they are talking about I would appreciate the knowledge, so that I can find it and read through it. My guess is that the information is so far from being correct that it’s absolutely ludicrous. Among other things there talking about a re-offense rate for people on the registry of 27% We all know that the Department of Justice studies do not look at the registry. They look at people being released from prisons they do not take into account people on probation nor do they take in account the people that have been on the registry for a long period of time. They also look at specific groups and not all the groups that are within the registry. Also in many cases they look at re-arrests in comparison to true recidivism of re-convictions. They also look at all other crimes besides just a new sex crime. I want to find this study that Michigan AG is referring to so that we have time to debunk it and get the information to the people that need it..

    Just so you know there was a study done in 2015 but it was only a five-year study and I had to dig through it to find accurate information in table 9 they finally show the reconviction rate for people who have had sex crimes who commit new ones and that one shows a re-offense rate of 1.7% for rearrests note that with in this study they also pointed out that there is only a 36% to 44% reconviction rate of those that are arrested that would make the reconviction rate for people in a new sex crime somewhere between 6/10 of 1% and 7/10 of 1% that’s a hell of a long ways from 27%.

  3. Fair&Balanced
    December 21, 2016 at 8:55 am

    It is of no surprise to me that this man would put forth bogus statistics to prop up his very weak argument(s). Then to parrot Justice Kennedy’s “Frightening and High” LIE in the 2003 Smith v. Doe ruling is just plain pandering to the court. You know, I expect criminals of all sorts to be slimy and sleazy, to act devious and underhanded in their dealings, but for our public officials, people in position of public trust, sworn to uphold the law and US constitution, to be slimy and sleazy, to be devious and underhanded in their dealings is just to much. These people are morally bankrupt and spiritually dead. To be fair though, not all public officials are this way, but here is the thing as I see it, those public officials who are of good moral conscious, and do want to uphold the law and US constitution, stand back and let the slimy and sleazy, the devious and underhanded public officials do what they do and not stand up for what is right and just. The good ones see what’s going on but I suspect they do nothing so as not to not rock their boats. They have family, good secure jobs, making good money so why put that in jeopardy for some murky sense of right and wrong? You know, I heard a quote a long time ago that said:” All evil need to flourish is for good men to sit back and do nothing”. And that is damn sure what’s going on in America today. Satan’s minions are running rampant, e.g., Trump and his clique. And believe me, I know because until I came to my senses, for many, many years I was a minion of Satan doing all manner of evil so I recognize evil doings when I see it and recognize very well the people who serve Satan. PAY ATTENTION!!! Do be controlled by the media’s brain washing and that pop culture crap, e.g., TMZ. Understand how GOOD PEOPLE, people with good moral character conduct themselves. This guy Schuette, AG of Michigan, is not, I repeat, is not a good person. The only difference between a convict or an ex-con and these type of public officials is that the public official does not have a criminal conviction.

  4. g
    December 27, 2016 at 3:30 am

    so far the sc has reacted well

    U.S. Supreme Court justice denies state’s appeal to block sex offender ruling

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has rejected Michigan’s request to put a hold on a lower court decision about the state’s sex offender registry law while the state appeals.
    Kagan denied on Tuesday Attorney General Bill Schuette’s emergency appeal for a stay.

    A federal appeals court ruled in August that Michigan unconstitutionally puts additional restrictions on sex offenders long after their convictions.
    “What this means is that unless or until the Supreme Court says otherwise, the Sixth Circuit decision has to be obeyed,” said Miriam Aukerman, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
    “What the Sixth Circuit said was that Michigan’s registry punishes people without any public safety benefit,” Aukerman said.
    Aukerman said Michigan should focus on fixing the law to better protect pubic safety, instead of fighting the ruling.
    A spokesperson for Schuette’s office said they had no immediate comment.
    Michigan has the country’s fourth-largest sex offender list, with more than 42,000 registrants.
    Michigan prohibits all registrants from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of school property.

  5. g
    December 27, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Can you file links to the news that Michigan has filed with the SC and possibly the entire motion to the SC (writ)?

  6. mike r
    December 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

    this is great apparently Kegan isn’t buying that frightening and high reoffense rate otherwise she probably would have granted the stay…I really hope these attorneys provide an abundance of studies and reports debunking the government’s claim that the reoffense rate is 27% ….

  7. mdahl
    January 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I would greatly appreciate information on how to get free legal help in this area. I was convicted in 1989, yes you are reading that correctly, 1989 and I an forced to regiter 4 times a year. Please help me get help. mdahl.sngauto@yahoo.com Thank you in advanve.

    • Will Bassler
      January 17, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      your best chance for legal help is to join your state organizations that are fighting for your rights in many cases they have inroads into attorneys that are working to protect people’s rights. Another thing that you can do is to join the people on the secure forum here at SOSEN the secure forms have since 2007 posted all kinds of information pertaining to registered citizens. SOSEN secure forms are boot camp for people looking to get into advocacy for Constitutional rights.

  8. MD
    February 6, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    So if the Supreme Court did not grant the stay on the ruling, why do people still have to go into the Police Station to register/verify and pay the $50.00?

    Another question; If a person on the registry co-signs for their child’s car loan and is put on the title, do they have to report this vehicle to the Police for it to be put on the registry?

    • Bill
      March 11, 2017 at 12:42 am

      In talking with the Michigan ACLU and the University of Michigan law clinic during phone conferences I have been given the advice to keep verifying. They have told me that Michigan is simply dragging their feet; hoping that they are granted review. How this is legal I do not know. However, I do believe the time frame for these type of request to the Supreme Court is 90 days. I do not know if that is calendar or work days. If it is calendar, then we should know something around March 16th.

      • Bill
        March 11, 2017 at 12:58 am

        Okay, so rule 13 for a writ of certiorari/petition for review for the Supreme Court is 90 days from the date filed. So, the March 16th date looks pretty good.

  9. mike brinningstaull
    March 15, 2017 at 2:56 am

    I would like info on joining the cause for equal justice.

    • Will Bassler
      March 15, 2017 at 8:58 am

      A starting point is that you could join the secure forms on SOSEN you will find the join button on our front page. the secure forms are for registered citizens and family members who want to learn how to become involved in fighting these draconian laws.

  10. March 15, 2017 at 2:57 am

    I would like to join the fight for equal rights

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