Court: Michigan sex offender rules cannot be retroactive

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A federal appeals court has ruled that changes to Michigan’s sex offender registry rules cannot be applied retroactively to thousands of sex offenders.

In a 3-0 decision Thursday, a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the registry imposes punishment and it is unconstitutional to impose new restrictions on people convicted before 2006 and 2011 laws were enacted.

In 2006, Michigan began prohibiting registrants from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of a school. In 2011, lawmakers added a requirement that offenders be divided into three tiers based on the seriousness of the crime.

The appellate court did not rule on other portions of U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland’s 2015 ruling, in which he declared portions of the law unconstitutional.

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