Committee approves Richardville legislation to ensure registration of homeless sex offenders
LANSING — The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved legislation designed to help ensure that all sex offenders are registered with the state by establishing requirements for homeless sex offenders, said Sen. Randy Richardville, one of the sponsors.
Richardville and his Senate colleagues began working on the four-bill package following the Michigan Court of Appeals’ recent ruling that homeless sex offenders do not have to register because they lack a “residence” as defined by law.
“The purpose of the sex offender registry is to help residents and law enforcement officers keep track of sex offenders in their local area,” said Richardville, R-Monroe. “Leaving homeless sex offenders off of the registry is a major concern. All sex offenders should be included in the system, whether they have a residence or not.”
The legislative package would require homeless individuals to comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) and provide requirements for registering.
Senate Bill 1208, sponsored by Richardville, would amend the section of law dealing with the reporting requirements to include the new provisions regarding homeless individuals.
The ruling on the case, the People of the state of Michigan vs. Randall Lee Dowdy, stemmed from Dowdy arguing he could not register with the SORA because he was homeless. According to registry records, 61-year-old Dowdy was convicted of five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping in 1984.
SBs 1206-1208 and 1241 have been sent to the full Senate for further consideration.
Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
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