Richardville legislation to ensure registration of homeless sex offenders approved by Senate
LANSING — The Senate unanimously approved legislation Thursday 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 of the measures.
“Recently, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that homeless sex offenders do not have to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act because they don’t have a specific residence,” said Richardville, R-Monroe. “The legislation that the Senate has developed and approved will address this issue by making sure homeless sex offenders are required to register because we want to help make sure local residents and police are aware of all offenders in the area.”
The legislative package would require homeless individuals to comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) and provide requirements for registering. A homeless sex offender would be registered within the ZIP code area of the two cross streets closest to where the individual regularly sleeps.
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.
“This legislation is about trying to do all we can to protect our children from sexual predators,” Richardville said. “One of government’s main roles is to protect the public. These new laws would help guarantee that the intent of the original sex offender registration law is upheld.”
The appeals court’s 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 through 1208 and 1241 have been sent to the House for further consideration.
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010
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