1. Consider that before 2004, a barely 17 year old girl would be an adult for criminal
law purposes. If she had been approached by a 14 3/4 year old boy and had said yes
to a consented to illegal and immoral act of sexual intercourse with this 14 3/4
minor, the barely 17 year old girl could be charged with a criminal sexual conduct
charge. If the court granted her Holmes Youthful Trainee status for something that
happened before October 1, 2004, she would have to be on the list of sexual predators
for twenty-five (25) years, There would be no distinction made between her and a
serial rapist or a child pedophile. Many saw the disastrous effect and worked for
a better result. The court had ruled that the Holmes Youthful Trainee had gotten
a benefit of a dismissed case and should be satisfied. (Go back)
2. People v. Dipiazza, 286 Mich.App 137, 141; 778 NW2d 264 (2009). The court was
struck by the disparity of the sentences between someone who was sentenced prior
to, or after, October 1, 2004. Judge Fitzgerald wrote for the court,
“...[i]t is incongruous to find that a teen that engages in consensual sex and is
assigned to youthful trainee status after October 1, 2004, is not considered dangerous
enough to require registration, but that a teen that engaged in consensual sex and
was assigned to youthful trainee status before October 1, 2004, is required to register.
The implied purpose of the SORA, public safety, is not served by requiring an otherwise
law-abiding adult to forever be branded as a sex offender because of a juvenile transgression
involving consensual sex during a Romeo and Juliet relationship.” (P. 7).
The court decided that two questions needed answering; first, do the registration
and notification requirements of SORA impose punishment on a defendant? Second, do
the registration and notification requirements of SORA impose cruel and unusual punishment?
The court found the answer to both questions was YES.
The Michigan court concluded that Mr. Dipiazza,
“… is not a sexual predator, nor did the trial court deem him to be. Further, even
if defendant needed rehabilitation, SORA’s labeling him to be a convicted sex offender
works at an opposite purpose, preventing defendant from securing employment and otherwise
moving forward with his life plans.” (P. 11). Thus, the court held that as applied
to Mr. Dipiazza the requirement to register as a sex offender amounted to cruel and
unusual punishment. (Go back)