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148981 - People v Paul J Betts, Jr

The People of the State of Michigan,


Charles Justian





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Muskegon – Marietti, W.)


Paul J. Betts, Jr.,


Jessica Zimbleman





In 1993, defendant pled guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to serve 5 to 15 years in prison. He was paroled in 1999. In 2013, he pled nolo contendere (no contest) to failing to register under the Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA), MCL 28.721 et seq., conditioned on his ability to challenge the act’s constitutionality. The Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal for lack of merit in the grounds presented, with one judge being shown as would grant leave to appeal. The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on defendant’s application for leave to appeal to address: (1) whether the SORA requirements amount to “punishment,” see People v Earl, 495 Mich 33 (2014), see also Does # 1-5 v Snyder, 834 F3d 696, 703-706 (CA 6, 2016), cert den Snyder v John Does # 1-5, 138 S Ct 55 (Oct 2, 2017); and (2) whether defendant’s conviction pursuant to MCL 28.729 for failure to register under SORA is an ex post facto punishment, where the registry has been made public, and other requirements enacted, only after defendant committed the listed offense that required him to register, US Const, art I, § 10; Const 1963, art 1, § 10. Oral argument in this case will be held at the same session as People v Snyder (Docket No. 153696). ​