Michigan (WNEM) — A federal judge is considering arguments surrounding a long-standing case over Michigan’s sex offender registry.

Judge Robert Cleland’s decision could affect thousands of people who are currently on the sex offender list.

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In 2016, the court of appeals ruled that punishments couldn’t be applied to offenders convicted before changes were made to the law in 2006 and 2011. But to this date, the law hasn’t changed.

The ACLU argued against those parts of the registry, especially those impacting offenders retroactively placed on the lifetime registry.

Miriam Aukerman with the ACLU said it’s time for state legislators to reform the registry.

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“The system that we have right now is not only unconstitutional, it’s ineffective, it’s a total failure. We have a bloated and effective registry that makes Michigan families less safe. The loss sabotages people that are simply trying to get back into the community and lead productive lives,” Aukerman said.

The State argued that the court should be the ones to make certain changes to the registry and shouldn’t wait on lawmakers to do so.

The judge said he’s taking the arguments under advisement and will work on a ruling. His decision could affect around 44,000 people who have to register.

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