A Project of the University of Michigan Law School and the MDefenders Program

Motion arguing against suspicionless marijuana testing as a condition of pretrial release

This motion argues that, because the routine imposition of marijuana testing as a condition of release is at odds with the current legal, social, and scientific understanding about the risks posed by marijuana use, courts should exercise discretion and not impose a marijuana testing requirement as a pretrial condition of release unless there are specific reasons, beyond mere past […]

Expert Reports on Low Rates of Sex Offense Recidivism and the Counterproductive Impact of Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN) Requirements on Public Safety, Deterrence, and Recidivism

The ACLU of Michigan included these reports as exhibits in its recent litigation attacking the constitutionality of Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA). Does v. Whitmer (Does III), No. 22-cv-10209 (E.D. Mich.). The research cited in these reports — specifically on the low risk of recidivism among people convicted of sexual offenses and the counterproductive impact […]

Brief arguing that an individual sentenced to lifetime electronic monitoring and sex offender registration in Michigan is “in custody” for purposes of establishing federal jurisdiction to hear his habeas corpus petition

Although this is a habeas brief, pages 27-29 (p. 34-36 of the PDF) lay out how lifetime electronic monitoring burdens participation in civic and social life by causing adverse impacts on relationships, decreased psychological well being, and reduced employment opportunities. The data collected in this section could be useful to defenders in sentencing and/or pre-trial […]

Sentencing Memorandum for Elderly Client Convicted of Possession of Child Pornography

This sentencing memorandum marshals empirical research about the typical profile and risk assessment of someone convicted of possessing child pornography, along with research related to the client’s age and the impact of incarceration on recidivism/deterrence, to argue that the client is not dangerous or likely to reoffend. These arguments could also be used pretrial in […]