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People v Haynes

9-23-2008 Michigan:

People v Haynes
Docket No. 277185.

Defendant pleaded no contest to a charge of committing the “ abominable and detestable crime against nature” with a sheep.  MCL 750.158.   The trial court sentenced defendant as a fourth-offense habitual offender, MCL 769.12, to 30 to 240 months' imprisonment.   In addition, the trial court found that defendant's actions indicated sexual perversion, so the court ordered defendant to register under the Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA), MCL 28. 721 et seq.   This Court initially denied defendant's delayed application for leave to appeal,1 but our Supreme Court, in lieu of granting leave to appeal, remanded this case to this Court for consideration as on leave granted.   People v. Haynes, 477 Mich. 1067, 728 N.W.2d 868 (2007).   Defendant only appeals the propriety of the trial court's order requiring him to register as a sex offender.   We vacate the part of the trial court's order requiring defendant to register as a sex offender because the SORA does not apply to the portion of MCL 750.158 that prohibits bestiality.

... ... ...

The prosecution also advances a policy argument in support of its contention that bestiality is within the catchall “listed offense” provisions of the SORA.   Specifically, the prosecution argues, “It is unlikely that many people would not find the defendant's behavior disturbing, to the extent that it could endanger the ‘health, safety, morals, and welfare of the people, and particularly the children, of this state,’ ” quoting the Legislature's stated intent of the SORA in MCL 28.721a.   Our job, however, is to enforce the clear and unambiguous terms of the statute as written.  People v. Gardner, 482 Mich. 41, 50, 59, 753 N.W.2d 78 (2008);  Morey, supra at 330, 603 N.W.2d 250.   If the Legislature chooses to amend or revise MCL 28.722(e)(ii ) to require an individual to register as a sex offender for violating MCL 750.158 by sexually assaulting an animal, it may.   Gardner, supra at 59-60, 753 N.W.2d 78.   But this Court may not make the policy choice to require registration as a sex offender for the type of offense in the instant appeal.

We vacate that part of the trial court's order requiring defendant to register under the SORA.   We do not retain jurisdiction.

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