Life Sentence Possible for Adultery in Michigan

Via Raw Story, the Detroit Free Press has this unsettling report:

Michigan's second-highest court says that anyone involved in an extramarital fling can be prosecuted for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony punishable by up to life in prison.

"We cannot help but question whether the Legislature actually intended the result we reach here today," Judge William Murphy wrote in November for a unanimous Court of Appeals panel, "but we are curtailed by the language of the statute from reaching any other conclusion."

How is this possible?

"Technically," he added, "any time a person engages in sexual penetration in an adulterous relationship, he or she is guilty of CSC I," the most serious sexual assault charge in Michigan's criminal code.

The fact that Michigan prosecutors don't expect to charge every cheating John and Mary doesn't make the law any less threatening. What about a case where they want to bust someone for a serious crime but don't have the evidence. What's to prevent prosecutors from charging adultery instead?

The Michigan legislature needs to repeal this law.

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    correct me if i'm wrong (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 12:45:16 AM EST
    but i thought the laws against adultery were deemed unconstitutional infringements of the right to privacy, by the USSC? in fact, the laws against them in nearly every state in the union have been tossed, repeatedly, for that very reason.

    calling it something else doesn't make it something else.

    hmmmmmm (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 12:51:39 AM EST
    ah, the "law of unintended consequences". again, i don't think it will pass constitutional muster, should it go that far.

    wow (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jen M on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:38:49 AM EST
    those politicians must be feeling awfully safe.

    not a single one of them ever had a fling?

    All riiiiiight (none / 0) (#5)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 06:40:58 AM EST
    Now they just need to make that the mandatory minimum, and they'll have a Christianist paradise!

    Rev. Ted Haggard (none / 0) (#26)
    by aw on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 11:02:41 AM EST
    would do well to stay out of Michigan, though.

    so if (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jen M on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 07:13:12 AM EST
    a married woman gets raped..

    I would think there (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 07:18:49 AM EST
    would have to be some "intention" on her part to commit a felony.

    On the other hand, if the rapist is married.....


    Deeper than just adultery (none / 0) (#8)
    by uh clem on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 08:39:26 AM EST
    It's deeper than just adultery.  From TFA:
    The provision decrees that a person is guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct whenever "sexual penetration occurs under circumstances involving the commission of any other felony."
     Any other felony

    The way I read this is if someone smokes a joint and then has sex with his/her spouse, that's first-degree criminal sexual conduct.  Right?

    This stuff is just insane.

    Yes (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:31:33 AM EST
    And unless something has changed the pastr six years adultery is still a felony in Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, as well as in Michigan: I WANT YOU so bad

    If that's the case.... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:43:00 AM EST
    The way I read this is if someone smokes a joint and then has sex with his/her spouse, that's first-degree criminal sexual conduct.  Right?

    If that's the case....keep an eye out for me on America's Most Wanted next week.  I may be the worst sex offender in America today!...lol


    no (none / 0) (#20)
    by roy on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 02:29:50 PM EST
    Smoking a joint is not a felony.

    Okay (none / 0) (#21)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:03:05 PM EST
    If you want to be really technical, yes, they bust you for the pot in your possession, unless you have the ability to produce pot from thin air, in which case you're a lucky man.

    Now I'm nitpicking (none / 0) (#23)
    by roy on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:13:13 PM EST
    Simple possession isn't a felony either.

    And, even if you had enough pot on you to reach felony "intent to distribute" levels, the prosecutors would have to find a relationship between the pot and the sex in order to charge you with CSC I.  It's not enough to commit a felony and have sex on the same day.

    It's still a bad law, but only about 80% as crappy as it's being made out to be.


    You are correct (none / 0) (#22)
    by uh clem on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:14:49 PM EST
    According to  
    this site
    , posession is a misdemenor.  A bad example on my part.

    Here's a better one:  somebody growing a pot plant in their house and simultaneously having sex with his wife.  Felony + penetration == first degree criminal sexual conduct.


    The prosecutor can enhance the offense class (none / 0) (#24)
    by JSN on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:38:55 PM EST
    for repeat violations and being classified as a habitual criminal can be a felony depending on where you are arrested.  

    I wonder ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Sailor on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 10:57:48 AM EST
    ... if they can charge repeat violations for every penetration?

    True (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:42:55 AM EST
    Michigan seems to be on the leading edge of batsh*t here.

    btw - filters at public libraries block Talkleft for profanity - asterisks are good things ;-)

    Only in Red States... (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:05:38 AM EST
    Gee, I thought things like this happened only in Red States!

    What happened??

    Legislative bufoonery.... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:15:30 AM EST
    is a bi-partisan affair ol' buddy.

    Choose (none / 0) (#16)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:23:40 AM EST
    I thought things like this happened only in Red States!

    Do you consider that a good thing or a bad thing?


    RePack (1.00 / 2) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 12:45:42 PM EST
    Being a good MSM type reporter wannabe, I am merely asking a question.

    If you believe that you're awfully lonely. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 01:30:10 PM EST
    the sex offender registry (none / 0) (#17)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:26:52 AM EST
    Perhaps the true sex offender registry, if we were going to go by all the laws on the books,
    and if we were to assume that all persons who violated the law at some point in their lives, would include 30% or more the US population.

    Co-habitation also 1st Degree CSC in Michigan:) (none / 0) (#27)
    by mongertruth on Sat Jan 20, 2007 at 07:37:50 AM EST
    750.32 Adultery; cohabitation of divorced parties.

    Sec. 32.

    Cohabitation by divorced parties--If any persons after being divorced from the bonds of matrimony for any cause whatever, shall cohabit together, they shall be liable to all the penalties provided by law against adultery.

    With adultery now a 1st Degree CSC, it is about time to put an end to the government tolerance or indifference to this crime.  Many obvious criminals can finally be put in prison.  Unlike simple adultery, no requirements for "spousal" complaint appears to exist for "cohabitation" of divorced parties.  

    Seems pretty simple, look into the social work records, court records, school records, and even police records. Use the information in the vast databases to help prosecute these monsters.  Finally force medical and mental health professionals to turn in these adulterous animals when information about 1st Degree CSC is revealed in medical exams or therapy.  And, finally get these creeps off the streets and behind bars where they belong!

    Landlords need to be reminded that knowingly allowing divorced people to cohabit ate is also a crime since owners of properties that knowingly allow criminal activity to occur on their property are subject to prosecution too.  And certainly public schools teachers or other public institutions that receive tax monies should have to report suspected 1st Degree CSC when children of such unions or children exposed to these home environments are being forced to live with such monsters.  

    Protecting children is the most important thing a government can do.  The poor kids experiencing the degradation of living in a house where such perverted criminal activity happens need to taken away from these unfit parents and put into the loving and caring hands of Michigan's foster care system.  

    The number of willing confessions to all forms of adultery and related cohabitation seems to provide excellent opportunities to increase the prison populations, improve employment opportunities for probation officers and other correction-related careers not to mention help boost the job opportunities in most law enforcement and social work fields.  This seems like JOBS creation program anybody can get behind.  

    Besides, now that the government is re-affirming that adultery is as bad as rape, it is time to seriously consider chemical and even physical castration as perfectly appropriate punishment.   I just hope that legislature does not miss the opportunity to fund a thrust to imprison these sexual offenders.  

    Communities can benefit, obviously, by cleaning up neighborhoods where known perverts reside, but communities can also come together to fight this scourge.  Churches and community activists can sponsor "anonymous" reporting drives.  Everybody can be encourage to turn in somebody they know is guilty.  And, of course, who can object to that?  

    Getting these monsters on the Sexual Offender List, out of public housing, and into the consciousness of every community resident seems like just the best thing that could have happened in Michigan.  Finally, law that makes sense.

    2007 is turning out to be a very good year in Michigan.

    Ha ha (none / 0) (#28)
    by aw on Sat Jan 20, 2007 at 09:32:20 AM EST
    I'd love to see the farce that would follow trying to enforce it.