Articles

Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law is Unconstitutional

Filed under: Sex Crimes by Contributor @ November 17, 2018

On December 20, 2012, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) became effective and repealed and replaced all prior versions of Megan’s Law. On July 19, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided in Commonwealth v. Muniz, that the new SORNA requirements are punitive (punishment) and cannot be applied to a defendant retroactively. Essentially, as […]

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Complete Ban on Internet and Computer Use for Sex Offenders Will Rarely Be Upheld

Filed under: Criminal Law, Sex Crimes by Contributor @ November 11, 2018

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that, in sentencing a defendant, a judge may restrict the use of a computer and electronic devices, but the restrictions must be narrowly tailored to the actual danger the defendant poses to society. The court also noted that only rarely would a complete ban be tailored to […]

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Governor Wolf Signs House Bill 1952

Filed under: Sex Crimes by Contributor @ June 26, 2018

In July 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that the current version of Pennsylvania’s sexual offender registry law was punitive, making it unconstitutional to impose retroactively. The effects of this decision would have removed thousands of people from the registry who were sentenced before the current version of the state’s registration law (SORNA) took effect […]

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SORNA now dead in Pennsylvania – at least for now

Filed under: Criminal Law, Sex Crimes by Contributor @ January 23, 2018

The United States Supreme Court has denied the appeal of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s  ruling that Pennsylvania’s sex offender registration law was unconstitutional . Example sex offender registrant under Pennsylvania Law. This past summer, Jose Muniz, convicted in 2007 of indecent assault against a minor and a required registrant under the Sex Offender Registration and […]

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Court Cannot Determine SVP Status

Filed under: Sex Crimes by Contributor @ November 3, 2017

In Pennsylvania, an individual who is convicted of a sexually violent offense must be assessed before sentencing to determine if the individual should be designated as a “sexually violent predator” (SVP). After the assessment, a hearing is then held in which the Commonwealth must prove to the court, by clear and convincing evidence, that the […]

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