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PA: Cumberland County DA Freed to request U.S. Supreme Court review of sex offender decision

Roughly two weeks ago the Pennsylvania Supreme Court deemed the state’s current sex offender registration law to be punishment and ultimately barred by both the state and federal constitutions when applied retroactively.

That decision may now end up under review from the highest court in the country.

Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said Friday his office would ask the Supreme Court of the United States to review the decision, which was handed down on July 19. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Lovecraft

    I believe this will be the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back in regards to the scotus taking the snyder case. Granted we are talking state vs fed, but the Pennsylvania decision has some federal undertones with awa. I really think Kennedy wants to correct what was misunderstood (or ignored) during the smith v doe case, which he more or less referenced in the Packingham case. I serioisly doubt he would have gone that far off topic in the Packingham opinion unless there was good reason to do so. I realize that both the Michigan federal district and the Pennsylvania supreme court have ruled in favor of registrants and normally the scotus looks for a difference of opinion, but based on what I listed above this will be an exception to the rule.

    • Joe

      If the recent recommendation of the Solicitor General re Snyder is any indication of the way that the wind is blowing in DC, I think the SCOTUS will punt on this one because the decision essentially can stand on its own based on the PA Constitution and it doesn’t look like the Feds are hunting for any more cans of worms at this time after the NC case. Remember that the Ohio SC case never went any farther.

      • AJ

        @Joe
        That brief by the USSG was a complete defense of AWA by lighting SORA-MI on fire. USSG never addressed the questions that pertain to AWA and include two of the three elements of the question: in-person reporting, and offense-based tiers. So though it’s heartening the USSG says SORA-MI is wrong, their amicus is duplicitous as it regards to AWA.

  2. AJ

    Someone needs to explain to this DA that SCOTUS itself has long ago stated it has no jurisdiction over deciding whether a State law violates a State constitution. The PA SC clearly decided PA’s SORNA does just that. I guess the DA considers the Chief Justice as lone dissenter enough of a split to appeal–though I’m guessing were the decision the other way, he’d call it a resounding or clear statement from the Court and a decided matter. It doesn’t *matter* what the Federal outcome is, the State law violates the State constitution. The State is not allowed to follow a Federal law while violating State law, especially one like AWA where compliance is not mandatory. Hopefully PA’s Office of General Counsel is a bit smarter than this County DA seems to be and cedes the fight.

    Regardless, this is saddening news for those in PA who are helped by this decision and see the light at the end of the tunnel. If the State does apply for a stay, it may have a pretty good shot: PA is in the Third District, and that’s Justice Alito’s oversight. As ultra-right as he is, I can easily see him issuing a stay on the ruling, pushing the case into at least late-September for SCOTUS to decide whether to grant cert or not. (I think if it gets that far, SCOTUS may combine it with Snyder.) But…if even someone as far-right as Alito denies the State’s application for a stay, I think it’s game over for not only PA, but for the entire scheme. If that happens, hopefully PA will curl its tail, slink away and lick its wounds. I personally think that if Alito denies a stay, Snyder is pretty much decided in our favor. Given what denying a stay would signal and do, I’ll be stunned if Alito doesn’t issue one. But, say some prayers in earnest, cross your fingers, and stay tuned for what happens!

    It all boils down to what I’ve said before: all these cases will always go to the ultimate court of law available because the State refuses to admit defeat or the uselessness of the scheme, and the RC wants her/his rights back. PA’s probable action only bolsters my argument.

    As to the article itself, I thought it was one of the fairer and more-balanced of those that have been put out. I wonder if Longo would be willing to file an amicus on behalf of Does? 🙂 He doesn’t even believe in his own words that created this whole mess in 2003!

    Finally, I’m awfully tempted to start filing FOIA requests for discovery of these legislative findings. Let’s see if they ever actually did a finding (I’m sure they didn’t) or if it just came into being.

    • AJ

      Something occurred to me overnight that could also play out if/when PA appeals to Alito for a stay: he grants one on the Federal question only (which is really all he can do, due to jurisdictional limits). That will certainly gum up the DA’s plan to delay and delay. At that point, there would be zero recourse but to follow the State SC decision about the State laws. The end *is* coming for PA, they just cannot admit it and, IMO, want to be able to blame the court system for it to save face–and votes.

      • Paul

        AJ What if the PSP acts like nothing is going on? Why cant we get everyone together and contact Sam Stretton the attorney that argued for Reeds case that was attached to Muniz, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI9O0igMs5Y, and see what we can do?

        • AJ

          @Paul
          As I suggested in another post (http://all4consolaws.org/2017/07/pa-pennsylvania-supreme-court-finds-state-sex-offender-registration-law-punitive-and-thus-unconstitutional-to-apply-retroactively/#comment-181274), it’s definitely worth getting an attorney, Stretton or otherwise, to sue in STATE court to enforce the portion of the Opinion that cannot be appealed. The PA SC has ruled the State SORNA law violates the State constitution. The PSP must comply with this order from the highest court in the State. There is nothing about the Federal question that will reduce or remove this; anything at the Federal level can only strengthen your case.

          Here are the possible outcomes of any appeal by the State to SCOTUS:
          1. State is ex post facto (EPF), Federal is EPF: State must comply with Muniz decision and ignore both SORNA-PA and AWA.
          2. State is EPF, Federal is not: State must comply with Muniz decision and ignore SORNA-PA, but can opt to comply with AWA, or not comply and lose some funding.

          Again, it is VERY important to realize that SCOTUS itself long ago ruled that it has *no jurisdiction* over whether a State law violates a State constitution. SCOTUS can only review whether a State law violates the US Constitution. The State’s state-level case is done, and they lost.

          • Paul

            Thanks brother. I hope everyone pre SORNA steps up and floods the courts on this if we don’t hear from PSP soon on what their plans are.

            • AJ

              @Paul
              PSP will not act on its own. It will only act on guidance from the Governor, perhaps through the AG or some “top cop” in the Executive branch. It’ll be interesting to see if the Office of General Counsel in the Governor’s office wants to continue a fight picked by this DA. Some calls and/or letters to the Governor about this probably can’t hurt.

              Just remember, you’re on the right side of the moral fight. Good luck!

              • Michael

                Attorney General is an elected position. Shapiro’s allegiance is to the law, not to the Governor. The way it would work is, Attorney General Josh Shapiro would issue a formal opinion to the Pennsylvania State Police to remove offenders.

                ….

                • AJ

                  @Michael
                  1.) That the AG is an elected position is irrelevant and moot. Or do you have reason to claim that elected versus appointed changes the task and role of an Attorney General? Is the task and role of the PA-AG (elected) materially different from that of US-AG Jeff Sessions (appointed)? Aside from scope and jurisdiction, I would say not.
                  2.) Your statement of, “”the way it would work,” is off the mark. Taking your own words that, “Shapiro’s allegiance is to the law,” that would mean he is not even allowed an opinion, he must follow the law. Besides, the PA SC has already given the only opinion that matters, and the final one at that.
                  The AG must now follow it–no “opinion” allowed. My earlier statement that either the AG or someone from the Gov’s office would give guidance (read: order) the PSP what to do was without my researching the structure of PA government. (Pardon me for thinking it unnecessary.) However, as the Organizational Chart of the PSP shows (http://www.psp.pa.gov/About%20Us/Documents/PSP%20Org%20Chart.pdf) and given the fact that the Commissioner of the PSP (this would be the “top cop” I mentioned in my earlier post) is an appointed position requiring confirmation by the Legislature, it would indicate he is part of the Governor’s office, i.e. the Executive Branch. In other words, Michael, the AG really has nothing to do with it. The Governor, being required to uphold the laws of PA–including those decided by SC rulings–will direct the Commissioner to ensure compliance, and the Commissioner will direct it down the line to whomever.

                  THAT, is, “the way it would [and will] work.”

                  • Michael

                    “… was without my researching the structure of PA government.”

                    So what you are saying is, you are talking out of your ass, and have no idea what you are talking about. Gotcha!

                    Personally, I don’t talk out of my ass. Nor do any of the attorney’s I have talked to who have all said the same thing I have. The AG, as top law enforcement officer, would need to issue his formal opinion to the PSP.

                    As far as the Office of General Counsel goes:

                    “The Office of General Counsel seeks to be one of the nation’s preeminent government legal offices by utilizing best practices in organization, hiring, training, supervision, use of technology and outside counsel management and by effective co-operation with the Office of Attorney General in its provision of legal services to the Commonwealth.”

                    The OGC does things like reviewing and preparing contracts for the Commonwealth, negotiating investments, issues with prevailing wage rates, the constitutionality of the Education Empowerment Act, and state funding of Pennsylvania’s public schools to name a few.

                    ….

                    • AJ

                      @Michael
                      I hadn’t at that point done the research because my statement as originally posted sufficed. I had essentially said, “whoever is in charge of the PSP below the Governor in the Executive Branch,” would issue the order. I’m sorry, for you, that it was beyond your comprehension. Once you spouted your nonsense about the AG issuing an opinion to the PSP, it needed specifics, and I provided it.

                      I don’t care what your supposed bevy of lawyers said. Given your propensity towards exaggeration in previous posts, I seriously doubt they even exist. I choose to use PA’s own Organizational Chart, previously supplied and a record of fact.

                      You can cut and paste the PR splash from the web pages all you want, but explain this one to me: why would the DA say it’s up to the Office of General Counsel? Would not he know whether it’s the General Counsel or the Attorney General (his boss)?

                      Finally, just what “opinions” are available to the AG to issue to the PSP? Can the AG give his “opinion” that they don’t need to follow direction of the PA Supreme Court? Maybe your six-foot named friend named Harvey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_(film))…er…the attorneys you’ve talked to can explain that.

                      “Personally, I don’t talk out of my ass”
                      Keep trying, someday it will actually be true beyond your own mind.

                    • AJ

                      @Michael
                      Just so you understand what an AG’s opinion is: http://drexellaw.libguides.com/c.php?g=366020&p=2473482

                      I’ll save you the step of incorrectly jumping on a sentence from that site: “The Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is sometimes asked to issue written opinions about the constitutionality of a law or other legal matters.”
                      You keep saying the AG will issue an opinion. Well, I hate to break it to you, but he has none to give. The PA SC opinion, which carries a completely different definition (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Court+Opinion), blunts the possibility of any opinion by the AG. Prior to the case, the AG could have provided his opinion, which would have been nothing more than his professional estimation of an outcome. Since the SC has issued its opinion, the only thing left is to issue direction to PSP. Sorry, but no opinions left. Not for the AG, not for anyone in PA.

                      I’m guessing you’ll probably jump on some minor issue, as you’re wont to do, and will never reply to the underlying question. So let’s get it out there for you: in regards to the Muniz case and the PA SC’s State-level decision in it, what are the possible opinions the AG has at his disposal to give to an officer, employee, department, or agency of the PA Government?

  3. Won't go down without a losing fight?

    Is this a political maneuver by the DA to save his job to show he did what he could do and did not take it lying down? You know, a losing fight CYA?

  4. New Person

    An excerpt from the article:
    ==========================
    Blasko said the notion of high recidivism rates for all of the people on the registry is not true.

    A wide-scale study released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2016 looking at inmates who were released from prison found only 5 percent of people convicted of rape went on to be arrested for a new sexual offense within three years of their release.

    Between 2013 and 2016, there were more than 300 charged sexual offense cases in Cumberland County.

    Less than 2 percent of those cases involved defendants on the state sex offender registry, according to an analysis of court records conducted by The Sentinel.
    ==========================

    Notice how this statistic was presented. It was presented of sex offender over total charged sexual offenses. It comes out to less than 2%.

    This is similar to CASOMB’s results, but CASOMB recorded it at less than 1%.

    Alito was trying to manipulate statistics in a skewed way, comparing re-offense rate with non-re-offense rates. Then stating registrants are five times more dangerous to recidivate by NOT USING total charged sexual offenses.

  5. Tj

    Freed himself has called the registry punishment. Freed said the low number of defendants on the sex offender registry may also be an indicator the policies are working.

    “Would they be more likely to do so if we didn’t have a registry?” he said. “I can’t answer that. … Is it effective? That’s the question for all these punishments.”

    • AJ

      @Tj
      Source URL? That would also be sweet for the PD attorneys to use in any court filing or argument. 🙂

    • HOOKSCAR

      Ahhhhh. The ever present word “punishment”. Makes me feel all warm inside knowing that the people in charge are starting to have loose lips. Remember, this mess was justified only because it was argued that the registry is regulatory.
      Keep calling it punishment. I give the registry 10 years of life left. For Sex crimes. They will have to find a new piñata to smack around. DUI or opioids?
      unless of course SCOTUS acts as ignorant as they did in Smith vs Doe.

      • AJ

        @HOOKSCAR
        I’ll take the under on that “10 years” call. 🙂

        As for SCOTUS, the Opinions in CT DPS and Smith both showed some level of concern by SCOTUS about the whole deal, but it was legal in the rational-basis review those cases merited and in the way the were argued (think PDP mistake in CT DPS). I think they’ve seen what a monster they let loose upon otherwise-free citizens (read: you and me), and are ready to (quoting Dennis Miller), “stomp it like a narc at a biker rally.”

      • Joe123

        I’d give the registry 5 years max remaining before it’s gone, at least the registry that we know today. There is just too much momentum already that points in the right direction.

        • Cool RC

          Another 5 years on the list?

        • AJ

          @Joe123
          Yup, I’m with you on that 5 years range and the momentum. I think it will eventually–perhaps beyond 5 years–return to police-only information for the most part. The only people the public will know about will be high-risk offenders. I’m not giving judgment or opinion on the validity of such a thing, just giving opinion on where I think society will land. Non-SORNA states seem to get along just fine with this sort of system, and have similar recidivism rates as SORNA or SORNA-plus states…and don’t spend nearly the money on the programs.

  6. SB

    Any talk of a class action law suit against the state for violating our constitutional rights? Sign me up!

    • Paul

      I’m in Has anyone hired a lawyer to seek relief? I’m thinking of paying to have a petition sent to the sentencing court.

    • Leroy Spann

      Sign me up also my life have been a living hell. I couldn’t keep a job or get hire for one plus young lady would run from me that really made me feel like I was less than human.

    • Lovecraft

      That is an awesome article mainly for the fact Freed does use the word punishment and even leaves the whole question of the registry open ended. He doesnt seem compeltely convinced.

      “Would they be more likely to do so if we didn’t have a registry?” he said. “I can’t answer that. … Is it effective? That’s the question for all these punishments.”

    • New Person

      That’s a great article! Sets up context and reveals no difference before and after the enactment of ML.

    • AJ

      @Tj
      Thanks much for that link. The article is golden, and the quote from Freed is priceless. Hopefully the PD attorneys capture this quote from him for any briefs they need to file if/when PA decides to appeal to SCOTUS.

      It makes me wonder as to whether DA Freed is simply an attack dog, doing as he’s told. His quote is definitely at odds with his actions.

  7. Joe

    My experience is that it is NOT the police who are causing registrants like me problems where you aren’t subject to some crazy housing restrictions, etc. It is the card carrying members of the general public who see me on the interwebz. That is what destroyed any attempts I made to make a living after perusing the registry became a hobby for a lot of folks who don’t even live in my neighborhood around 2009-2010.

  8. Who removes from list

    After reading DA Freed recent decision to proceed with asking for a review by the US Supreme Court.

    Here is another obstacle he will have to over come….

    Scenario: Say that the US Supreme Court does grant his attempt to move forward to an appeal. There is on stand by, two other decisions, Commonwealth v Reed and Commonwealth v Gilbert, both of which addressed the same issues of ex post facto, punishment, and right to reputation.

    Both Reed and Gilbert will more than likely receive the same decision, SORNA is punishment, therefore is unconstitutional if applied retroactively.

    With this said, DA Freed can only ask for the appeal on the Muniz Decision.

    The other two DA’s that handle the Reed and Gilbert appeals, have to appeal there own case.

    Now we all watched the DA for the Reed appeal, he did not even know the constitution in PA. He may not want to go up against the US Supreme Court because of his lack of knowledge. If he makes a choose to not file for appeal in his case, then again PRE SORNA will be removed. DA Freed cant stop it from happening on this case.

    Who knows what the DA in the Gilbert Appeal would do, however, THREE MAJORS DECISIONS all in the favor of punishment, holds weight for the US Supreme Court, why would he US Supreme Court want a build a bad relationship with the PA Supreme Court why would they want to over turn 3 VERY THOUGHT OUT DECISIONS, by the PA SUPREME COURT.

    I feel that if DA Freed, does get granted an appeal opportunity, the US Supreme Court may not “stay” the decision of Muniz, because there is a state constitution violation in the decision of Muniz. My husband still feels like he 4500 others will start receiving letters from PSP with in the next 30 days.

    They can “stay” the federal, however I believe there hands my be tied with the state ruling by the PA Supreme Court.

    I am not a lawyer, but my husband has followed Muniz Case for 2 year now and he reads and followed it closely, he is educated and looks up all cases in the fight, read Commonwealth v Koch, his decision in May 2017 was on stand by due waiting for Muniz Decision. He was convicted of a failure to register under SORNA, he was not to be on SORNA, due to the MUNIZ DECISION. His case will be a huge victory that even if you were convicted of SORNA violations and you werent supposed to be on SORNA due to the MUNIZ DECISION, cases will be overturned and people will be released from prison. PRE SORNA CITIZENS.

    The decision of Muniz wasn’t a decision based off how the PA Supreme Court felt about Sex Offenders, it was about doing the right thing for citizens of the PA AND THE USA.

    The US Supreme Court knows the PA Supreme Court decision was based off of law and not feeling, because if it was about feeling, the Sex Offender would of lost.

    They looked at Muniz as a person and not a Sex Offender when they made this decision.

    Back to Reed and Gilbert, the Muniz Decision will be used to decide those two cases.

    As my husband allows says to me, “I may be a Sex Offender in the eyes of the world, but I am father, husband, to his wife and children.”

    Keep your heads up, DA Freed may win his opportunity to be heard again, with more than likely the same outcome, but we all know that STATE DECISION may just get PRE SORNA CITIZENS either off the list or back to MEGANS LAW 3.

    • AJ

      @Who removes from list
      Just so you’re completely understanding what can happen with Muniz: only the *Federal* question of whether PA-SORNA violates the US Constitution can be appealed. The question as to whether it violates the *State* constitution is settled…the PA SC is the court of last resort for that question.

      As I’ve said a couple times in other posts, SCOTUS, spealking about itself in 1798(!), said, “this Court has no jurisdiction to determine that any law of any state legislature contrary to the Constitution of such state is void.” (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/3/386/case.html) Again: The United States Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over whether a State law violates a State constitution. Period. It doesn’t matter what any DA, AG, Governor, or whomever wishes; it’s long-ago settled case law. There is no recourse for the State-level question from Muniz. In the words of Lili Von Shtupp, Muniz at the State level is, “finished. Fertig! Verfallen! Verlumpt! Verblunget! Verkackt!” (http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0010018/quotes)

  9. Who removes from list

    Copied from an article – in Michigan? Did the US Supreme Court stay the ruling or not in Michigan??

    In November of 2016.

    LANSING — A U.S. Supreme Court justice on Tuesday denied Michigan’s request to halt a lower court decision that found the state unconstitutionally put new restrictions on registered sex offenders long after their convictions.

    Justice Elena Kagan’s decision means law enforcement can no longer retroactively enforce 2006 and 2011 changes to the country’s fourth-largest sex offender list while the state pursues an underlying appeal in the high court, said Miriam Aukerman, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

    The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August said Michigan’s revisions, which included restricting sex offenders’ movements near schools and listing many on the registry for life, retroactively penalized offenders as “moral lepers” and there is “scant” evidence that the law accomplishes goals such as reducing recidivism. Kagan rejected Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s emergency appeal to block the ruling. His office still plans to ask the high court to review the appellate court’s decision.

    In a filing last week, Schuette warned that the 6th Circuit’s ruling would take effect early this week unless a stay was granted. He said the state should be able to appeal “without being forced to make costly, time-consuming, and complex changes to its sex-offender registry and enforcement protocols that may prove unnecessary should this Court decide to grant review.”

    A Schuette spokeswoman said the office was reviewing the decision. The Michigan State Police, which maintains the list, issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies on Oct. 14 notifying them of the earlier appellate opinion.

    “We have instructed law enforcement officers to consult with their prosecutor’s office prior to taking any enforcement action related to the 2006 and 2011 amendments to Michigan’s” Sex Offenders Registration Act, agency spokeswoman Shanon Banner said.

    AND IN RELATED NEWS:

    The DOJ/Acting Person, who US SUPREME COURT asked for his personal opinion, has REQUESTED the US SUPREME COURT NOT TO HEAR THE APPEAL ON THE MICHIGAN EX POST FACTO RULING!!

    Hope this gives you hope, my husband just located this!!

  10. Michael

    The question is, what does Josh Shapiro think about the courts decision? It won’t much matter what any District Attorney does if Shapiro is going to abide by the courts decision and instruct PSP to start removing people from the database.

    ….

    • AJ

      @Michael
      PA AG Shapiro can only do one thing in regards to the State-level portion of the Opinion: accept it as law. Every citizen and agency or department in PA must do that. AG Shapiro has no option. However, he can, as you state, decide whether or not to appeal the Federal question, regardless of a DA’s desires.

      On another note, as the article–and DA Freed himself–states, “[u]ltimately, what [the PSP does] is up to them and the Governor’s Office of General Counsel.” The *Governor’s Office* of General Counsel, which will act on orders from the Governor. Get that? Not the AG. The AG will not, “instruct PSP,” as it’s not his job or authority. The Commissioner of the PSP, who serves at the pleasure of the Governor, will do the instructing.

      • Michael

        The Office of General Counsel is, in effect, the same as a Solicitor General. The AG is the Commonwealth’s chief law enforcement officer.

  11. mike r

    Federal courts do have the power and jurisdiction to block state laws..

    A federal judge Thursday granted a request by attorneys for the National Rifle Assn. to block a law that requires Californians to dispose of large-capacity ammunition magazines by Saturday or face fines and possible jail time.

    U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez wrote in San Diego that the rights of voters who approved Proposition 63 in November have to be balanced against the rights of gun owners.

    • Michael

      That decision had nothing to do with the law in regards to CA’s Constitution. State constitutions must be in line with the US Constitution, and may not infringe on any rights granted by the US Constitution. Did the law violate the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is the question.

      ….

  12. mike r

    This is a great quote…Good find..

    Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed “Would they be more likely to do so if we didn’t have a registry?” he said. “I can’t answer that. … Is it effective? That’s the question for all these punishments.”
    http://cumberlink.com/news/local/closer_look/digital_data/crime-review-a-look-at-the-effectiveness-of-sex-offender/article_a9923f58-9d65-5379-9670-eb08ad9d6620.html

  13. who removes from list

    As of now, my husband is researching case law daily.

    In a recent decision, by Superior Court, granted to withdraw a plea of guilt, August 3, 2017, Commonwealth v Peebles, Bucks County Pa. Failure to register under SORNA as a sex offender was his crime.

    Summary: He was convicted in 2010, a PRE SORNA sex offense. He took an open plea in late 2016 for failure to register under SORNA, he was sentences outside the guidelines and the Superior Court just granted Peebles a withdraw of his plea agreement for excessive sentence to an open plea. Superior Court Agreed and granted withdrawal of his plea agreement.

    The superior court decision for Peebles to withdraw plea was today Aug 3 2017.

    Peebles would not have known the Muniz Decision was going to come out during his Superior Court appeal. But it did, on July 19 2017.

    NOW, Peebles is PRE-SORNA sex offense conviction. As of July 19 2017, he should not be under SORNA.

    Just a thought, his attorney, knowing the MUNIZ DECISION effects Peebles, due Peebles sex offense was prior to SORNA in 2010. Are these SORNA VIOLATIONS against him valid or legal?

    Could the attorney use the MUNIZ DECISION in Peebles favor and arguement to drop the charges, stating that due to the recent decision of Muniz, and the fact he was allowed to withdraw his plea agreement for failure to register under SORNA making him an “innocent until proven guilty” defendant again?

    As of now, Peebles, should not be register under SORNA or can not be convicted for a failure to register under SORNA requirements, if he was PRE SORNA, his conviction to his only sex crime was in 2010 prior to SORNA. SORNA cannot be applied to him, due its added punishment, and unconstitutional.

    Peebles should not be required to register under SORNA, therefore he is innocent until proven guilty at the moment the superior court decided to allow him to withdraw his plea of guilt, as of today August 3 2017.

    As of now Peebles is an innocent man accused of SORNA VIOLATIONS, back into the trial phase of his 2015 failure to register conviction under SORNA.

    However, the MUNIZ DECISION applied to Peebles, being convicted of his sex offense prior to SORNA, that SORNA cannot be applied to him retroactively, therefore, his charges would be illegal against him too, because he is innocent until proven guilty???

    The MUNIZ DECISION says he doesnt need to comply with SORNA, so how can BUCKS COUNTY PA prosecute Peebles now that he has the MUNIZ decision as his defense, he is innocent as of today, because they withdrew his plea of guilt, and now the MUNIZ DECISION can be used as his argument, may get the charges dismissed against him, moving forward in his new trial phase.

    My husband will keep an eye on this case for you!

    Any insight AJ??

    http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Superior/out/j-s41043-17m%20-%2010319752222423106.pdf#search=%22sorna 2017%22

    • AJ

      @who removes from list
      First and foremost: I am neither an attorney, nor do I live in PA. Therefore, anything I say is merely conjecture and personal opinion.

      I read the court document you supplied, and I’m a bit confused. From what I read, it was a motion to request withdrawal of counsel (presumably a Public Defender, given the Appellee), not any motion to vacate his guilty plea. From the first paragraph of the decision: “We affirm and grant counsel’s petition to withdraw.” From the last paragraph: “Judgment of sentence affirmed; counsel’s petition to withdraw is granted.” What’s of particular interest in this paragraph is the statement “[j]udgment of sentence affirmed.” In other words, even if this decision were about Mr. Peebles requesting to have the plea vacated, it was denied (“sentence affirmed”). This pretty much ends the discussion.

      Mind you, I have zero specific knowledge about PA’s current or historical registration schemes, including when PA started requiring supplying Internet IDs. That said, Peebles having been convicted under (PA) SORNA may be irrelevant. The question is whether the requirement to register social media IDs was instituted with SORNA or it was already in effect (via ML II, ML III, etc.) when SORNA was passed. If it were already in effect, the recent decision about SORNA has absolutely no bearing. If the requirement were created with SORNA’s passage, he may have a case. Mr. Peebles would obviously be best served by enlisting legal counsel licensed in PA. And, based on that doc you posted, he’s in need of new counsel!

      • Who removes from list

        PRE SORNA REQUIREMENTS in PA ONLY REQUIRED, VEHICLE, RESIDENCE, SCHOOL, EMPLOYMENT.

        And SORNA added internet identifiers as one the many unconstituional retroactive requirements to PRE SORNA applied to Peebles.

        Yes, his conviction for a Facebook Account, is illegal based off the Muniz Decision.

        But the Muniz Decision, says the statute is unconstitutional retroactively applied to convictions before Dec 20 2012.

        Therefore it would not matter what Peebles is convicted of under SORNA, he is Pre Sorna and at the moment SORNA does not apply!

        • AJ

          @who removes from list
          He will need to wait until the Muniz case is settled as to the Federal question, since Internet IDs are also required under US-SORNA. This could easily push things into Sep/Oct, or even later if SCOTUS decides to accept and schedules oral argument.
          I don’t think Peebles should push too hard anytime soon; PA might be able to drop the (unconstitutional) state charges and raise Federal charges. I have no idea what the FTR penalty is with the Feds.

          • who removes from list

            Peebles wasn’t Federally charged with a crime. He was charged by the Commonwealth of PA. He was not required to register a internet identifier prior to SORNA enhancements. As of the the Muniz Decision Stands Strong. He is legally innocent of his failure to register, because at the moment, SORNA does not apply.

            DA Freed has only requested the review of the US Supreme Court.

            My husband has also made me aware and asked me to write this on this site.

            Commonwealth v Gilbert and Commonwealth v Reed Decisions are around the corner both raised arguments on Right to Reputation and Ex Post Facto Laws.

            Even if DA Freed gets the approval to be heard, the DA’s for the other counties have to ask for the request also separate from DA Freed.

            Once these decisions come out, based off the Muniz Decision then Reed and Gilbert will also state and could possible require or mandate the PSP to remove the ones that were PRE SORNA and give them a deadline.

            DA Freed is now going up against the PA Supreme Court.

            He isnt going up against a register sex offender anymore. He is trying to use the US Supreme Court to win his case against the PA Supreme Court. DA Freed can’t win, present or speak of the Reed or Gilbert appeals because he has nothing to do with them.

            As my husband said, its a matter of time, two more decisions to follow the Muniz Decision.

            Two more decisions to mandate or “legally motivate” the removal of PRE SORNA back to there old Megan’s Law Rules or removal completely.

            • AJ

              @who removes from list
              “Peebles wasn’t Federally charged with a crime. He was charged by the Commonwealth of PA.”
              I was opining that PA may consider referring the case to the Feds, if they are able. If SORNA-US applies, PA is certainly within its purview to refer the case for federal prosecution. If it applies. IF. Even then, the Feds would have to decide whether they wish to pursue it. They may decline.

              “He is legally innocent of his failure to register, because at the moment, SORNA does not apply.”
              If SORNA “at the moment” doesn’t apply, then one could also argue that only “at the moment” is he “legally innocent.” For this sort of reasoning alone, I can easily see PA wanting to wait until the Federal question is settled–regardless the possible futility of doing so.

              “DA Freed is now going up against the PA Supreme Court. He isnt going up against a register sex offender anymore. He is trying to use the US Supreme Court to win his case against the PA Supreme Court.”
              This makes no sense. The DA has no appeal of the PA SC regarding the State law being unconstitutional. None. The only thing the DA (PA, actually) can appeal is the Federal question as to whether SORNA-US is Federally unconstitutional. So there’s really no, “going up against the PA Supreme Court,” by DA Freed, or anyone else in the Commonwealth of PA. The best outcome PA can expect from any appeal is that SORNA-US is constitutional and SORNA-PA is unconstitutional. The only other outcome is SORNA-US is also found to be unconstitutional (let’s all hope and root for that!!). But no matter what, SORNA-PA is settled. There’s nothing left to win on the State question, because there’s no further appeal available.

              “Even if DA Freed gets the approval to be heard, the DA’s for the other counties have to ask for the request also separate from DA Freed.”
              It’s doubtful it will be DA Freed who gets to decide whether to file the appeal, and it probably will not be him or his office filing the appeal to SCOTUS/Alito. It will be the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, most likely originating out of the office of the Attorney General, but it could just as easily come from the Governor. As the boss of all the DAs in PA, the AG’s/Gov’s appeal would be able to cover all three cases at once.

              The other two court cases will probably either start dragging their feet to see if PA appeals prior to August 19, or they may just rule based off Muniz and let the cases be merged for appeal of the Federal question. From what was posted elsewhere on here, if PA has not filed an appeal of the Federal question prior to August 19, the PSP will that same day start working on removal notifications. Based on your information, that would include Reed and Gilbert.

              • Paul

                Talked to ML section PSP today they said they have no new info. said waiting to hear what AGs offices says to do. I asked if the two 10 yr reg combining together to make life reg will keep me on reg she said no the two 10 yr thing is gone because of the A.S. decision. I’m tier three right now because of the 2012 change to Indecent assault 7, I have two 10 yr reg one changed to life because of SORNA. So I’m hoping if the Muniz decision kills the IA7 tier three thing then the AS decision should force them to revert me back to 10yr reg witch i have already served and they will have to take me off. Has anyone heard if DA Freed has field an appeal? some say he has 30days others say 90. Also I’ve heard that PA can appeal to SCOUS on the Muniz PA constitutionality also, because it was a split decision. Anyone know if this is true?

                • AJ

                  @Paul:
                  What is the “A.S. decision”? As for the appeal time line PA has, it’s 30 days to apply for a stay from the SCOTUS Justice (Alito) who oversees the 3rd Circuit. If he were to grant a stay (injunction), it will freeze the decision about SORNA-US being Federally unconstitutional. PA also has 90 days to petition SCOTUS to take the case, but again this would only affect the Federal part of the decision. (Note: if SCOTUS accepts the petition, they would also almost assuredly issue a stay, regardless of how many days since.) There is not a court in the land (besides the PA SC itself) that can change the decision that SORNA-PA violates the PA Constitution. That is the important thing for all PA RCs to know: SORNA-PA is done for, and nothing to do with SCOTUS or appeals can or will change that. Absolutely, positively cannot. The court of last resort for deciding whether a State law violates a State constitution is that State’s Supreme Court. That it was a split decision has no bearing on anything, even if it were able to be appealed.

                  So in short: 1) SORNA-PA is dead and there is no way it can be revived. None. PA Legislature can (try to) create another, similar law, but PA SC may swat that one down, too. For now, there is no SORNA-PA, and the State must make all RCs whole according to what was in existence prior to SORNA-PA.
                  2) SORNA-US is, for the time being, dead for PA residents, but may get reinstated depending whether SCOTUS issues a stay or agrees to hear it. I foresee it being highly likely that SCOTUS will accept this petition. (If they don’t, it pretty much is game over for SORNA-US.)

                  What this all means is that you shouldn’t really worry much at all about the 30- or 90-day appeal issue. Why PSP, et al, have felt they could or should wait 30 days or whatever is beyond me, as it doesn’t change SORNA-PA being unconstitutional. In fact, I’m surprised no attorney has pushed this exact issue with the PA SC and have the court compel the State to start complying with the opinion. There is ZERO reason to be delaying complying with the State-level decision from Muniz. To me, every day the State has willingly and knowingly delayed has been harm to those improperly kept on the registry.

                  • Paul

                    Wow Thanks AJ here is the A.S. case it struck down the law that took anyone with two or more ten year reg offenses that they said made life reg Court said you have to commit a crime be sentenced have a chance to reform then commit another crime and be convicted for it to apply as life time http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/J-36-2016mo%20-%201027723548619209.pdf?cb=1

                    https://www.premierdefensegroup.com/blog/pa-supreme-court-two-or-more-convictions-sorna/

                    • Paul

                      Just got a hold of Aaron Marcus from the appellate division defender association Philly. He said he will be sending out letters to some attorneys regarding the appeals to SCOUS. I asked how they are doing this on the state decision he said its because of the 5-1 decision in part and that they are trying to say it is a federal issue and not a state issue, he said he dosen’t think they are going to get far with it.

                    • AJ

                      @Paul:
                      Unless PA has a requirement that Supreme Court decisions must be unanimous (which is obviously doesn’t), the split decision is absolutely a moot point. (I’d love to see how many split decisions the State has used to its benefit over time!) As to it being a federal issue, it is…but it’s ALSO a state issue. They can argue the federal issue with SCOTUS, but the Feds didn’t enact SORNA-PA, PA did. Therefore, it is impossible for SORNA-PA to be a Fed issue. Even though the Muniz case was about a Federal issue, the PA SC ruled on the state issue as well– a twofer. The state issue is settled case law in PA. Period. As he said, they won’t get far (as in: nowhere).

                    • Paul

                      After listening to Aaron Marcus on the NARSOL pod cast I think the PASC will give more detail or guidance when they give their opinion on the Reed case and the other that was combined with Muniz. Hope that would counter act the PSP using a stay issued by the feds as a reason not to start giving relief to pre SORNA RCs

                    • AJ

                      @Paul:
                      “Hope that would counter act the PSP using a stay issued by the feds as a reason not to start giving relief to pre SORNA RCs”

                      Any “stay issued by the feds” can only apply to the federal portion of the case. As I’ve said a number of times: there is NO court or judge in the country, aside from the PA SC itself, who can stop or undo the decision about SORNA-PA being in violation of the PA Constitution. Even it if were found to be federally constitutional, it *still* violates the PA constitution.

  14. who removes from list

    My husband wanted to allow you know his today’s research.

    Pa Supreme Court Applied Muniz Decision because is it now LAW! – Read this Leroy Spann decision. Even though its a concurring statement, it says they still have to applied Muniz Decision even though they dont agree!

    http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/concurring%20statement%20-%20affirmed-reversed%20-%2010321130522850710.pdf#search=%22sorna 2017%22

    • AJ

      @who removes from list:
      Sorry, I just saw this posting from you. Very nice! I’m glad to see the courts are implementing it, though I find it sad the judge had to insert so much personal opinion. Anyway, this reinforces my argument that PA/PSP has ZERO valid reason to be waiting for 30 days to expire. They are now 28 days overdue in making RCs in PA whole. Disgusting that they act this way.

      I do agree with the judge in this document that it was unusual for the PA SC to go beyond the Federal question and also address and strike down the State question. But, they gave reason for doing so, and I think they did it to make Muniz the final statement, with no room for legal hi-jinks down the road. What the PA SC did was incredible for PA RCs. Hopefully that’s realized. Such a wonderful victory!

  15. Who removes from list

    My husband wanted me to tell everyone that if you go to Pa Supreme Court Judicial Page, go to search and type SORNA 2017. You can see another Victory applying the Muniz Decision. He checks it daily and be has been praying for all of you who violated SORNA requirements when you were not to be under it to begin with. God is watching over all of us, white, black, spanish, chinese, japanese, muslim, Christian, jewish, and even a sexual sin offender. God set PA sex offenders free and this case will be the case to sway other states to fix there policies! God cares and in one moment and only on his time, July 19 2017, Commomwealth V Muniz, God showed he exists for my husband, other sex offenders, and families effects by SORNA. Rc, sex offenders, etc, whatever human label you here from someone, just as my husband was given a name, he isnt and will never be offended by the words sex offender. That is why I use it in my writings. He knows his heart and humbles to the feelings of others. Thats why he is a successful sex offender.

  16. Who removes from list

    My husband located another one for all of you!

    http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Superior/out/memorandum%20-%20vacated-remanded%20-%2010321483522896211.pdf

    Vacated and remanded back to lower court for sentencing to old megans law, applied Muniz Decision.

    • Harry

      The word “punishment” shows up in a court decision. A good one to bookmark.

    • AJ

      @w.r.f.l.
      Nice! Have you or hubby found any update on whether PA has asked or will ask for a stay of the decision as to the Federal question? The State only has until tonight at midnight (ET) to apply…time’s wasting away for them!

      • Paul

        From Theresa Robertson
        NARSOL PA Contact today

        I’m not aware of any moves on the part of PSP to address the Muniz decision. The DA has 90 days from the date of the decision to file a request for the US Supreme Court to review the case for appeal. My guess is that PSP will wait to see if the request for review will be filed. If not, they will have to do something. If it is we will need to wait another 6 months or so before the US Supreme Court decides whether to hear the case or not. If they don’t then PA will need to move. If they do then it will be years before PSP has to act. Also, there are 2 cases related to Muniz that we are waiting to hear how the PA Supreme Court is going to decide. It is possible that the opinions in these cases will proved more direction to the PSP.

        I’ve added you to our PA mailing list so that you will receive any news that we get regarding this matter.

        Best,
        Theresa

        Theresa Robertson
        NARSOL PA Contact

        • Who removes from list

          http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Superior/out/memorandum%20-%20vacated-remanded%20-%2010321483522896211.pdf

          http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/concurring%20statement%20-%20affirmed-reversed%20-%2010321130522850710.pdf#search=%22sorna

          My husband wants you to realize the courts arent waiting around they are just see if the US Supreme Court is going to hear the appeal. Court orders will be the best idea, Harrisburg Pa has one who specializes in Megans Law and Sorna, $1500 for a letter to PSP and a motion to your sentence judge.

          • Paul

            Who removes from list

            How would I get in touch with this attorney in Harrisburg? Thanks.

        • AJ

          @Paul:
          I agree with ‘who removes from list’ that the best path is through the PA courts. The PSP is going to follow the (wholly misguided) advice of the AG and delay until any potential Federal question is settled. As the courts are already showing, they see no reason to wait–and probably see the exact opposite, which is there is no basis for waiting. PSP is merely doing what all bureaucracies do, compounded by what all LEAs do: go slow and await orders from “above.” Given the number of cases already being vacated and/or remanded for review, I’m guessing one could probably cobble together a pretty decent pro se case and avoid attorney fees. Read (a few times) the cases that have occurred in the past month and tailor one to your own situation. (As a pro se filer, you’ll probably be allowed some mistakes in your filing.) Then, pay the filing fees and request a writ of mandamus (court order), compelling PSP to comply with Muniz as it pertains to you.

          I feel obligated to address some of the comments from the NARSOL-PA person.
          “[W]e will need to wait another 6 months or so before the US Supreme Court decides whether to hear the case or not.” Not necessarily. SCOTUS holds conferences (when they decide about petitions) 2-3 times every calendar month during the term. With Snyder already pending before them–and almost assuredly to be accepted–I believe a Muniz petition will be taken up and perhaps rolled into Snyder. My bet is that SCOTUS delays deciding whether to accept Snyder until the later of the Muniz appeal or their Oct 27 conference (the first one past PA’s 90-day window). If SCOTUS accepts Muniz prior to about Jan 1, it will be decided in this term. Otherwise, it won’t be until the 2018-19 term.

          “If [SCOTUS does decide to hear Muniz] then it will be years before PSP has to act.” ‘Years’ makes it sound like 5 or 10 or something, which is not at all the case. One or two is quite possible, but that’s about it. If my belief (buttressed by the words in Packingham) of SCOTUS wanting to fix the damage since Smith and CT DPS is correct, it may happen faster. But due to the mechanics of SCOTUS, it would not be unreasonable for Muniz to get pushed into the 2018-19 term, yielding a decision in June/July 2019. Best case is SCOTUS gets and accepts Muniz early, maybe rolls it into Snyder, skips (due to having one for Snyder…I see this as doubtful) or gets a fast reply on a CVSG, and we get an Opinion before the end of the term in June/July 2018. This would make it about 9-10 months, not almost 2 years. My personal, biggest fear is that Justice Kennedy retires at the end of this term, leaving us with who-knows-who hearing it in the 2018-19 term.

          Hopefully you see that waiting on PA to act is not beneficial. As I said in earlier posts, the SCOTUS appeal has absolutely zero bearing on the state law being unconstitutional at the state level. The delay created by any SCOTUS process does nothing but give PA time dragging its feet on something they’ve already lost. Who suffers while they do this? PA RCs who should no longer be on the ML site.

          Edit: you may be able to get PSP to act simply by writing them, citing Muniz. May not work, but for the price of a postage stamp and some time writing the letter, a cheap path to try. Plus, anything they send back can be used in your court case!

          • PA RC class action suit?

            Can you do a class action suit on behalf of all PA RCs who are in limbo with Muniz and PSPs lack of action? Force PSP to move because the courts are already moving out on it? Damages?

            • AJ

              This has been my thoughts as well. As I said somewhere else, every day the State delays implementation of the PA SC Opinion (read: Court Order), they are harming and defaming citizens. With the courts moving on it, there is obviously no legal standing for the State and its delay. I’d hit up one of those attorneys WRFL mentioned and see if they’d do a class-action with a contingency-fee payment. Or, simply do a search for whatever big shot law firms licensed in PA have done class action suits against Big Tobacco, or auto makers, etc. It may be small apples for them, but it doesn’t hurt to try!

          • Paul

            Thanks AJ and Who removes from list

            I have an attorney that will not charge much to write PSP I will be getting that started Monday. I am also looking for an attorney to petition the court that has experience with SORNA. I will look into getting a group together to maybe at lest get better pricing from an attorney for all or see if that will benefit us in putting more pressure on PSP. Hope NARSOL or others will help with a plan of action.

    • AJ

      That PSP is “scrambling” shows they *know* they need to comply…so any delay would appear willful. The only way they can make a valid defense would be to show they’ve been working to solve the problem, but the size and complexity is taking time. This would be a shaky argument, now 30 days done the road. I’d push for PSP being required to suspend the ML site entirely until it’s correct, i.e. over-protecting affected citizens instead of under-protecting them. Finding the right judge to agree with that would be key.

      • JJ

        I am someone who was sentences in 2005 and had a 10 year registration prior to sorna, and now obviously am waiting anxiously to see how this all plays out because I assume it should remove my registration with the PSP.

        @AJ I greatly appreciate all the comments you’ve made and insight you’ve given, I’ve been lurking since the Muniz decision trying to find some clarity on a timeline. I was wondering if you could clarify something for me.

        We know the pa supreme Court decided that sorna itself is punitive and unconstitutional on both the PA and federal level, but they will likely appeal to the scotus for the federal bit. You’ve remarked that the PA part is done and settled. I was curious about how that works. Let’s assume they appeal to the federal level and somehow they overturned what the PA supreme Court decided. What does that mean for registrants in PA? I assumed (improperly?) That the federal level would supercede the state level, but your words make it appear not so. Does that mean even if scotus overturns the PA decision, that ruling would only affect those outside of PA, and here in PA we are separately protected by the PA Constitution and therefore would still be removed from the registry?

        Thank you for any info you can provide. I am trying to get a picture of what the rest of my life is going to look like. I’m trying to buy a house and a car. If I just had to wait a bit and then wouldn’t have to register these new details, it would be a miraculous weight off of the shoulders of my family.

        • New Person

          I’m not AJ, but I’ve been following along.

          In one of the cases, maybe it was in Muniz, that had a lawyer (possibly Freed) wondering why did case ruling state that the PA’s implementation was unconstitutional after it dictated that the US’s implementation is unconstitutional? It’s implied that if the US’s implementation, then that would already imply the PA’s implementation is unconstitutional.

          The redundancy was not a mistake. In fact, it wasn’t redundancy. The judgement was two-fold and separate.

          Level 1. The PA’s implementation violated PA’s state constitution.
          Level 2. The US’s implementation violates the nation’s constitution.

          Each state has its own form of registry as well as how it is regulated. Example, some states believe in residency restrictions and some states find it unconstitutional to have residency restrictions. So it varies per state; each state is unique. The PA court system states, under Muniz, that the additional changes applied was punishment, and therefore violates Ex Post Facto.

          The federal cannot revoke that decision because that particular judgement was specific only to PA and its registry system.

          Federal courts can weigh in when it incites federal law. That is where the second fold (level 2) comes to play. PA is saying that b/c it was founded unconstitutional to its state constitution, they also compared it to the federal and stated, “Hey, maybe the federal law is unconstitutional b/c we found it unconstitutional in our state.”

          So the PA judgement worked form the bottom up (state to federal). Why is PA doing this? Hopefully, to reveal to the federal that the registry is being abused and apply this to all the other states and protectorates.

          I hope that makes sense b/c that’s how I interpret it, especially with AJ’s explanation why there’s nothing the federal can do to change PA’s own state decision. But you should contact lawyers in touch with Muniz to see what’s up or the PA’s registrant defenders’ group.

        • AJ

          @JJ:
          Here are some shorter answers to your questions; a bit deeper explanation follows.
          “You’ve remarked that the PA part is done and settled. I was curious about how that works.”
          PASC ruled the law violates the PA Constitution. Since PASC is the highest court for any challenge wholly about and contained within PA, it’s done and settled.

          “Let’s assume they appeal to the federal level and somehow they overturned what the PA supreme Court decided. What does that mean for registrants in PA?”
          It means nothing to PA RCs. It will change nothing for PA RCs. See the second-to-last paragraph below for more detail.

          “Does that mean even if scotus overturns the PA decision, that ruling would only affect those outside of PA, and here in PA we are separately protected by the PA Constitution and therefore would still be removed from the registry?”
          Whatever SCOTUS decides will only affect those in PA. Your question would have a different answer had Muniz been what I initially read it to be. See the next paragraph for more detail.

          New Person explains it all pretty well, and also highlighted something that made me go back and read the PASC Opinion for clarification. What I found doesn’t change the outcome for PA RCs, but it does deserve clarification. I had misread Muniz as being a dual challenge of Federal SORNA (AWA, here for clarity) being a violation of the US Constitution, and SORNA (SORNA) violated the PA Constitution. That’s not what the appeal was. Muniz was only challenging that the one law, SORNA, violates both the US and PA Constitutions. Nowhere in Muniz was AWA challenged on any level. Sorry for this oversight. It doesn’t change the effect of Muniz for PA RCs, but I believe it significantly reduces the chance SCOTUS will take the case. (More on this below.)

          What the PASC decided was that SORNA does violate the US Constitution. They could have ended right there. They instead (wisely, for us) went on, because, “[Muniz] presented a state constitutional challenge, of which we expressly granted review, and the parties and amici forwarded developed arguments on this claim. [] Moreover, we are cognizant of the difficulties arising in the wake of a decision from this Court based exclusively on federal grounds, which is subsequently appealed to the United States Supreme Court and remanded after a contrary decision regarding the federal constitution; inevitably, a state claim follows and a decision
          rendered by this Court only after intervening uncertainty and delay.” In other words, PASC 1) felt obligated to answer Muniz’ state constitutional claim because it was a specific part of his appeal, they had agreed to hear it, and the parties and amici all had arguments addressing it; and 2) realized that their voiding a state law via the US Constitution could result in SCOTUS overturning and remanding the case back to PASC for reconsideration–a process that could easily take a year or more. Their explicit concern was that Muniz would then appeal again under a purely state claim, and the whole case would need to be re-argued (probably with the same arguments already in hand!). They short-circuited that possible lengthy detour through SCOTUS by deciding Muniz’ state constitutional challenge now. “[W]e find Pennsylvania’s ex post facto clause provides even greater protections than its federal counterpart, and as we have concluded SORNA’s registration provisions violate the federal clause, we hold they are also unconstitutional under the state clause.” In other words, having found SORNA violates the US Constitution, it must also violate the PA Constitution which has even more protections.

          So, why do I think there’s little to no chance of a SCOTUS review? The only thing SCOTUS could determine is whether or not SORNA (still the PA law, *not* AWA) violates the US Constitution. But PASC has already rendered moot whatever SCOTUS decides: if SCOTUS agrees with PASC, SORNA is struck at the state level (and the federal level for good measure); if SCOTUS disagrees with PASC, SORNA is struck at the state level. (Hey, DA Freed: Heads I win, tails you lose!) SCOTUS almost assuredly won’t take a case that already has an outcome.

          IMHO, the only reason SCOTUS would take this case is to attack AWA and registry schemes, but I see that as a stretch because 1) SCOTUS is more “passive” and probably wouldn’t reach out to attack any law, AWA or otherwise, and 2) no federal law is challenged in Muniz. If they do take it, I think it will be cause for celebration. Personally, I’m skeptical PA will even petition.

          • JJ

            @AJ and @New Person I greatly appreciate your replies. This does clarify some of the confusion I had. I suppose now I get to sit in the same chair everyone else is in, and wait and see how the PSP handles this. Somewhere else on this website, in another comment string, someone mentioned they had contacted the PSP after the Muniz decision was finalized, and the person at the PSP claimed letters would go out this week. I don’t know how much I believe what the PSP person said, but I can’t help but get a little hopeful that we’ll have some information, especially now that their 30 day window has expired.

            Hurry up and wait is the name of the game, as it always has been, it seems.

            • AJ

              @JJ:
              I think I would play a little dumb and call PSP. “I don’t understand why I’m still on the ML site after a court case I read about. Is there something I need to give you or sned you to have you remove it, or is it automatic? Like everyone else, I’d like to be off there ASAP!” See what they say. If they say letters are going out, ask when you can expect one and what will the letter say or request. “Oh, so once I have that letter, I’m off the list? Or do I take that letter to a judge or something?” “Will all the people to be removed just disappear all at once, or do I need to do something special for myself?” Just play it up with feigned ignorance. The more unaware you seem, the more likely they are to try to explain things and assure you. That only goes so far though, as at some point they might think you’re too much of an idiot and will want to cut things off. So you need to “get” a few points they make. 🙂

              I wouldn’t wait too much or much longer. The courts appear to be handling these things without a problem, so why is the executive (AG and PSP) taking so long?

    • Paul

      Another question is why are these groups not putting attorneys together for the people effected? They receive donations to help people get off the list so I think this should be their #1 priority right now.

      • Lake County

        Probably because the amount of donations is much smaller than everyone imagines. Only a group like the ACLU gets the big donations. You can find out a non-profit’s yearly income and assets online with a little searching.

        • New Person

          There’s so much going on and much that just recently happened. It might be too soon to see the dust settled as well. But fiscally, I think some people don’t realize the cost of things nor the lack of donations they receive.

          It would be great to find people who deserve to be off the registry and inform them that they can. If you belong to that state, then maybe volunteer to be a person to do research and make cold calls.

          • Paul

            Well an example is
            NARSOL fighting strict liability case in Ninth Circuit https://narsol.org/2017/08/narsol-fighting-strict-liability-case-in-ninth-circuit/

            If they have the time to do this then they have time to put together a group and a strategy to help with the Muniz relief that is do. No one is saying to pay for an attorney but they sure can help somehow. I think a new org should be started that actually has the ability to put together action plans and follow thru Money is being wasted that could be put to use changing laws and getting people relief.

            • Lake County

              Most of our non-profit support/advocacy groups are managed and supported by volunteers. Most don’t have an in-house attorney. So everything they do cost time and money. Resources are slim, so they have to pick and choose what they think is feasible and possible with the limited amount of hours their volunteers have. And since most are volunteers, many still have to have a real job to survive. Donation money usually just covers actual cost for their advocacy work (like cost to have an office with supplies, travel expenses and court costs). Just maintaining a good internet web site is very time consuming and costly. And all of us will have different opinions on what advocacy is most important.

              If you want someone to work on a particular advocacy issue, then I’m sure they wouldn’t mind it if anyone would start a donation campaign towards that action.

  17. Who removes from list

    My husband will be taking all three recent decisions that applied the Muniz Decision and the Muniz Decision to form a pro se motion to enforce or compel his sentencing court to order his removal from Sorna effective immediatly.

    He is also taking the same information to send a letter to the PSP Headquarters, Megans Law Division to comply with the law, and remove all his private information from the web site immediately and leave his car, his home, his school, his job on the site.

    Also he doesnt believe that in 2006 Megans Law Website provided much, if any of those three to the public. And of now his right to private information is on the site.

    And Oh by the way, Muniz has been removed from the Sorna/Megan’s Law website, because his original 10 years is up if he was sentenced in 2007.

    So the question is, if they honored the law for Muniz and didnt wait for a stay in the decision or an appeal, then why is my husband and 4500 other people still on the site or not brought back to there original sentence to Pre Sorna Megans Law?

    Fear of one law suit from Muniz to remove him??

    Maybe a law suit from my husband and 4500 other citizens of Pa would help sway a decision to stop scrambling, but instead just humble themselves and honor the law of the Muniz Decision.

    As of right now whoever is not removing my husband or 4500 other people is in violation of the law!

    • Paul

      Who is the attorney you mentioned in Harrisburg? Thanks

    • Ron

      How is Mr. Muniz off the list “if”? he was sentenced in 2007… but he wasn’t. He left the area and wasn’t apprehended for years. So with all due respect to him, how is he not off the list til 2024? Yet those who have served their full 10 yrs or whatever they were originally sentenced to, pre-SORNA, are still on the list. Everyone who’s time is up should have been off the list as soon as the Supreme Court made the decision in this case.

      • Paul

        Ron I believe if we don’t see something this week from PSP sending out letters or removing people, we should try to get a group together of people that have done their 10yrs and start filing with the courts. Ive asked Who removes from list how the lawyer in Harrisburg that specializes in SORNA is, a few times now, no answer yet. I think a big group filing separate but together will have more impact, and less cost.

        • Who removes from list

          Paul: my husband will provide me the info in a few!

          • Who removes from list

            CONTACT LAGUNA REYES MALONEY, LLP

            For a confidential consultation, contact our office online or call us at 717-233-5292(toll-free at (800) 255-9587) to set up an appointment. Your first appointment is free of charge

  18. Who removes from list

    The ruling on Muniz said “if he was sentenced in 2007. He would of registereed for 10 years under old megans law.”

    Since sorna is unconstitution applied to him and muniz never being sentence or read any pre sorna requirements, is probably why unlike my husband he doesnt have any requirements to go back too because he was never told any thing but sorna requirements. Therefore he was probably just removed.

    And he was to be sentenced in 2007. It is 2017.

  19. Paul

    Looks like reed and Gilbert got a favorable decision today. Thats all she wrote.

    • Paul

      Wheels up mother fers! I say we start blowing up PSPs phone until someone gets an answer. Why waste our money on attorneys when obviously SORNA in PA is dead.

      • AJ

        @Paul:
        It may be time to skip past PSP and contact the AG’s office and/or the Governor’s office. I’d share with them concerns that the bureaucracy seems to be dragging its feet and/or outright ignoring the PA Supreme Court. I’d have a list of the cases where RCs have had things overturned and the dates of the ruling to provide proof the judiciary is enforcing the Muniz decision. I’d also mention that any potential appeal by the State to SCOTUS, now over 30 days down the road, will not change the PASC ruling under the PA Constitution. IMO, it is completely a case of the State being unhappy with the decision, and doing all it can to keep people on the registry as long as possible. Cruel, to say the least, but certainly also contrary to the oath of office they all took: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.”(http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=00&div=0&chpt=6, Section 3) How are they upholding the Constitution of the Commonwealth? How are they discharging their duties with fidelity?

        Maybe a lawsuit against the Governor and the AG for failing to uphold the PASC ruling is in order. What that would do beyond publicity, IDK…it probably wouldn’t lead to any harm for them, as one can safely assume the Legislature and public are heavily against the Muniz decision.

        • JJ

          @AJ I have called twice to the PSP as per your suggestion a few days ago, but both times I was interrupted due to the lengthy phone menu and because of holding to wait to speak to someone. I assume I need to call during business hours which leaves me calling at work, which if I have free time I can do, but I answer a lot of phone calls during the day and I kept finding myself having to hang up. I plan on trying again today.

          I have only really been paying attention to all of this when the Muniz decision was laid out, because an article in the news paper got my attention. Prior to that, I was not aware of these other cases that apparently were just decided. What is the significance of Reed and Gilbert? The links above posted by @Paul don’t really give much background since they just give the decisions.

          • Jim

            Reed was argued in March, 17 in PASC.

            Gilbert was combined with Muniz and was argued in December, 16.

            Reed’s case highlighted “reputation” in the Pa. constitution., along with the ex post facto challenge.

            The reputation clause in the argument was supposed to be a big deal in Pa. Apparently, Muniz made it moot.

          • Paul

            The only significance is they rely on Muniz. I was hoping they would clarify or guid the PSP but don’t see anything. There are now 3 cases relying on Muniz. Please let us know what PSP says I emailed the AG office yesterday no answer yet I will be calling the PSP also today.

            • JJ

              @Paul @Jim thank you for clarifying. I will update here as soon as I’m able to contact someone at the PSP. Hopefully one of us can get some answers.

              • JJ

                @AJ @Jim @Paul (Does tagging work on this thing? I Have no idea, I’m doing it just in case).

                I just got ahold of the PSP. The woman I spoke to was very nice but unfortunately I did not get very far.

                She immediately knew about Muniz when I brought up the case. She told me that there is currently a “Stay” in place due to an appeal that has a 90 day window starting from the date of the court case. So she said for the time being there’s still another couple of months before anything will be decided, and to keep “doing everything you have been until you are notified.”

                When I attempted to inquire about the appeal not changing anything, or the fact that other cases were being decided using Muniz as a deciding factor, she said that unfortunately she had no control over that and they were told for the time being that everything was staying the same, until the stay was lifted and the appeal decision had been made.

                So there you have it. Time to lawyer up? Paul, maybe if you call you’ll be able to get more information. The woman I spoke to, while nice, was not forthcoming with anything else.

                • Paul

                  I guess we have to pay the piper ill keep you posted. I ‘haven’t seen that Freed filed an appeal yet so how can there be a stay I am going to try to call Aaron from the Phil defender association again he said he was sending out letters to the main lawyers on Monday with updated info.

                • AJ

                  @JJ:
                  From what you wrote, it’s obvious PSP is going to do whatever they are told “from above.” That “above” is going to be the AG and/or Governor (probably the former). So trying to get PSP to move will be a waste of time and energy.

                  I don’t think the PSP woman is up on things or speaking properly. From what you related of the conversation, she admitted there is no appeal done, but also (wrongly, from what I can gather via Internet searches) claims there is a Stay in place. If there’s a Stay, how is it all these judges are vacating and remanding? Did someone in PA Gov’t forget to tell the judicial branch? Is the judiciary flouting a Stay issued by a Justice of the United States Supreme Court? Doubtful and makes no sense. Simply put, there’s no logical way there’s a Stay in place. But, you’re going to get nowhere arguing legal issues with a bureaucrat who is just doing what they are told to do. I think that concept rises up all the way through PSP, which is why I think PA RCs need to contact the AG and/or Governor directly. That’s where PSP is getting it’s guidance.

                  You could call the AG’s office as a concerned citizen (not as a RC) and ask what they’re doing about “the sex offender thing that’s been in the news.” “I heard there was a court order or something called a stay, whatever that means, that has put a stop to the nonsense. Is that true? Can’t you guys take this to the US Supreme Court and get it all straightened out?” Playing a vaguely informed citizen, unfamiliar with the ins and out of the legal system, is the role to take.

            • Jim

              http://cases.justia.com/pennsylvania/superior-court/2017-66-wda-2017.pdf?ts=1503080156

              Four cases if you count this Superior court case from five days ago.

  20. Who removes from list

    So the question still stands, why are the PSP dragging their feet after the Muniz Decision, the Spann v parole and psp. Decision, the reed and gilbert decision?

    Any in here get removed yet?

    Other than these men!!

  21. Paul

    Spoke with Riley Yates from the morning call news , he doesn’t have any plans to do a follow up yet on the PSP’s plans. He did state that he has recently personally seen the Northampton Co DAs office Not pursue Failure to comply with SORNA charges on defendants based on the Muniz decision. He thinks “PSP will wait till the 90days is up.” I told him a lot of tax payer and defendant $ are going to be wasted in the mean time, and that it would make a good story. Also emailed the Philly inquirer .

    • Paul

      Spoke with Corporal Adam Reed, PSP 717-783-5556 He said there is a meeting or hearing scheduled for Sept. 12th in Harrisburg To decided what to do. I asked it was to do with the appeal by Freed he said no has to do with procedures. I also asked if they are considering that many of the cases being sent back from the PASC site Muniz he said yes. I also left message for Lehigh co DA office about what they are doing about current cases effected by Muniz seeing how North Hampton is not pursuing them according to Riley Yates from the morning call. I was told DA Fuawlk will be in touch next week out on vac

      • JJ

        Well you certainly got more answers than I was able to get. At least there’s another date on the horizon. You would think though that after over a month they’d already have had this meeting to decide what to do. I find it discouraging that for the general public, if a law is enacted, we are expected to follow it immediately, but when it works the other way, they’re able to drag their feet and delay. All of this while there’s court cases being decided based on this case that should have provided us relief.

        I really wish I had a friend who was an attorney, I would certainly consider the writ of mandamus route. But I Just don’t have the extra money to spend on that right now. I suppose another 3 weeks (plus) of waiting isn’t terrible.

        Any idea how hard it is to go car shopping when you can’t legally operate a vehicle (test drive) without registering it with the state police?

        • Paul

          Looks to me some DA’s are not pursuing Non compliance But I don’t think anyone is stupid enough to test the waters i’m not taking any chances. Got a quote of $750.00 to do letter to PSP and writ not bad he did a petition for me before waiting to hear from others.

          • Who removes list

            My husband would like your attorney who would write the PSP Letter and writ

  22. Who removes from list

    There is no stay. They didnt get the stay approved because if they did then we wouldn’t have had 5 cases that used Muniz to make a decision. Last week on the 16th 17th and 18th the Muniz decision was a deciding factor and those court cases. As of yesterday Gilbert and Reed won their case because of the Muniz decision. PSP is just blowing smoke and not giving you guys straight answers. They’re delaying the process and hope that the US appeal court hears the case. If the Muniz decision was stayed then Muniz wouldn’t have been released from the registry. Take a look he’s not there.

    • Paul

      I figured that there was no stay I’m looking into this so called hearing on sept 12th I relayed the info to Riley Yates at the morning call. I’m waiting on a quote from two attorneys for a writ to the trial court, I’m looking for a petition that was filed that I can copy from I think there has to be someone in the lower courts that has to have filed by now.

  23. Paul

    Found Muniz docket sheet showing Freed filed a Application to Stay Remand on aug 9th https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/AppellateCourtReport.ashx?docketNumber=47+MAP+2016

    Here are the rules AJ maybe you can interpret it for us.
    http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/210/chapter25/s2572.html

    I have found no docket for the hearing PSP mentioned on the 14 sept. I think he was referring to a meeting of some sort left a message for him to clarify.

    • JJ

      Good work here digging that up. Based on (c) in the rules, it appears, due to this being a Supreme Court review, the stay shall not exceed 90 days. I assume that’s 90 days from the date of the order, in this case August 9th.

      Additionally, if I’m reading it right, if the writ of certiorari (basically an order for a lower court to deliver its record so a higher court may review it) is granted or received, the stay continues until the final disposition of the US Supreme Court’s final disposition in the case. However if the US Supreme Court either dismisses the appeal or denies the petition for the writ, the stay is vacated and the originating decision is remanded.

      So if they grant the writ, the stay continues indefinitely until a decision is reached I believe?

      As you said hopefully AJ can shed some light.

      Also I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re correct in that on Sept 12th or 14th or whatever it is, isn’t a formal hearing but a meeting, which means it likely won’t be (easily) found in a public record, if at all.

      • Jim

        I am at a loss…

        Anyone who watched the Reed case knows that reputation was made a huge deal of during the argument and apparently in the briefs as well.

        Given that, why would the PASC essentially remove his right to their interpretation of Pennsylvania’s right to reputation decision on the merits- instead giving him relief based on Muniz?
        Unless they think Muniz is so ironclad that they didn’t have to rule on Reed’s reputation argument?

        • AJ

          @Jim:
          They probably used the ex post facto element of Muniz because it settles the issue without having to come up with another precedent-setting opinion. Courts like to keep rulings very narrow to avoid problems down the road in unforeseen (and quite possibly as yet non-existent) cases. Unless and until there’s a case where Muniz’ ex post facto result doesn’t hold, it will continue to be the default basis. Personally, I like they are using ex post facto, as it can be used in other court cases across the country as reference, even if non-binding. Every time a court finds registries ex post facto violation, I don’t care the jurisdiction or scope, is a win for all of us across the country. We’re reaching the tipping point, friends! (We may have already passed it and are just waiting on SCOTUS to let us know.)

    • Paul

      The 12th not 14th.

    • AJ

      It would appear this August 9 activity is only application by Freed to PASC to stay their decision pending appeal to SCOTUS–but only an application, not an actual Stay. Reading paragraph (c), “[u]pon application, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania may stay remand of the record pending review in [SCOTUS].” PASC *may* stay remand, but is under no obligation to do so, nor do they appear to be under any deadline to decide whether or not to grant the stay. Based on the numerous court cases tumbling down based off Muniz, it would appear PASC declined to stay remand, and it’s patently obvious no SCOTUS stay exists. That doesn’t mean PA cannot appeal to SCOTUS, it just means that, absent a stay from SCOTUS, the PA courts will continue to follow Muniz while any appeal is pending.

      Here’s a helpful citation from the PASC’s “Guide to filing pro se,”: “Mandamus is appropriate relief only when you have a clear legal right, your opposing party has a corresponding duty, and you have no other appropriate and adequate remedy.” (www.pacourts.us/assets/files/setting-3218/file-2861.pdf?cb=0ca2bc) Since the judges are issuing writs of mandamus based on Muniz, they (1) plainly see the RC has “a clear legal right,” (2) PA “has a corresponding duty,” and (3) the RC has “no other appropriate and adequate remedy.”

      Courts rarely take chances on things, and like to move slowly and with caution and purpose. With that in mind, does it make any sense that PA courts would be acting based on Muniz if they in any way thought the activity would or could be undone by SCOTUS? That they are plowing ahead tells me they know the Muniz decision is rock solid….which it is, due to the state-constitutional portion of Muniz.

      What it all says to me is that the legal posturing and maneuvering will continue, as apparently Mr. Freed cannot give up a lost fight. Sadly, that seems to mean PA RCs can either wait for the legal parlor games to end (which could easily be months), or get resolution now through the courts.

      I would look into filing pro se. The link above, as well as the following, could be helpful:

      Civil code to follow in your filing: http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/231/chapter1000/subchapFtoc.html
      “In Forma Pauperis” if you cannot afford filing/legal fees: http://www.pacourts.us/assets/files/page-759/file-3865.pdf?cb=1503527614296
      Quick info on mandamus: http://www.lgc.state.pa.us/getfile.cfm?file=/Reports/deskbook14/Issues-Governance-10-Discretionary-vs-Ministerial-Acts-and-Actions-of-Mandamus.pdf

      • JJ

        Thanks for your info AJ. Good point that the application was filed but has not necessarily been accepted.

        What happens if a stay is actually granted? How does that affect this ruling and how it’s handled until a decision is made by the SCOTUS?

        • AJ

          @JJ:
          “What happens if a stay is actually granted? How does that affect this ruling and how it’s handled until a decision is made by the SCOTUS?”
          All activity stops in its tracks. Anyone removed will stay removed, anyone still listed will remain listed. The stay would almost assuredly remain in place until either 90 days expires, SCOTUS issues a Stay, or SCOTUS declines the case. If SCOTUS declines, PASC would lift its Stay.

          I speculate that PASC may be sitting on the application for Stay, to see if PA actually appeals. By sitting on the application, PASC is forcing PA’s hand. PA must petition SCOTUS within 90 days of the Muniz decision (Tue, Oct 17). If PA does petition SCOTUS, I would expect PASC to grant a Stay to freeze everything to allow SCOTUS to act. If PA doesn’t petition, expect PASC to deny the stay on Oct 18.

          Given PA applied for a Stay with PASC, I would guess PA plans to petition SCOTUS and is taking all the allotted time to get their petition all pretty and smelling nice. If SCOTUS accepts, it will probably issue its own Stay* (and PASC may drop theirs at that point) that would remain in effect until the case is decided–perhaps as late as July 2018. As I’ve said a number of times, I don’t see SCOTUS accepting the case on its own merits, as the outcome cannot be changed by anything they decide. If SCOTUS does accept, I think it will be because they plan to hear it in conjunction with Snyder.

          *I still think any Stay issued by SCOTUS would (indeed can) only apply to the Federal question, so a Stay by SCOTUS, but none by PASC, would lead me to believe the PA courts could legally start up again and vacate and remand cases. Whether they would, or whether they would stand down in deference to SCOTUS, I have no idea.

          • JJ

            Lots of moving pieces here, and lots of uncertainty for the path to take.

            With a stay not granted yet, I wonder how long….the PSP, or the AG, or the Governor, whoever it is making the decision on the registry … has before they begin removing people. I can see them hoping to hold out for the stay so that they don’t have to remove anyone of course, but how long can they really drag that on? Could they really take it as far as the October 18th deadline for the appeal?

            With all of that said, I wonder if it makes sense to attempt to petition for a writ of mandamus to attempt to sort of… beat the clock so to speak, get in before the stay would occur. Even with the knowledge that there is likely nothing that can be done to reverse Muniz in PA, a year delay just for the sake of waiting for SCOTUS to reach a determination would be irritating at best. If we could get removed before the stay would come into effect, we theoretically would be removed and “safe” from then on even if an appeal were to take place.

            I wonder how long a writ of mandamus would take to force their hand at removal?

            • Paul

              I think that is the best bet not sure how long it takes to do a writ I will be calling my lawyer today.

              • Paul

                Left message with Aaron Reed philly defenders association asking if he knew anything about the so called hearing on sept 12th in Harrisburg and if he had any new info if he gets back to me ill relay the info.

            • AJ

              @JJ:
              “[H]ow long can they really drag that on?” Trust me, they can, and quite probably will, drag it all the way to the last day, October 17.

              “Could they really take it as far as the October 18th deadline for the appeal?” Yes. Especially if they’re wanting to keep the scheme status quo as long as possible. Think about it, even if they lose, they’ve still kept SORNA-PA alive (minus a handful of court ordered removals) for however many more days, as many as 90. Don’t you know, “it’s for the children”? And just to be clear, they must file by October 17. October 18 is 91 days from July 19 (Muniz decision date). If they do file on the 17th, SCOTUS may not get the info out for a day or two.

              I emailed the SCOTUS PIO last night asking about Muniz. I’ll post what I hear when I get a reply. I’m expecting a, “we have no idea what you’re talking about” type reply. But I want my email-leg in the door, as an email in reply sometimes gets faster attention than a fresh one (we humans cannot avoid that conversation desire once established).

              “I wonder how long a writ of mandamus would take to force their hand at removal?”
              I’m thinking the longest part is getting an attorney to compose the writ and get in front of a judge. The moment the order is signed, you could march down to PSP and present it! (They may balk and await official channels, but it’s worth a try.)

              • JJ

                I’ve been glued to this place since shortly after Muniz. Glad I found some people who can commiserate with this situation… not that I want anyone else to have to experience it too, of course. It’s just absolutely amazing how much posturing and hemming and hawing that we have to deal with when there’s a very clear answer here.

                I realize a month ago before Muniz I didn’t have any idea that there would be a chance that I could be removed from the list before my (now tier 2) duration would state, so technically there’s a lot to be optimistic about. But knowing that the decision should have been finalized, and yet we’re all still left flapping in the breeze while they stall to come up with some reason to deny us, while also providing no information, it’s unbelievably frustrating.

                I appreciate all of your efforts to try to wade through all of this to arrive at some clarity. Hopefully we’ll find what we seek sooner rather than later.

  24. Who removes list

    As I wrote this earlier for my husband,

    “There is no stay. They didnt get the stay approved because if they did then we wouldn’t have had 5 cases that used Muniz to make a decision. Last week on the 16th 17th and 18th the Muniz decision was a deciding factor and those court cases. As of yesterday Gilbert and Reed won their case because of the Muniz decision. PSP is just blowing smoke and not giving you guys straight answers. They’re delaying the process and hope that the US appeal court hears the case. If the Muniz decision was stayed then Muniz wouldn’t have been released from the registry. Take a look he’s not there.”

    His name is Jose Muniz, he is not the Megans Law website anymore. He was removed the day of the decision. Again take a look!

    If they stayed the decision, he would be on the list, its that simple!

  25. Who removes list

    From an article:

    Union County (Pa.) District Attorney Pete Johnson said the new law should be respected.

    “The Supreme Court ruling is our highest court ruling,” Johnson said. “We have to follow it. The people who got pulled into the registration under those old circumstances are going to be off the registry itself.”

    Johnson said some individuals who had to register for 10 years would have been forced onto the lifetime list, but the new law will now take them off the list.

    “The Supreme Court said you are going backwards if you apply that and that can’t be done,” Johnson said. “They ruled that was punishing people without due process.”

  26. who removes from list

    Everyone needs to see this MOTION TO ENFORCE PLEA AGREEMENT, overturned by the Superior Court.

    The courts are talking to all of us and we are all sitting here not paying attention. PRO SE PEOPLE!

    File a motion to enforce plea agreement if you took one.

    Attach your criminal docket that the PSP used to place you on SORNA.

    Attach the Muniz Decision Supreme Court Case, The Reed Case, The Gilbert, this case and all recent court decisions using the MUNIZ Decision and set yourselves free from SORNA.

    The courts are not waiting people, they are honoring the law.

    The only ones waiting are you and my husband!

    My husband will be filing pro se to enforce his plea agreement.

    His Plea Agreement was in 2006. His conviction was 2006.

    Today in the Superior Court level, they overturned the Common Pleas Court Order and vacated an order and remanded back to lower court, in this case this man was not even required to register with RAPE, IDSI, KIDNAPPING, etc. He will be off the registry people!! The PSP are not going to help us. The courts are going to help us!

    http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Superior/out/judgment%20order%20-%20vacated-remanded%20-%2010322271522995966.pdf#search=%22sorna 2017%22

    • Paul

      Thanks who removes from list

      Would you have info on how to move forward Pro se? Does a letter have to be sent to PSP first asking for relief? How would you find a copy of a petition of one of these cases to base one off of? Thanks

      • who removes from list

        My husband wrote his own with all of his information from his 2006 conviction. He copied and pasted alot from the Muniz Decision and all the other recent victories. He said put the time into putting one together. He also said, he was on Parole at the time of the mandate to SORNA. He is off parole now, so his arguement is PSP is violating his plea agreement and Muniz is the deciding factor like the case I attached earlier.

      • AJ

        @Paul & WRFL:

        Maybe this site has helpful info or a helpful link for you: http://www.dhs.pa.gov/citizens/legalservicesinpennsylvania/

        • Paul

          Thanks AJ

          Is there a way to get copies of the actual writs in any of these cases to look at the content and the format ?

      • JJ

        I think this is my biggest problem. I have looked at some of the court documents and it mainly looks like Greek to me. There is so much that goes into formatting and docket numbers and all kinds of references to things and my head spins not knowing where to start.

        I would love to file pro se for myself but I just can’t make heads or tails of what I’m reading.

  27. who removes from list

    Husband wanted me to post this, he has set up a bookmark that when he hits it brings him right to the PA Supreme Court, “Sorna Muniz 2017”. Hit this link and see the July 19 2017 Muniz Ruling and the other cases that applied it to there recent rulings. It will lead you to everything you need to know as soon as new case is decided applying Muniz it will show up in this link.

    https://wwwsecure.pacourts.us/sitesearch.aspx?q=sorna+Muniz+2017

  28. who removes from list

    RULES OF US SUPREME COURT for filing an appeal:

    1. The Supreme Court of the United States has authority to review by writ of certiorari federal court decisions.

    2. The Supreme Court also has authority to review by writ of certiorari the decisions of the highest state courts.

    3. A petition for certiorari seeks Supreme Court review not as a matter of right but as a matter of judicial discretion.

    4. Who can petition for certiorari?

    Any party to a civil or criminal case can file a petition for review of the case by the Supreme Court by writ of certiorari. The party filing the petition is called the petitioner.

    5. When does a petition for certiorari have to be filed?

    A petition for a writ of certiorari to review the judgment of the highest state court or of a federal court of appeals in a civil or criminal case has to be filed within 90 days after entry of the judgment. Four of the nine justices must vote to grant the petition for certiorari. (90 days from the Muniz Decision – July 19, 2017)

    6. What should the petition for certiorari contain?

    The petition for certiorari begins with the questions presented for review. The petition includes a list of all parties in the case and a brief statement of the facts of the case, along with summary of the lower courts’ proceedings. The petition also includes a statement as to why the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the case. All statutes, regulations, and constitutional provisions involved in the case must be included in the petition. Finally, the petition gives the reasons for granting review.

    7. What is a brief in opposition to the petition for certiorari?

    The party opposing the certiorari petition (known as the respondent) has 30 days after receiving the petition to file a brief in opposition. The respondent presents any reasons the Supreme Court should not review the case.

    8. What are the types of cases in which certiorari is typically granted?

    The Supreme Court will generally grant certiorari in the following instances when:

    a. A federal court of appeals has rendered a judgment that conflicts with the decision of another federal court of appeals on the same question
    b. A federal court of appeals has decided a federal question in a manner that conflicts with a decision of the highest state court
    c. The highest court in a state has decided a federal question in a manner that conflicts with the decision of the highest court in another state or with a decision of a federal court of appeals
    d. A state court or a federal court of appeals has decided a federal question in a way that conflicts with a prior decision of the Supreme Court

    9. What are the grounds for denying the petition for certiorari?

    The Supreme Court will deny certiorari if it lacks jurisdiction to hear the case. For example, the Supreme Court only has certiorari jurisdiction over a decision of a state’s highest court if the decision is a final judgment. The Supreme Court would deny certiorari if the decision sought to be reviewed was not a final judgment on the merits.

    10. When will the Supreme Court dismiss the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted?

    If after granting certiorari the Supreme Court concludes that the case does not present a substantial federal question for decision, it will dismiss certiorari as improvidently granted. Certiorari will also be dismissed if the petitioner lacks standing (a sufficient personal interest in the outcome of the case) to raise the issue presented in the petition for certiorari.

    Also, if the judgment was not final or was not rendered by the highest state court, the writ will be dismissed. Generally, the Supreme Court does not issue an opinion when it dismisses a writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.

    AFTER READING ALL OF THE ABOVE,

    “THE MUNIZ CASE HAVING A STATE CONSTITUTION VIOLATION IN IT, AND USING ONLY THE FEDERAL EX POST FACTO RULE TO HELP DECIDE, BUT NOT MAKE THE DECISION ON THE PA STATE CONSTITUTION VIOLATION.”

    “THE US SUPREME COURT MAY NOT CONSIDER TAKING THIS CASE DUE TO IT BEING A STATE SUPREME COURT DECISION, ONLY GOOD TO THE REGISTER SEX OFFENDERS INSIDE THE STATE OF PA, PRIOR TO SORNA 2012. THE PA SUPREME COURT ONLY DECIDED FOR REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS IN THE STATE OF PA AND THE MUNIZ DECISION CANNOT BE APPLIED TO ANYONE OUTSIDE THE STATE OF PA. THIS MAY BE THE DECIDING FACTOR FOR THE REASON WHY THE US SUPREME COURT “DOESNT” GRANT APPEAL DUE TO THE LACK OF AUTHORITY OF THE MUNIZ DECISION IS THE OTHER 49 STATES.”

    “THE MUNIZ DECISION WILL NOT AND CANNOT HELP ANYONE ON OR AFTER DECEMBER 20, 2012. AND CANT BE APPLIED TO ANY REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER IN ANY OTHER STATE IN THE USA. THEREFORE, MAKING IT A PA STATE DECISION WHICH MAY NOT HAVE THE US SUPREME COURT NOT HERE THIS CASE, UNLESS OTHER STATES USE THE MUNIZ DECISION TO DECIDE EX POST FACTO VIOLATIONS IN THE FUTURE, THEN THOSE STATE AG’S COULD APPEAL THERE OWN STATE DECISION, BASED OF MUNIZ NOT BEING THERE OWN STATE DECISION AND THEN THE US SUPREME COURT MAY HERE AN APPEAL. PA SUPREME COURT WAS SMART IN WRITING THERE DECISION, THEY PROTECTED THEMSELVES AGAINST THERE DECISION BEING OVERTURNED, IN AN APPEAL. THAT IS WHY THE US SUPREME COURT MAY, STAY OUT OF IT.”

    “THE MUNIZ DECISION CANT BE USED TO HELP ANY STATE DECIDE ON RETROACTIVE LAWS FOR THE REGISTRY, IT CAN ONLY BE USED TO HELP SWAY THE COURTS IN OTHER STATES DECISIONS, BUT CANT BE THE DECIDING FACTOR.”

    “SINCE MUNIZ CANT BE APPLIED TO ANY ON OR AFTER DEC 20 2012, OR ANY ONE OUTSIDE THE STATE OF PA. THE US SUPREME COURT WILL STAY OUT OF THIS FIGHT, DUE TO PA SUPREME COURT EXPLAINED IN DETAIL WHY IS WAS IN VIOLATION OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION. AND THEY KNOW AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE US SUPREME COURT CANT OVERTURN THE PA STATE CONSTITUTION RULING OF MUNIZ IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. AND KNOWING IT CANT BE APPLIED TO ANY OUTSIDE THE STATE OF PA, WILL HAVE WEIGHT ON DENYING THE APPEAL.”

  29. Paul

    Looks like Muniz filled for an Answer to Freed’s Application for Stay of Remand
    Appellant Muniz, Jose M. on the 23rd of Aug.
    https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/AppellateCourtReport.ashx?docketNumber=47+MAP+2016

    • Jim

      https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/AppellateCourtReport.ashx?docketNumber=47+MAP+2016

      Ok. What exactly does this mean to me- and others?

      My situation is –
      Presently, I have a pending Pa. Superior court case having to with Sorna being applied to me
      With the enactment of December, 2012.

      I had pled guilty to Invasion of privacy in 2011 and was halfway through my three year probation term on December, 2012 and was put on Sorna even though invasion of privacy was NOT a “sexually violent offense” when I pled guilty in 2011. These charges were from a six year relationship with a married woman… her husband did not like the pics as much as she and I did.

      My question- though my case is presently in Superior court, and the panel has had it for 4 months- is there no way I can now get relief from the Muniz decision?

      Also, while I have been watching. Loosely as the Superior and the Supreme Court has given relief from Muniz to at least 7 -8 different people who had cases pending- somehow they did not grant the same to me before this stay was issued.

      Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you

  30. Mike

    The PA Supreme Court just issued a Stay in its ruling on Muniz.

    AND NOW, this 5th day of September, 2017, upon review of the Commonwealth’s Application for Stay of Remand of Record Pending United States Supreme Court Review Pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 2572(c)” and Appellant’s Answer thereto, remand of the record in this case is hereby STAYED. The record shall be remanded on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 unless the Prothonotary receives notice prior to that date that the Commonwealth has filed a jurisdictional statement or petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States. See Pa.R.A.P. 2572(c).

    • Paul

      What does this mean AJ?

      • AJ

        @Paul:
        I see you got some answers already, but I’ll give you my take. I am not at all surprised PASC issued a stay, though I am somewhat surprised they issued one without an actual petition to SCOTUS in place. Personally, I see their issuing the stay as respect for the judicial process and PA’s rights to appeal. All any of this will do is delay the inevitable for PA because the second ruling by PASC in Muniz can only be changed by PASC itself. That the stay expires the day PA’s petition window closes strengthens my belief that PASC is giving PA its “day in court”–or at least the option to have it.

        There are three outcomes from any petition to SCOTUS:

        1) Denied: Muniz stands, the PASC decision completely stands, and SORNA-PA is found doubly unconstitutional (US & PA). The case would be binding only in PA, but it would be a very useful case to be used in other suits around the country as matter for consideration.

        2) Accepted and affirmed: SORNA-PA and any similar laws across the country are federally unconstitutional. Even laws that are only similar would be easier to challenge in court. The only way I foresee this outcome is if it’s done somehow in concert with affirming Snyder. If that happens, not only State SORAs start falling, but SORNA-US as well, and perhaps even IML. I see this outcome as quite possible, especially given Kennedy’s telegraphed message in Packingham. (Keep in mind, four other Justices *wholly agreed* with that statement. “KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined.” We need that same bloc to hold up in any Snyder and/or Muniz decision.)

        3) Accepted and reversed/remanded: Same as 1), except SORNA-PA is found to violate only one constitution (PA’s). Muniz would be binding only on PA, and though the case could be used for challenges elsewhere, its utility would be severely weakened by the SCOTUS reversal/remand. (It would pretty much limit its use to when challenging other SORAs under state constitutions.)

        Notice the theme across all three cases: PA RCs win due to the second opinion PASC made in Muniz. The winners or losers in any SCOTUS activity will be all those who do not live in PA.

        The ball is firmly in PA’s court (no pun intended). All in all, I think it means PA RCs will have to wait a while until it’s all over. I would say it could take months, if SCOTUS opts to keep rescheduling it for later conferences. But with Snyder already out there as a carryover from last term, and with the Packingham parenthetical, I think SCOTUS will take Snyder, or a Snyder/Muniz combo. There are any number of ways SCOTUS could handle things. One is that they could take Snyder, let any Muniz petition float along in the schedule, decide Snyder, then either reject or issue a per curiam (same result) for Muniz based on the Snyder decision. For a meaty issue like what Snyder and Muniz raise, I would not be at all surprised if it’s near or at the end of term (June/July) when they issue an Opinion. For more about when decisions come out, see: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2013/06/supreme_court_decision_schedule_how_do_the_justices_decide_what_cases_to.html & http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/supreme-court-explained-obamacare-gay-marriage/

        The PA case is not just, “a very strong one” as Robin (NARSOL) opined, it’s airtight for PA RCs. I don’t know how many times it needs to be said: Calder v Bull. Calder v Bull. Calder v. Bull. SCOTUS has no jurisdiction over what the PASC decided about Muniz violating the PA constitution. None. PASC has preemptively handled any SCOTUS remand–and even explicitly stated that was behind what they did and why they did it! (BTW, does anyone else see a certain irony that PASC used case law involving nude dancing in the Muniz decision?)

        Finally, it’s not unheard of for a law to be federally constitutional while also being unconstitutional at the state level. One only needs to look to AK, where amendments to ASORA have twice been declared unconstitutional at the state level (http://cases.justia.com/alaska/supreme-court/s-14486.pdf?ts=1396106766), even though Smith is constitutional federally.

        P.S. Did you know that 39 States, plus DC, VI, and PR, filed amici in the Smith case? So, including AK itself, that’s 80% of the States (AR, ID, IA, ME, MI, MN NC, RI, VA, & WY didn’t join the party), the 3 non-States, and the USSG. Crazy! I wonder how many will file amici in any Snyder or Muniz case? We already know USSG has shifted some, based on its Snyder amicus.

    • Paul

      Hi all,

      Here are two responses I received from NARSOL after sharing the Muniz stay.

      Response 1 from Robin van der Wall (NARSOL Vice Chair): This is reasonable and expected. It will NOT take the Supreme Court 1 to 3 years to dispose of the petition. 6 to 12 months is a much more likely scenario. Remanding the case before knowing whether or not the high Court will hear the petition would create havoc for the state of Pennsylvania most especially IF the petition were granted and the state supreme court’s opinion was subsequently reversed. Granting the stay merely prevents a whole lot of legal commotion pending final review….and avoids causing lower courts in PA from having to throw everything into reverse gear should the final outcome disturb the opinion of PA’s supreme court.
      Response 2 from Brenda Jones (NARSOL Exec Director): I will gently echo Robin’s remarks here. As we and our attorney guest tried to explain on last month’s NARSOL in Action, if there is any sort of appeal available, the state is going to take it… and they did! Things could indeed have gotten very chaotic if the state were to start removing people in the middle of an appeal, because if they won that appeal, then those poor folks would have to get thrown back ON again. What a mess!

      But from all I have heard, the PA decision is a very strong one, so although folks are going to have to wait for relief, I suspect that in the end the original win will be upheld. That is my non-legal, totally biased hope, anyhow!

      In my own state of Maryland, the our first retroactivity win required a writ of mandemus before the state would even take the original plaintiff off! Then, the state came back and tried to argue that they shouldn’t have to remove him because of federal laws. We got a chance to get an even stronger win with that, though, where the court basically said “There is NO federal requirement apart from ours in the state, so keep him off, and take all the others similarly situated off, too.” So it was definitely worth the wait. BUT… even now, many months later, at least one grouping of people who we feel should have gotten relief, have not. So we are planning another challenge to force the state to remove or roll them back.

  31. Who removes from list

    Everyone needs to remember one thing, the US Supreme Court did not “stay” the Michigan Decision pending an appeal. They havent even agreed to hear the appeal. My husband believes that even the “stay” may only be good until PA Files the Appeal, then it would be up to the US Supreme Court to grant or deny a “stay”. And in Michigan the US Supreme Court said no to the “stay” decision. My husband believes that PA is only pushing forward until they get told its over. The US Supreme Court may not agree to hear Michigan before Oct 17. They come back Oct 2 2017. And if the US Supreme Court says no to Michigan, then PA may not file appeal! Alot going on!

    • AJ

      @WRFL:
      It’s important to understand that it was Justice Kagan in particular, not SCOTUS in toto, who denied the stay, as the Sixth is her responsibility. The decision was hers, and hers alone, to make. So that denied Stay really only tells us what Kagan thinks about the case; it in no way provides any information about what any other Justices may believe. Since Muniz was done in State, not Federal, court, the authority to issue a stay sits with the PASC, not Justice Alito (as I have mistakenly mentioned some time previously). As we know, PASC granted the stay. I agree that it’s merely to let PA run all its options.

      IMHO, Muniz is beholden to whatever SCOTUS does with Snyder. I don’t see SCOTUS denying Muniz, as that will complicate what happens were they to accept Snyder. I expect SCOTUS to issue a stay for Muniz; this could be done with or without acting on a petition. Then, we’ll just have to watch the interplay with Snyder (and possibly Minnis, out of IL).

      SCOTUS will have to deal with all this sooner or later (I say sooner), as there are many RC cases that have bubbled to the surface through the Federal and State courts. There are more and more legal questions in need of answers. Only SCOTUS can provide those answers.

      • Jim

        This makes little sense.
        If the PASC Muniz ruling is so iron clad and no matter what happens, the SCOTUS can’t change the fact that our Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional- then why the waiting for relief and whether or not SCOTUS accepts/denies, etc.?

        There is no reason not to grant relief immediately if the end result is going to remain unchanged…

        My attorney had sent Psp two letters demanding relief and received no response from them in return.

        • AJ

          @Jim:
          You’re absolutely right, it does make little sense. Welcome to the world of politicians and stubborn, entrenched positions by your State government. As I’ve said, it’s my belief PASC is letting PA exhaust all its legal avenues–however useless, wasteful and time-consuming they may be–to honor the judicial process. PA has a right to petition the Federal question, and PASC is allowing PA to do do. It would be “bad form,” for PASC to block a party’s right to appeal.

          As noted in a research paper I previously mentioned on here (http://all4consolaws.org/2017/07/general-comments-july-2017/#comment-181192), there is a dearth of state-constitutional law training in law schools anymore. So it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the DA, or perhaps even the AG, don’t even know that PASC is the final word at the State level! (And based on that chump ADA who argued before PASC, it’s even more believable.)

          As to your attorney sending letters to PSP and receiving nothing, that aligns with what others have said. There are numerous comments on here from people who have experienced similiar; apparently the only way it has been (prior to the Stay) possible to get removed was via writ of mandamus (“court order”). That’s the fine mess the PA has created: freezing PSP in place for fear of doing wrong, meanwhile creating all sorts of extra court time and costs for individuals, all for a case PA has already lost.

          Nope, none of it makes a lick of sense. But, as I’ve said many times before, neither side will quit appealing until the court of last resort. The government won’t, because it is sure these laws are constitutional and needed, and the RCs won’t, because they’re fighting for their rights. PA has the right to appeal the Federal question of Muniz to SCOTUS. PASC is giving them that opportunity (to let PA look like idiots, IMO). The point remains: PASC has ruled SORNA-PA is violates the PA Constitution. And since Calder v Bull still applies, SCOTUS has no authority to change that outcome.

          A handy way to understand what courts have binding authority on what types of cases can be found here: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/…/which_court_is_binding_painter-and-mayer-final.pdf. The last page of the doc (page 5) has a grid chart to help explain things easier. Muniz applies in two places on this chart, as PASC issued an Opinion addressing both the Federal and State constitutions. Using the parlance of the chart, there is a, “Federal issue in state supreme court,” for which the binding authority is, “US Supreme Court.” (This is the basis of PA’s right–and so far, merely veiled threat–to petition SCOTUS.) There’s also a, “State issue in a state’s highest court,” for which the binding authority is, “That state’s highest court.” (It is this part which makes Muniz binding in PA, no matter what any other court says.) SCOTUS, being part of, “All federal courts,” has a persuasive (i.e. non-binding) authority in the case, but obviously PASC is not interested in it, having already ruled on the State question. So, even if one assumes I have no idea what I’m talking about, hopefully Georgetown School of Law can be trusted.

          • Jim

            AJ,

            Thank you for the cogent explanation.

            I was one of the people snagged in 2012 when the AWA was enacted in Pa. because I was on probation at the time for invasion of privacy for my dating a married woman who’s husband did not appreciate our pictures we took…

            The horrible part of this for me is that I initially filed an enforcement of plea agreement in 2012 – I gained relief due to Act 19 of the Pa legislature in 2014. The DA in my county did not appeal the superior court decision in my case and I was taken off for a year.
            There were many, many individuals who gained relief due to act 19. Only one DA appealed to the Pa.Supreme Court (Farabaugh).

            The Pa. Supreme Court found that act 19 was incorrectly phrased, and although none of the dozens/hundreds that got relief due to act 19 – I was the ONLY one that because of the PASC Farabaugh decision-was put back on after a year.

            The DA in my sentencing county has personal animus because my brother has an ongoing lawsuit against him since 2010.
            This DA is the “chump’s” boss that argued in PASC and made a complete fool of himself!

            So I was off for an entire year- thought it was over and was surprised in early 2016 when the PASC ruled on Farabaugh (act 19) and my sentencing county DA petitioned that I be put back on due to Farabaugh. Again- no one else who got relief in the entire state due to act 19, 2014 was put back on- only me! All other DA’s let it go.

            So, I’ve really had enough!
            I’ve read your comments throughout this site and you seem to be learned about these issues.
            I am banking that you are correct in Calder v Bull and that eventually this nightmare will end.

            Again, thanks for your input on these matters. I am sure there are many who appreciate it.

            The

  32. DavidH

    The beauty of this is that the State is attempting to snare otherwise non-violent, law abiding citizens into becoming this class of hated and despised sex offender, it’s not just about so’s wanting to get off a registry. These are people who have a legitimate complaint about being added to and punished longer on a registry: ” Roughly 2,000 people who had previously been convicted but not required to register were added to the state registry. This is not a group of the worst of the worst to be snubbed by the US Supreme court. This is the new backlash against SO laws– an ever expanding and all consuming monster. Are these people a threat to society must be asked, and I think this group works well for us–take it to the SCOTUS, idiot

    An estimated 4,500 more people saw their registration requirements increase and many were required to register for life, according to the Associated Press.

    “We’ve had clients where they’ve had previous registrations of 10 years or less than lifetime registrations and then having to come back and being told ‘you are now either lifetime or you are a 15-year registrant, 25-year registrant, something else,’” Cumberland County Chief Public Defender Michael Halkias said. ‘There’s been a lot of frustration from clients that it’s unfair that they now have these longer registration periods.’”

    • Paul

      U.S. Senate formally receives Cumberland County DA David Freed’s nomination for U.S. attorney
      http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/09/us_senate_formally_receives_cu.html#incart_river_index

      Please someone go to this and report!
      Informational meeting on The State Supreme Court ruling which found that PA’s sex offender registration system cannot be applied to defendants retroactively and any other business that may come before the committee.
      http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/cteeInfo/Index.cfm?CteeBody=H&Code=24

      • AJ

        And what’s most likely the truth behind Freed’s post-Muniz machinations comes to light! It’s doubtful his appointment gets blocked based on the Muniz case. Muniz will simply be seen as yet another court legislating from the bench (the familiar cry when legislators don’t like what a court rules). Besides, what senator wants to stand up for RCs to the point of blocking the nomination? Can you imagine the unhinged tweets that would yield?

        It won’t surprise me one bit if, once Freed gets promoted, PA suddenly loses its zest for petitioning SCOTUS over Muniz.

  33. Paul

    Looks like PCN will have the hearing in Harrisburg tomorrow on TV Please watch!

    PCN Schedule
    https://pcntv.com/schedule/?d=1

    Free stream at 10am
    https://pcntv.com/channel-2/

    • Mike

      In case you missed the broadcast, here are some notes from this one-sided meeting.

      – The committee met privately with Jennifer Storm from the Victims advocacy group
      o The committee gushed over her normal rhetoric
      – DA David Freed and PSP were only people testifying
      – DA Freed read a long statement that was purely based on scaring the panel
      o Recidivism rates were based on studies that I never heard of
      o Whenever talking about RCs getting off the registry, they were always summarized as the example of being rapists “we could see many rapists going free”
      o His math on a ten-year RC as a rapist getting off the registry was a complete lie as Rape has always carried a lifetime registration requirement
      – DA and PSP’s plan is to “bring back” prior versions of Megan’s Law that not been deemed unconstitutional by the PA Supreme Court
      – With this plan, some could see relief but it looks like the PSP will fight every claim
      – PSP read a statement that conformed with DA statement while adding how much money and time a change will take if Muniz is found to be the law of the land
      – Questions from Panel –
      o Summed up, they all took their turn trying to change the rules legislatively to get in front of the law
      o One of the suggestions, and most disturbing, was to create a sister website with all of the RCs that would be granted relief under Muniz so that they can be tracked. Also lead into talk of taking legislative action to make this a requirement, and I am assuming there would be penalties for non-compliance
      o DA Freed and PSP stoked the ignorant flames of infringement on civil rights, as you would expect.

      The meeting ended with the proclamation that the legislature is in dire need of a “fix” to combat their original laws that violated the State Constitution. Needless to say, the legislature made it clear that they “Have DA Freed, PSP, and the people of the Commonwealths back”

      • Paul

        I made several calls to these clowns and asked if they plan to have a hearing before leg is introduced. No one knows anything. I also left message for Toomey to comment on how he justifies approving Freed for us attorney when he has a blatant disregard for the PASC and the tax payer money spent. We need to get together on this They are out of control We need to call all these clowns and make them have a hearing and get treatment providers and attorneys to testify about the hysteria and ineffectiveness of the reg. The real recidivism rates Also we have to go 4 times a year and a trooper has to update info so I’m sure they can explain to us how it will take so many man hrs to turn off a web page at 36$ / hr Also we need to stop this secondary reg in its tracks and file to force the web site down until they can fix thier so called problem. People are going to have to file ASAP It also sounds like they can not prosecute non compliance until they pass a fix

      • AJ

        “One of the suggestions, and most disturbing, was to create a sister website with all of the RCs that would be granted relief under Muniz so that they can be tracked. Also lead into talk of taking legislative action to make this a requirement, and I am assuming there would be penalties for non-compliance.”
        So they want to create a list of people they’re not allowed to list? “Here’s a list of people who have finished their sentences, have complied with every aspect of ML, and have no reason to be listed in any manner.” I guess their time frames (10 years, etc) are meaningless. What is *with* these people!?!?

        I continue to pray for SCOTUS to rule strongly for us in Snyder. Two more weeks until first conference of the October Term!

        • Paul

          AJ this is crazy they are even pushing a bill to start a reg for arson. I got a call back from Dom Costa’s (D) office. The woman listen to my points and questions about why they would start leg without a hearing and that they shouldn’t just take Freeds word she agreed She said forward any info we want to both chairs. I think we need to put pressure on the whole comity to have a hearing.

  34. Paul

    Freed sat in his chair and lied right threw his teeth. They will keep passing un constitutional laws until they run out of money they have no guilt over wasting tax payer money and causing mass hysteria for votes. I hope they do take case and force these potato heads to comply with the constitution. Notice they are willing to sign a bill with no testimony from other side disgraceful.

  35. who removes from list

    My husband wanted me to tell you all one thing.

    No one is getting of the registry unless you were 10 years prior to the SORNA enactment or were never on it. Thats not what the MUNIZ DECISION is about. It is about added punishment.

    If you were IDSI or the other lifetime registration crimes, all you will have to do is register 1 time a year, and only report the car, the home, the school, and the job and only one time per year, NOT 4 times a year. and any changes with in the 48 hr or 10 days required prior to SORNA.

    The Muniz Decision, was won stating that SORNA is added punishment to a past crime and sentence.

    Megans Law 3 was in place prior to Sorna, DA Freed, The PSP, and the Commonwealth made a very important point.

    Make two websites, one for Sorna Requirements and One for Pre Sorna Megan’s Law.

    This is perfectly stated because that means they are working to release the ones who should not be on SORNA, who never registered before. And release the 10 year registrants off it for good, if they have reached there 10 years and the lifetime pre sorna, get to just register one time per year and not the added SORNA Requirements, NO MORE INTERNET IDENTIFIER requirements for all PRE SORNA.

    That alone is huge, freedom of speech is also given back to all of you and my husband!

    • Paul

      Sorry but you’re wrong PSP and Freed want to provide info with a pic on any sex offender that will be takin off the reg. They said we could revert back to meg law 2 for people pre SORNA but they will try to put anyone that is takin off on a public list that shows info and pic. My 10yrs is up if they revert back to ML 2 They will have to take me off but they are going to provide info and pic still.

  36. who removes from list

    We all are looking for own possible solution. My husband is okay with going back to the whatever, as long it is off SORNA. I hope for the best for you, but why do care if you are on some second site? As long as you are off SORNA, wasnt that the battle of Muniz? The register laws will soon be gone for good. Praise God for this little victory, admitting they are trying to come up with the best solution or fix means people are off the registry. And so you know, they cant make Megan’s Law 2, active, it was deemed unconstitutional also. Just saying!

    • Mike

      I did enjoy the part where the PSP raised the concern of cost to make changes. I’m into my fight against ML for around $12k. I’ll be happy to pay $36 to A) get in the front of the line B) get off the list. I have a nice packet that has been sent to them 4 times over the last 3 years, should take about 10 minutes to clear the record, I won even ask for the $30 change!! They can add that to the Policemen’s Ball Fund

  37. Paul

    ML 3 was deemed un constitutional, not 2. ML 3 was started 2004 I was sentenced 2003 there were no SO’s on the web site I think they had SVP’s up when I had to start reg in 2005 they had web site. I get your point on not being on SORNA but all they need is another way in to exploit things all over again.
    We need treatment providers and attorneys to testify that reg doesn’t protect kids and to urge them to work on prevention All this effort to keep reg could be put to help potential victims from being hurt and get people the help they need before something happens. People deemed dangerous by professionals and the court are a different story and even that should afford people to show they have been rehabilitated and given a chance to be re heard every 5yrs or so. They will use this so called emergency to sneak by more unconstitutional laws that will take years and more tax payers dollars to strike down all over again. I hope that any SO in PA that is aware of whats going on starts talking on here so we can team up and start doing something about this and anyone else that can help, no one will do it for us. First we can contact all the legislators on this comity and ask them to hold a hearing with input from all sides before they draft more unconstitutional crap. Second we can contact people that can testify or file briefs to send in. Third we can start a class action to shut website down until due relief is afforded if it takes time burden should be on them not us.

    • Jim

      These “gentleman” sound like cut rate gestapo criminals trying to find a way around a lawful order from the highest court in their jurisdiction.

      Surely there has to be a means to demand they follow the law!

      This is not some banana republic in which they can ignore lawful orders because they don’t like it or their constituents may not vote them in again.

      Sitting around attempting to circumvent the Pa. Supreme Court conveying nonsensical, false recidivism data and scheming to further disregard those who’s rights have already been tread upon.

      Everyone MUST write/call your representative and congressman. Demand the elected officials follow the law!
      Apathy does nothing but to further their infringements of our rights because – they can.

  38. Who removes from list

    Paul you are correct.

    ML3 is unconstitutional.

    My husband took a plea in 2006 to IDSI.

    He was sentenced in 2006.

    He was released on parole before Sorna in Feb 2012.

    He was registered under ML3.

    Then came SORNA.

    Now came Muniz.

    And now there is no ML3 to go back to.

    This is something DA Freed knows.

    Everyone who was ML3 has no crime code, registration requirements to go back too!

    That seems like why he needs to get something in place because my husband by Muniz Decision sets him free from registration because he was sentenced to ML3.

    Am I correct?

  39. Mike

    I was able to obtain a copy of the broadcast of Pennsylvania’s Judiciary meeting and upload it to my YouTube Page. I highly encourage everyone that visits this page to spend the hour and watch. This shows to what extremes “our” elected officials and Law Enforcement will go to assert the misnomer concerning RCs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMrfn9nzpWo&feature=youtu.be

    • Paul

      Thanks Mike

      I was trying to find it too. Please everyone call these PA house legislators and ask them to hold a hearing to allow the public to see the facts and ask why they are not looking at both sides before they draft new laws that will be ineffective, cost more tax payers money, and still be unconstitutional.

    • AlexO

      Thank you for the link. I’ll be sure to watch it. I’ve become a lot more interested in these types of hearings as how they are run and conducted in reality is way different than I perceived them due to popular media (like real court cases are not conducted in the same manor that we see on Law & Order and films).

      • Jim

        Here is an excerpt from Penn Live in which the illustrious DA David Freed
        is speaking of a recent case of his that the jury did not convict the perp of the worst crimes…

        It seems he respects jury verdicts- but not not PASC verdicts, (I guess?)
        Following the verdict, Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed said, “I believe the case was appropriately charged, but a hallmark of our system is that we must respect the verdict of the jury.”

        Freed said the full video shows that Officer Cramer took the appropriate actions that day.

        • Jim

          Here is the Pa. district attorneys “fix”
          they recommend to be instituted by the legislature in view of the Muniz decision.

          Sickening!

          http://www.pdaa.org/state-must-reenact-megans-law-to-preserve-sex-offender-registration/

          • Tim Moore

            “As prosecutors, our experience is that sex offender registries work and represent good policy,” said Freed. “Sex offenders are high risk and they recidivate. They are dangerous; they prey on our most vulnerable and they commit crimes that can result in a lifetime of struggle and challenges for the victims and their families.”
            More like “They (politicians) are dangerous; they prey on our most vulnerable (politically powerless) and they commit crimes (unconstitutional laws) that can result in a lifetime of struggle and challenges for the registrants and their families.”

  40. Ron

    How in the world does anyone consider being on the registry not punishment? If you don’t comply to all of the stipulations, you are subject to more punishment, … jail time, probation.. etc.

    The state did this to themselves by not putting an obviously questionable (unconstitunial) law on the books. Why was this not put through the PA Supreme Court before it ever became law?

    It would’ve saved everyone involved a whole lot of hassle and anger.

  41. Who removes from list

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause

    DOES THIS MEAN THAT THE US SUPREME COURT CAN OVERTURN THE STATE CONSTITIONAL RULING OF THE MUNIZ DECISION OF JULY 19 2017, RETROACTIVELY APPLIED IS UNCONSTITIONAL PA STATE CONSTITUTIONAL EX POST FACTO?

    • Paul

      Check this out
      State Must Reenact Megan’s Law to Preserve Sex Offender Registration
      http://www.pdaa.org/state-must-reenact-megans-law-to-preserve-sex-offender-registration/

      • AJ

        @Paul:
        Freed repeated a study that NC tried to use in Packingham: “Freed cited several studies that demonstrate how dangerous released sexual offenders are, including one that the sexual recidivism rate arrest rate for rapists was 39% and the sexual recidivism arrest rate for child molesters was 52%.”
        —–
        The study Freed cited is debunked in “BRIEFING THE SUPREME COURT: PROMOTING SCIENCE OR MYTH?”: “The States’ Amicus Brief [in Packingham] declares that ‘one study showed that, over a twenty-five [year] period, fifty-two percent of persistent child molesters were rearrested for a new sex offense and thirty-nine percent of rapists were rearrested for a new sex offenses.’ However, the underlying study is of limited value here. The study is dated, using a sample of sex offenders released between 1959 and 1985. The recidivism rates quoted by the States’ Amicus Brief are not the observed rates of recidivism, but merely projected rates using a technique called survival analysis. As a result, one of the original study’s authors has warned that the estimated rates should not be cited as actual rates. More importantly, the study is not generalizable to any degree as the study sample was entirely composed of men prosecuted as ‘sexually dangerous persons’ and thereafter civilly committed to a secure, inpatient mental health hospital. Hence, the sample is only representative of an extremely select group of those presenting with the highest risk, plus are distinguishable as having been diagnosed with severe mental illness.” (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID2943016_code827096.pdf?abstractid=2940002&mirid=1)
        —–
        Surprise, surprise, Freed is spewing BS.

    • AJ

      @WRFL:
      No. I say again: Calder v. Bull (1798) – “[T]his court has no jurisdiction to determine that any law of any state Legislature, contrary to the Constitution of such state, is void” (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/3/386.html). In contemporary English this means, “SCOTUS has no jurisdiction over whether a state law violates a state constitution.” Please put to rest, once and for all, that there is *any* recourse on PASC’s opinion about Muniz violating the PA Constitution.

      See also: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics/academic-programs/legal-writing-scholarship/writing-center/upload/which_court_is_binding_painter-and-mayer-final.pdf, page 5.

      • Tim Moore

        AJ, i have a question that veers tangentially off your statements. When a state enters the Union how is it determined that the state’s constitution doesn’t violate the federal constitution?

        • AJ

          @Tim Moore:
          It’s part of the review process prior to Congress approving the application for statehood, but can take quite some time.

          One classic example is that of UT, which originally wanted to be much larger, and wanted polygamy as part of the deal. You can read about the lengthy process here: http://ilovehistory.utah.gov/topics/statehood/index.html. Another, more general, explanation is here: https://www.thoughtco.com/us-statehood-process-3322311.

          Though the process Congress mandates for statehood includes having a constitution in line with the US Constitution, in truth there would be no need for that. The moment statehood is achieved, federal law and the US Constitution have supremacy. As such, anything in the state constitution that violates federal law or the US Constitution is automatically rendered void. That said, getting all the ducks in a row prior to statehood avoids all sorts of legal challenges and issues after the fact.

          Mind you that as long as they stay within federal constraints, this in no way prohibits states from giving its citizens more rights than the federal vehicles allow (ex: right to reputation or privacy, or perhaps a right to free condoms and IUDs on Fridays), nor imposing harsher restrictions than the federal vehicles mandate (ex: State SORAs vs. AWA).

        • David Kennerly, Social Contaminant

          You can read the Supremacy Clause and then promptly go down the rabbit hole of interpretation and rulings.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause

          The states cannot usurp those rights enumerated by the U.S. Bill of Rights. So they say.

  42. AJ

    Here’s some further comfort for those PA RCs awaiting relief based on the Muniz decision:
    “Appeals [to the United States Supreme Court] from the highest court of a state challenging its decision of a question under the Federal Constitution are frequently dismissed because the judgment can be sustained on an independent state ground.” When reviewing judgments of state courts, the United States Supreme Court only reviews questions of federal law. The Court will decline to hear a case if an adequate and independent state ground supports the judgment of the state court. The Court reasons that, if a state ground independently supports the judgment, a decision by the Court on federal law grounds will have no effect on the outcome of the case and will amount to an advisory opinion. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_resort_rule)
    —–
    Based on this, I’m skeptical SCOTUS will accept a Muniz petition because, “a state ground independently supports the judgment,” and, “a decision by [SCOTUS] on federal law grounds will have no effect on the outcome of the case.” This is certainly the situation with Muniz. Even if SCOTUS says PASC erred in declaring SORNA-PA violates the US Constitution, any decision SCOTUS would make, “will have no effect,” due to PASC ruling that SORNA-PA violates the PA Constitution.

    • AJ

      Here’s the juicy tidbit upon which the above is founded:
      “Upon this we remark that, when a state court decides a case upon two grounds, one federal and the other nonfederal, this Court will not disturb the judgment if the nonfederal ground, fairly construed, sustains the decision.” (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/211/45/case.html)
      This is *exactly* what has happened with Muniz. “[PASC] decide[d] [Muniz] upon two grounds, one federal and the other [State].” As such, “[SCOTUS] will not disturb the judgment.”
      —–
      This makes me even more confident SCOTUS will deny any petition by PA.

      • Jim

        So AJ-

        Given what you state is the absolute, undeniable outcome,
        (That the Pa. constitutional outcome is final), and I believe you to be correct.

        Tell me- Is Freed and every other lawyer in the state just playing stupid in that they do not realize this? There apparently is NO reason to wait in giving anyone relief based on Muniz! This is all just a ridiculous delay tactic to make those affected suffer needlessly a few more months, etc?

        I don’t see the reason to wait for an acceptance or denial by SCOTUS since the outcome cannot be changed.

        And thank you for your knowledge in these matters!

        • AJ

          @Jim:
          Given Freed is nominated for the US Attorney position, I could *easily* see it as a tactic to try to kick this embarrassing loss down the calendar past his confirmation deliberations. But even without that nefarious belief, I think it’s simply what any State will do against us: delay, delay, delay because they “know” they are right and we’re monsters waiting to attack. Therefore, every extra second, minute, and day they can keep one more person on the registry is a “win” for them. With both these theories in mind, do not be at all surprised if PA waits until the last moment to file any possible petition. SCOTUS has conferences on Sep 25, Oct 6, Oct 13, and Oct 27; I can easily foresee PA waiting until the Oct 14 – 17 window to file a petition to avoid a denial prior to the PASC Stay expiring. There’s even a chance the PASC Stay expires, SCOTUS does not issue one (freeing up more people to get writs of mandamus), and the whole thing stews until the Oct 27 conference (I see this as doubtful; I think SCOTUS will act by Oct 17).

          Going further, it would not surprise me if Freed and friends are ignorant of all of how this works, given most law schools focus almost exclusively on the US Constitution itself, and give short shrift to some of the more arcane case law that drives how SCOTUS operates, and to state constitutional law. I would *hope* someone nominated to be a US Attorney would have deeper understanding, but there’s certainly no guarantee of such.

          As for the reason for waiting, I still think PASC is acting out of respect for the judicial process. Everyone, including PA, has rights of appeal, and PASC is letting PA exercise those rights, regardless the futility. There is always the possibility SCOTUS accepts it, it just seems to me extremely unlikely that they will. Their time is much too valuable to be wasted on what amounts to an advisory opinion and has no teeth.

          • Paul

            I think PSP will be acting like they are in the process of reviewing everyones status This will again be a drawn out scheme to delay things. Maybe past the appeal hoping SCOTUS strikes Muniz down. However I think if everyone that is due relief files a writ they will get in line if a stay is lifted. I don’t think everyone should wait to see what happens. What does everyone think? Do the people that already received a remand to the lower court keep their relief if the appeal is granted and the decision struck down. I think a court will force PSP to take people down ahead of their so called review and possibly a class action may force the site to be takin down before the review is finished Please anyone that has info post.

            • AJ

              @Paul:
              I think PASC will lift their Stay the earlier of Oct 17 or a SCOTUS denial. Once that happens, PA is out of legal options. They would then be legally obligated to start enforcing the Opinion of PASC, like it or not. Not doing so would be willfully negligent acts by the officers of the State (read: personally liable), as well as probably contempt of court charges issued by PASC. I say rest easy, as I doubt the Gov., AG, and head of PSP are all so unhinged as to ignore final court rulings.

              On the other hand, given my earlier posts about how SCOTUS doesn’t typically take cases that are already settled at the State level, I think SCOTUS accepting Muniz will be a boon for us…all of us. To me, that would mean SCOTUS wishes to use it to affirm the Opinion, and thereby striking AWA as federally unconstitutional. Honestly, I see no reason for SCOTUS to accept it other than to affirm it.

      • Paul

        Thanks AJ

        I can’t wait to see potato head Freed’s face when this all comes to the surface. These politicians are far more narcissistic and have a higher level of delusional grandeur then even us so called dangerous SO’s. I’d love to see a study of the political population that shows rates of sociopaths vs the gen pub lol Bet its pretty high.

        • Paul

          Also this House comity and Freed are conspiring to hurt a select group of people which I believe is illegal and they can be charged or sued. They are aware that the court has ruled it to be illegal yet they are trying to circumvent things.

  43. TXSO4Life

    Thank you Jim for that you tube link, listening to the introduction of DA Free by the legislative branch >>Rep Ron Marsico (legislative) introduced “my GOOD FRIEND DA Freed” (Executive) to the podium. So much for the system of checks and balances to prevents one branch from gaining too much power. Some thing seems a bit too bias here.

  44. Paul

    Supreme Court of Ohio Sex Offender Laws
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF2w9DMhc8g

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