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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. Who removes from list

    http://cases.justia.com/pennsylvania/superior-court/2017-2191-eda-2016-0.pdf?ts=1507140749

    COMMONWEALTH V WILLIAMS THIS IS THE CASE THAT WAS HIGHLY NOTED DURING THE APPEAL PROCESS OF MUNIZ, REED, GILBERT!

    THANK GOD FOR GETTING THIS RIGHT!

    MY HUSBAND WANTS YOU ALL TO KNOW, TRUST IN GOD AND WE ALL WILL PREVAIL!

    • Paul 2

      AJ did you see this from the Williams case?

      , the OAJC found that SORNA violates the Ex Post Facto Clauses under both the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions. Justice Wecht’s Concurring Opinion, joined by Justice Todd, found that SORNA violates the Pennsylvania Constitution and declined to consider whether SORNA violates the United States Constitution.

      !!(Thus, the binding precedent arising out of Muniz is limited to the finding that SORNA’s registration requirements violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution )!!

      • AJ

        @Paul 2:
        Yeah, I read that footnote. I found it interesting that in PA (and probably elsewhere), a plurality opinion is non-binding. But so what. So the US violation is non-binding. You still have the PA part that is. So again, Mr. Freed is going to find he’s got bupkus for an argument.

        I’m guessing the Dem. senators on the Judiciary Committee will poke him with it. Those in CA, VT, IL, RI, MN, DE, CT, and HI could always contact the Senator (or in MN’s case, both Senators) of theirs on the Committee and point out this fact. It’d be a nice way to help out fellow RCs in PA.

  2. David

    That depends upon your conviction date. If your conviction date was prior to the enactment of the law requiring registration (i.e., prior to 2011), then you are not required to register. That’s where ex post facto comes in: you had already been convicted, they cannot heap on more punishment (i.e., registration) afterwards.
    *Obviously, consult with a lawyer for legal advice. (I am not a lawyer.)

  3. Who removes from list

    Yes, anyone convicted prior to Sorna and who was not to register under Sorna per Muniz Decision is effected by this Williams Decision for failure to register convictions that are illegal due to Muniz.

    • Jim

      So- is it anyone who was convicted prior to December, 2012 that are due relief via Muniz – or is it those that were convicted prior to December, 2011 (when the law was enacted?)

      What if a person pled guilty to a non Sorna offense in May, 2011 – did not have to register at that time – then was blindsided by Sorna in December 2012 while on probation for what Sorna now deems a “violent sexual
      offense”?

      I was under the impression that anyone who either had to register in December, 2012 (when they previously did not have to) or who had their 10 year registrations increased by Sorna 12/20/2012 were due relief from Muniz??

      • Who removes from list

        Your crime had to be committed whether it was the act of the crime or conviction to the crime prior to Dec 20 2012.

        If you were convicted in 2011, and were forced to be on SORNA, whether you were on old megans law, not on megans law, never had to register before or had requirements added after Dec 20 2012, you are due relief.

        @Jim you are do relief because you never had to register pre sorna but were forced under SORNA. Call an attorney!

  4. Who removes from list

    My husband wanted to confirm what AJ stated about the state ruling back in July 2017 of Muniz.

    In Commonwealth v Williams they state this,

    “Thus, the binding precedent arising out of Muniz is LIMITED to the finding that SORNA’s registration requirements violate the ex post facto clause of THE PENNSYLVANIA CONSTITUTION. ”

    Our Us Justice in our District only had the power to stay the federal ruling.

    The state ruling is still binding!

    • AJ

      @WRFL:
      “The state ruling is still binding!”

      Let’s all say it together: “Calder v Bull.” 😀

  5. Who removes from list

    What it means, Paul is the courts agree with defendants whether or not the, Da Freed was granted a stay on Muniz the courts still have to honor the state constution violation under Muniz. The Federal Ruling of Muniz is stayed pending appeal, but not the state ruling.

    http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Superior/out/judgment%20order%20-%20vacated-remanded%20-%2010322271522995966.pdf

    • Paul 2

      Please read the note 3 in Williams Also if the entire record is stayed how can a court use it right now the two cases that received relief were filed before the stay. I think we have to wait for the stay to be lifted Unless someone shows me a case or someone charged after the stay that received relief I will believe it I will not report or update my reg. I think the PA ex post will go back into effect after stay then PSP will have to act.

    • Paul 2

      I’m saying there is no federal or state ruling because the entire record is stayed until the USSC decides what to do if Freed or AG has indeed filed a motion on Muniz. I think the courts still have only given relief to those cases that were in the court before the stay. However it looks like PSP is starting the ball in motion I hope we get some more info from Michael or someone else. I realize the state decision is good but I think it is stayed until USSC decides. The two cases you mentioned were already in the court before the stay therefore enjoyed the benefit of the laps. Just my opinion.

      • AJ

        As of Thursday evening (10/12/17), no docket for Muniz on SCOTUS…. I wonder if PSP is starting to act because they’ve received some direction that’s not public. Perhaps post-Snyder, they saw the writing on the wall.

  6. Who removes from list

    Paul 2 – repost what you wrote I cant read this to my husband. Its all up and down!

  7. Who removes from list

    Anyone hear this too that the Commonwealth of Pa filed its appeal on the Muniz Decision?

    Word has it that they filed and are waiting to see if US Supreme Court will grant or deny there appeal like Snyder v Doe in Michigan?

    Please let me know who to look it up.

  8. TXSO4life

    Baller vs. Bullshit! 😀

  9. Michael

    I had a couple of detectives show up at my house yesterday saying I had failed to register after having moved back to PA in July, and had 3 days to contact a detective on the notice they left or I’d be arrested. I went off on them because, based on the law and decisions in cases like Tommy Lee Jackson v Commonwealth, I knew that that I did not have to register in PA and told them to bugger off and that I had not intention of registering. I called Joseph Ratasiewicz of Casamento & Ratasiewicz because he handled the Jackson case successfully and I figured I’d need to have him file a Writ of Mandamus. Today I tried calling the detective on the notice and couldn’t reach her, so for shits and giggles I called PSP’s Meghans law unit and was told I in fact did not have to register, that they had finished my file yesterday and had already mailed out a notice. She gave me the impression that mine was not the only file she was going through. I don’t know that this is related to Muniz, but if it is, they are already up to last names starting with “D.”

    Just an FYI. Casamento & Ratasiewicz apparently charges $4500 to get ya off the list. Apparently they are having a good run because Joseph Ratasiewicz said they got a guy in Pittsburgh who moved here from NY off the list last week.

    ….

    • Paul 2

      Hell yah bother Thanks for the post. What makes you say they are going in alphabetical order? also please give more details if you have and what the letter says thanks.

      • Michael

        “What makes you say they are going in alphabetical order?”

        Don’t know that they are doing anything, but if I were to be doing it, alphabetically would be the way I’d go at it.

        “also please give more details if you have and what the letter says thanks.”

        Are referring to the Meghans law compliance notice I received, or the letter that says I don’t have to register? The letter regarding not having to register probably won’t be her until tomorrow or Sat.

        ….

        • Paul 2

          Thanks. Yes, the letter that you will be getting, just curious what they say.

  10. who removes from list

    My husband went to see his attorney yesterday, the Commonwealth v Williams case, is a home run case for anyone who is charged with SORNA Violations in the state of PA.

    In the Commonwealth v Williams case, the Superior admitted they needed to fix a July 18 2017 order due to the Muniz Decision coming out a day later on July 19 2017. The Superior Court, states “The Commonwealth and the Appealant both agree.”

    My attorney is saying that the Superior Court, agreed that they need to fix there wrong. They guided the defendant to file what is needed to get back in front of them to fix there wrong.

    They overturned a failure to register and failure to provide accurate information to the PSP which Williams was in prison for 8 to 19 years, or close to that. They overturned the sentence stating, Muniz applies to Williams and should of never been required to register under SORNA, per Muniz, PA ex post facto clause.

    Anyone with failure to register convictions, or charges. Take the Commonwealth v Williams to your attorney and have your case dismissed.

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