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PA: Third Judge Rules Juvenile Sex Offender Registration Unconstitutional

Under current Pennsylvania law, juvenile sex offenders have to comply with lifetime registration requirements. But this month, a third Pennsylvania judge ruled that law unconstitutional, setting the stage for the issue to be addressed by the state supreme court.

Judges from York, Monroe, and Lancaster counties have now all written opinions stating that the law fails to take juveniles’ greater capacity for reform into account. Full Article

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According to the article, the rulings involved here held that the registration law failed to take into consideration juveniles’ greater capacity for reform and lower recidivism rate than adults.

That basis for the ruling might fly in Pennsylvania, but the California high court from the early days of the expansion of registration and the collateral requirements in the mid-1990s has nixed such consideration by the court disagreeing with the Legislature’s decision. They won’t allow it. They ruled that such considerations were up to the discretion of the Legislature and not open to court review, and dismissed all challenges. Basically, the California court said it might be a bad decision by the Legislature but it was the Legislature’s to make.

This is just another reason to be added to the myriad of reasons why I refer to California as the “stupid state”.

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