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National

PA: Supreme Court Further Restricts Sex Offender Registry

The registration of sex offenders in Pennsylvania, known as Megan’s Law, has had a tumultuous existence, including a number of revisions to comply with several successful challenges before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Last month, the state’s high court further refined the state’s sex offender registry. The Supreme Court made a ruling that will have an impact on determining which sex offenders will be considered lifetime registrants. The court narrowed the ability of the authorities to designate an offender as a lifetime registrant as the result of being convicted of multiple sex offenses in a single incident. Full Article – Free Registration required

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  1. Joe

    Is there a link that doesn’t require you to subscribe?

  2. DavidH

    I didn’t register or read the article, but this sounds like a good thing for most!

  3. steve

    The gist:

    The decision means sex offenders convicted of Tier I offenses including luring a child into a vehicle, institutional sexual assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and possessing child pornography will not be required to register for life on their first offense, regardless of the number of offenses that grew out of a single incident. (Very much like Static 99)
    THE COURT’S DECISION REQUIRES THAT A ONE-TIME OFFENDER MUST BECOME A RECIDIVIST TO QUALIFY FOR LIFETIME REGISTRATION.

    “Given the obvious burden of registration and the potentially serious criminal consequences of a lapse … to state the law is not ‘penal’ is little answer to a defendant who had good reason to believe he had done all required of him, only to find himself staring at lifetime registration,” wrote Dougherty.
    An offender must have a chance to rehabilitate before being penalized with a second offense, the high court found.
    “We do not dispute the commonwealth’s argument that each image of child pornography possessed represents a separate, independent crime,” Dougherty wrote.
    However, Dougherty said, clear and simple, “the statute requires an act, a conviction, and a subsequent act to trigger lifetime registration for multiple offenses.” •

  4. mike r

    what a stupid site even after registering I couldn’t veiw the article..crazy

  5. David

    “Often the distinction is based on whether the consequences are civil or criminal. The decision with regard to sex offender registration got a little murky after the A.S. decision.
    The Supreme Court has held the registration provisions are not punitive for purposes of constitutional challenges. However, the high court acknowledged in A.S., “Whether the statute is deemed a penal one subject to the rule of lenity and strict construction or not … the fact is that interpretations—and predictions—of the statute’s effect have to be made…”
    “Given the obvious burden of registration and the potentially serious criminal consequences of a lapse … to state the law is not ‘penal’ is little answer to a defendant who had good reason to believe he had done all required of him, only to find himself staring at lifetime registration,” wrote Dougherty.
    An offender must have a chance to rehabilitate before being penalized with a second offense, the high court found.”

    Maybe, just maybe, the courts are beginning to understand that registration and the many related registered offender laws ARE PUNISHMENT!!!

  6. Kris Klein

    It would be nice to be able to read the article without signing up. We registrants are already paranoid about giving out too much info. However I did find a round about way to read the article. Copy the title of the article and paste it in the google search engine. Click on the Legal Intelligencer link at the top and the full article pops up. Don’t ask me why but it seems to work

  7. Kris Klein

    Sorry folks. I just found out it only works thru page 1. For page 2 & 3 you have to register & I’m not about to. But it would have been nice to know what the rest of the article is about

  8. Kevin

    So, this site is asking me to signup (create a login and password) to read an article that pertains directly to me (I am a PA registrant) which I will then have 3 days to report my login directly to the state police in person or face the possibility of prosecution. If something unexpected were to happen and I am unable to report that login then I am screwed. I’d rather not read the article and not be able to assist in any type of remedy for my registration than face the possibility of prison. How is that for the government keeping control over me?

    • Timmr

      Yeah, don’t do what Aaron Swartz did, download scholarly articles so that anyone can read them and be educated. It ended badly for him.

    • Doc Martin

      That’s exactly right! Rain, snow, sleet, or hurricane…..it’s your ass! if you don’t report changes in 3 days in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. You think cops would have other things to worry about here in the Burgh such as…let’s see….carjackings & homicides. But I’m not fooled for 1 second that Pittsburgh’s finest won’t think about coming to get me for not updating my price club membership

  9. Kris Klein

    This separate article addresses some of the issues of the above posted on the forum.

    http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/pennsylvania-supreme-court-nixes-lifetime-megan-s-law-registration-for/article_11859ff8-6565-11e6-a294-db9ef1036f3d.html

    Seems like a combination of the the Pennsylvania court decision & the AWA tier system actually benefited this man. What struck me the most is he was charged with 77 felony counts of possession but ended up with 3 years probation. Thomas Lutz-Morrison better thank his lucky stars he didn’t get caught in Florida where he could easily be facing over 20 years to life

  10. ma.concerned.citizen

    Just enter a bunch of gibberish to “register” for the site. There is no confirmation email sent, so you can view it immediately. I just entered a phony made up email address, and I had instant access.

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