PA: A deal is a deal – Supreme Court blocks retroactive registration boosts for sex offenders

Sex offender registration requirements can’t be increased for people who reached deals to plead guilty to sex crimes before Pennsylvania’s latest registration law took effect, the state Supreme Court has decided.

The high court reached that conclusion in an opinion Justice Max Baer issued this week on three consolidated cases involving York County sex offenders. Full Article

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umm Didn’t they try this in California and RC failed?

Yer kidding right, so a person is entitled to the deal made wth a judge, but are not entitled to any of the rights in the u.s. constitution? Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to travel, able to be free. Instead of having to provide labor and information to the government or be thrown in prison. Remember, those who register are only permitted to be free as long as they comply, if thats not slavery, then lets ask some slaves what is slavery. Citizens dont have to do anything for the government, unless they get a benefit. In fact, this is the basis of any contract. What benefit does an SO get, his so called freedom. I never realized how cowardly people are, afraid of clowns now, lol. Its a shame these people who support registries are allowed to use the flag.

Question: How can this decision be utilized in other states like New York?

I had such a plea deal in 2001 for TEN YEARS REGISTRATION.

Then- In 2006 that changed to Lifetime

What the judge did not say… is the new requirements are not punishments.

If it’s not punishment, then what is this compelled service with felony punishment if the service of registration is not done called?

Every service should be paid, unless it is to punish a crime.

No service has a consequence above loss of pay or loss of job service, unless it is to punish a crime.

Involuntary service anyone?

So let me get this straight…

It’s ok to retro-actively require someone to register for any number of years legislature wants, as long as they weren’t required to register previously. If, however, registration was in effect for X number of years when they made their plea, then retro-active changes to that number of years can’t be done because it was contractually agreed to.

That doesn’t make sense. If something doesn’t exist at the time of your plea, how can you know to put “0 years” in a contract for it in order to avoid them adding it to you later?

About a month ago, the Sixth Circuit Ct of Appeals in Cincinnati made a similar ruling regarding Michigan’s more repressive amendments to is SORA that went into effect on July 1, 2011. The court opinion stated very clearly that the changes are indeed punishment and it was a unanimous 3-judge opinion. The plaintiffs were represented by the ACLU office in Grad Rapids. More info can be found at its website

I commend the ACLU’s good works and the surprising result here. Kudos to the judges too!

I’d be curious to know how the law would effect pre Meghan’s Law registrants.