PA: Court upholds sex offender registration as constitutional

Source: 8/3/22

An attempt by a Petersburg man to be released from lifetime sexual offender registration failed last month when Pennsylvania’s Superior Court asserted registration is a “non-punitive, collateral consequence of his conviction” and not a violation of his constitutional rights.

According to the decision issued by the Superior Court in Howard’s case, Howard argued lifetime registration is “cruel and unusual punishment” and therefore violates his constitutional rights as outlined in the U.S. Constitution’s 8th Amendment.

In its decision, written by the state Judge Alice Beck Dubow, the state Superior Court concludes:
— SORNA’s sex offender registration requirements are properly characterized as collateral consequences of a conviction, thus the requirement in Howard’s case does not impact the legality of Howard’s sentence.
— “Moreover, we presume a legislative act is constitutional, and will only find it unconstitutional if it ‘ clearly, palpably and plainly violates the Constitution.’”

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From the article:

In its decision, written by the state Judge Alice Beck Dubow, the state Superior Court concludes:

— SORNA’s sex offender registration requirements are properly characterized as collateral consequences of a conviction, thus the requirement in Howard’s case does not impact the legality of Howard’s sentence.

— “Moreover, we presume a legislative act is constitutional, and will only find it unconstitutional if it ‘ clearly, palpably and plainly violates the Constitution.’”

And this is why Smith v Doe needs to be overturned. This is like the Jim Crow laws of “separate, but equal” was law.

My hope is that when ACSOL does go back to SCOTUS to overturn Smith v Doe, that somehow they expose there shouldn’t be a difference between punitive penalty and civil penalty b/c civil penalty masks the punitiveness of a bad law. This can easily be demonstrated by comparing the 2003 registry from Smith v Doe to today’s version of the registry. Also, I want ACSOL to belittle the SCOTUS for using fake data as we can easily share the countless research papers that reveal low re-offense rates or that the registry doesn’t make a difference in re-offense (see NJ 20-year study).

A penalty is a penalty, regardless of punitiveness or administrative.

Also, the Constitution was written because the founding fathers know people are not Angels. Presuming a legislative act is constitutional is saying to believe people are always angels with their intent. We know this is often not the case as we can point to 3/5ths compromise, Jim Crow laws, and the Japanese Internment camps.

He can always put the question to the people. It’s important to remember slavery itself was once considered proper by the U.S. Courts. The courts errors in it’s underestimation of the database driven infrastructure’s ability to wreak havoc upon the balance of society. The potential exists whereby collateral consequences for the court could evolve from the abandonment of ex post prohibition doctrine too.
SCOTUS recently abandoned Roe v Wade doctrine, and there were collateral consequences. The same could happen with SOR. Roe was doctrine since 1973. The real problem being, so far sex offenders have mostly tolerated the people’s interpretation rendering them subservient to state database and regular upkeep thereof as a civil cause. In case some haven’t noticed WW3 may begin and end with control over a database in chip form!

If you are like me, you would immediately think of Munoz and ask WTF?? Well, here’s the answer: the Superior Court is just below the Pennsylvania Commonwealth’s Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania Court Structure


I still can’t understand why so many are obsessed with overturning Smith v. Doe. Every lawmaking body in the country has legislated out every single characteristic of a civil regulation that the Smith court found applied to Alaska’s registry at the time. I would think it more effective to argue that any given state’s registry currently has absolutely no resemblance to Alaska’s 2003 registry beyond its name, therefore Smith shouldn’t apply.

I for one am pretty sure the Smith court would have ruled differently if the residence and employment restrictions, in-person reporting, retroactivity of new restrictions and obligations, and everything else had been a part of Alaska’s 2003 registry, the court would have found differently. And Roberts certainly wouldn’t have compared it to a Price Club membership.

State police at Huntingdon investigated the case. According to the affidavit of probably cause, police were dispatched to a home on King Street July 12, 2020, for a domestic violence incident prompted by Howard’s alleged sexual assault of the female victim.

Police say the victim reported Howard raped and assaulted her at least two times between Jan. 1 and July 12. Police say Howard told them he knew his actions were wrong and described himself as “a sicko.”

The guy isn’t even out of prison yet. This had no chance, how did it even get this far?

So basically what the court says is, the fourth amendment no longer applies to you as a result of your conviction. That is patently absurd, and there should be consequences for that bigoted judge.

I know nothing of smith vs Doe but I always hear people talking about it on here, all I know is the sex offender registry is only still constitutional because people in states like California, Texas and Oregon who have the highest population of sex offenders do nothing to fight back, even the supreme court’s can’t believe it.
The DOJ is using the same old tactics they used on African-Americans in this country, once they realize they couldn’t control them anymore they simply charge the classification from salves to criminals.
Same thing is happening with PFR in this country I went from being A unable to be rehabilitated, sexual predator to a youth offender who has the possibility to re-integrate back into society, my new classification is Tier 2.
Now that we’re all divided the DOJ can continue their rain of terror and lifetime punishment on people forced to register, people with 10 or 20 years don’t want any problems or unwanted attention so there not gonna speak up and fight back, forcing Tier 3 offenders to stand alone in this unconditional war.