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.’”