PA: Judge to weigh sex offender registration

Source: altoonamirror.com 1/12/23 A Blair County senior judge has scheduled arguments in May to consider a constitutional challenge to state law requiring convicted sex offenders to regularly register their addresses and related information with state police. In recent orders, Senior Judge Timothy M. Sullivan set an April 11 sentencing date for Colby James ____ of Tyrone and a May 12 hearing date to consider the constitutional challenges being raised on ____ ‘s behalf to the state’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act. ____ , 22, who pleaded guilty in March…

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Canada: Jamie Sarkonak: What counts as a sex crime is too broad and it’s ruining people’s lives

Source: nationalpost.com 11/7/22 If some sex crimes are of such low significance that it’s considered a civil rights violation to put convicts’ addresses in a database for police eyes only, Parliament should re-examine its approach to sex-related offences as a whole. The recent Supreme Court decision in which it was declared unconstitutional to order all sex offenders onto a national registry upon conviction highlights a problem, not with the registry itself, but with the ever-widening scope of what constitutes a sex crime. It’s a sign that Parliament should return to deciding the…

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Canada: Supreme Court rules mandatory sex offender registry is unconstitutional

Source: nationalpost.com 10/28/22 Mandatory listing on Canada’s sex offender registry is, for some offenders, an unjustified infringement on their liberty that is not rationally connected to the goal of investigating or preventing sexual crimes, the Supreme Court ruled Friday. Automatic lifetime listing in the case of multiple sexual offences is similarly “overbroad,” the court decided in striking down both laws to permit discretion by sentencing judges. … Imposing those automatically, with no regard to an offender’s circumstances or risk of re-offending, is not justified by any rational connection to the…

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How can sex offender registries be constitutional?

Source: quora.com  There are two short answers: (1) For the most part, the courts have found them to be constitutional because a) they weren’t created with the intent of inflicting punishment and b) they are not punitive enough in effect to override the government’s “legitimate interests.” I would argue substantively that both of these contentions are false. It wouldn’t require a monumental effort. Generally, though, the registries are considered “civil, regulatory” measures. Except that practically no “real” regulatory, civil requirement is so intrusive or stringent while carrying the threat of…

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11th Circuit upholds Alabama’s sex offender registry law after waiting seven years

Source: talkingpointsmemo.com 8/3/22 The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a case on Monday more than seven years after the matter was first filed, and hours after TPM published an article about the delay. The 81-page ruling was per curiam, meaning that all three judges on the panel – Ed Carnes, Jill Pryor, and Kenneth Ripple, visiting from the 7th Circuit – signed off on it, but no one judge claimed authorship. The case first hit the 11th Circuit in 2015. Michael McGuire, a homeless Black man…

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PA: Pennsylvania Court Decides State Registry Laws Violate State Constitution

Source: ACSOL A court in Pennsylvania decided this week that its state registry laws violate the state’s constitution for two reasons.  First, the laws are based upon a false presumption that all registrants have a high risk of reoffending.  Second, the laws are punitive.  “This decision by a Pennsylvania court is the clearest statement available to date regarding how registries punish individuals convicted of a sex offense and yet are ineffective at preventing future sexual abuse,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “Although this decision is binding only in Pennsylvania,…

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PA: Court upholds sex offender registration as constitutional

Source: huntingdondailynews.com 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…

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IN: En Banc Seventh Circuit Hears Challenge to Indiana Sex Offender Registry Law

[courthousenews.com – 5/20/21] Indiana argued before the full Seventh Circuit on Thursday that state law does not place unfair registration requirements on sex offenders moving to the Hoosier State. At issue is a provision of the Indiana Sex Offender Registry Act requiring people convicted of sex offenses who relocate to Indiana to register as sex offenders, even if the crime was committed before the law was passed. The plaintiffs are challenging its retroactive application. The requirement creates a situation where an Indiana resident who was not required register as a…

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The sex offender registry: a non-punitive civil regulatory scheme

[narsol.org 5/22/18] Keep that in mind. Keep repeating it. A non-punitive civil regulatory scheme. Civil, not criminal. The requirement to register is triggered by a criminal conviction, both felonies and misdemeanors, but the requirement to register is not part of punishment. It is non-punitive. So ruled the Supreme Court well over a decade ago. It is a Non-Punitive. Civil. Regulatory. Scheme. And yet, in many states, failure to register and even infractions in adhering to the registration procedure will land one in jail. Several years ago in Texas, Josh Gravens…

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Federal Courts Examining Constitutionality of Sex Offender Registries

[o4anews.com 4/20/18] Back before the judicial system became a sprawling monster of inefficiency and inequity, justice was served in America. The punishment fit the crime, and once you got out of prison, ALL of your rights were returned, including gun ownership and voting rights. Not so much in America today. In the “kinder, gentler” America as GHW Bush would have called it, sentences do not match the crimes, and convicted felons are released according to their sentences, but there’s a catch. If you’re a sex offender, your sentence doesn’t end…

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PA: State Supreme Court remanding cases after Muniz

[floridaactioncommittee.org] Sex offender cases in Pennsylvania are being remanded in the wake of Commonwealth v. Muniz, the PA case which found their registry unconstitutional under the ex post facto clauses of the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. In Commonwealth v. Polzer, the appellant introduced the issue of whether, “SORNA’S irrebuttable presumption that all sexual offenders pose a high risk of reoffending violates procedural and substantive due process under the Pennsylvania Constitution.” and the due process clause of the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Read more…

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