Commonwealth v. Zack

The Pennsylvania Superior Court issued an opinion regarding Megan’s Law III, sexually violent predators, SORNA I, Commonwealth v. Muniz, Commonwealth v. Neiman, and other related provisions. The opinion is best read within arm’s reach of Excedrin (or if you are one of our readers from the Garden State, maybe a green leafy substance). A defendant filed a PCRA petition challenging two convictions for failing to adhere to the rules for sex offenders. One conviction was based on 18 Pa.C.S. § 4915(a)(1), which is the former version of the offense that expired when SORNA replaced Megan’s Law III on December 20, 2012, and then struck down a year later in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Neiman. The Superior Court vacated the conviction because the defendant was sentenced per an unconstitutional statute. He also challenged his conviction under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4915.1(a.2)(1), which took the place of the unconstitutional provision and raised a Muniz-style ex post facto constitutional claim. The Court rejected that argument based on Commonwealth v. Lacombe and affirmed the conviction.

Zack