In Commonwealth v. Muhammad, the PA Superior Court ruled that Revised Subchapter H of the Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”), 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 9799.10—9799.42, was unconstitutional as applied to the defendant because the statute created an irrebuttable presumption that her convictions for interference with custody of children, false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, and conspiracy … Read more
An en banc panel of the Superior Court waded into the murky waters of SORNA in Commonwealth v. Santana. The defendant was convicted of rape in New York in 1983 and was released from jail in 2000. Under NY law, he was required to register as a sex offender for life. In 1994, Pennsylvania enacted … Read more
In Commonwealth v. Smith, the PA Superior Court held that the defendant’s petition to remove himself from sex offender registration was not an untimely PCRA petition. Relying on Commonwealth v. Lacombe, the Court held that the lower court was obligated to review the merits of the claim.
In Commonwealth v. Mickley, the Superior Court followed the precedent of Commonwealth v. Torsilieri and remanded the defendant’s case to provide both parties an opportunity to develop arguments, to present additional evidence, and to allow the trial court to weigh that evidence in determining whether the Commonwealth refuted the relevant legislative findings supporting the challenged … Read more
The Superior Court revisited SORNA, Butler II, Torsilieri, and Lacombe in Commonwealth v. Manzano, where the Court rejected the challenge to Subchapter H of SORNA I. Because the appellant was found to be a sexually violent predator, he failed to show what he was required to do beyond that which was required based on his SVP designation.
In a stunning turn of events, the PA Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Lacombe ruled that Subchapter I of SORNA is nonpunitive and, thus, applying it to individuals, who committed crimes and were sentenced before its enactment, does not violate the prohibition on ex post facto laws. This decision breaks with Commonwealth v. Muniz, which … Read more
The Chester County Court of Common Pleas declared Subchapter H of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) unconstitutional as violative of several provisions of both the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. The PA Supreme Court vacated and remanded. The Court began its discussion with an in-depth analysis of the developments in PA case … Read more
The defendant challenged his sentence for failing to register as a sex-offender under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4915, which has been ruled unconstitutional. The PA Supreme Court held that the defendant’s sentence was illegal and vacated the judgments of sentence.
The defendant pleaded guilty to sex crimes and was designated as a sexually violent predator (SVP) under SORNA II. He appealed and challenged the constitutionality of the SORNA II SVP assessment scheme because it provides for increased registration, notification, and counseling (“RNC”) requirements for a defendant deemed an SVP by clear and convincing evidence. Citing … Read more
In 2007, when he was a minor, the defendant pleaded guilty to rape of a child as well as related sex crimes. In 2018, the defendant filed a motion to bar imposition of registration pursuant to SORNA. He argued that, because he was a juvenile at the time he committed the offenses, requiring him to register as … Read more