SORNA – Constitutional Victory
This is one of the first cases in Pennsylvania to be resolved.
I am pleased to have successffully represented a client who was unconstitutionally required to register as a sex offender since 2012. In 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to require a person to register under 42 Pa.C.S. Chapter 97, where that person’s registration requirement had expired. This decision focused on the SORNA legislation passed in 2012.
The SORNA legislation required individuals who for example, had a 10 registration requirement for certain offenses, to now register for life regardless of the initial registration requirements. The Court got this one right and held that registration is in essence a penalty and therefore, requiring an additional penalty was ex post facto and unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a challenge to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in Muniz filed by the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office.