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Be wary of emotionally charged laws named after dead people

There’s an old adage in politics that says “it’s always better to do something than nothing.” One look at emotionally charged legislation like Kate’s Law, however, and that hackneyed phrase gets turned on its head. Officially titled “Establishing Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act of 2015,” Kate’s Law does exactly as its title suggests: It establishes a five-year mandatory minimum…

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Big win for sex offenders in PA as registration held punishment

7-19-17 Pennsylvania: Yesterday, in Commonwealth v. Muniz, __A.3d__ (Pa., July 19, 2017) (47 MAP 2016), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held what for a long time has been obvious to many: that sex offender registration is punishment. Five Justices declared that Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act’s (SORNA) “registration provisions constitute punishment under Article 1,

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The Dobbs Wire: WIN – Pennsylvania Supreme Court says it’s punishment!

A win!  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court just handed down an important ruling concerning the state’s sex offense registry law—yes, it is “punishment” and no, it cannot be applied retroactively.  Pennsylvania’s registration statute was already harsh but lawmakers enacted an even harsher version in 2012 and made the new law apply even to those who had been sentenced under the old…

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Ruling Could Cut Thousands From Sex Offender Registry

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that adding someone to the state’s sex offender registry is a punishment, and therefore cannot be done retroactively. The case, Pennsylvania v. Muniz, pertained to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which went into effect in Pennsylvania in 2012. Previous sex offense law required certain offenders to register for the list for…

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PA: Court: Tougher Sex Offender Reporting Can’t Be Retroactive

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that changes enacted five years ago to toughen reporting requirements under Pennsylvania’s sex offender registration law cannot be applied retroactively. The high court said Jose M. Muniz, convicted in Cumberland County of indecent assault of a 12-year-old girl, will not have to register for life. He was convicted in 2007 but was not sentenced…

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