State Must Reenact Megan’s Law to Preserve Sex Offender Registration – Sep 12, 2017
Without legislative fix approximately 10,000 sex offenders could avoid prosecution for failing to register and may be removed from PSP’s SO’s registry list.
Members of PA. House Judiciary Committee on September 12, 2017 heard from Cumberland County District Attorney Freed , who said without a sufficient statute in place to put any registration requirements on sexual offenders, district attorneys would not be able to prosecute individuals who fail to register or verify their registry.
He added unless the Commonwealth reenacts a version of Megan’s Law in response to a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, (Commonwealth v Muniz 19 July 2017 which when enforced by the PASC – approximately 10,000 sex offenders in PA. would escape prosecution for failing to register or verify their obligations related to Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law registry and could be removed from the list.
Freed told the PA. House Judiciary Committee that it is a very real possibility that those who had to register as sex offenders before December 20, 2012 may not be able to be prosecuted for failing to meet their registration or verification obligations and may actually be removed from the Megan’s Law website.”
Freed’s office litigated Commonwealth vs. Muniz, in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that provisions of the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) that applied retroactively were unconstitutional.
Freed has said he will file a petition for Writ Certiorari with the U. S. Supreme Court.
Just last week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stayed the Muniz decision pending his filing with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The real heart of the issue is when SORNA went into effect it replaced Pennsylvania’s previously enacted Megan’s Law provisions that do not now exist as of this day.
By adopting SORNA, on 20 December 2012 the state of Pennsylvania expired all previous Megan Law rules which opens the door for 10,000 SO’s to be removed all together off the of the PSP web – site and registry record.
Freed is recommending the reenactment of a version of Megan’s Law that was in place before the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) replaced it 2012. This new version of Megan’s Law would apply to those offenders to whom SORNA applied retroactively, meaning that their registration crimes were committed before December 20, 2012.
Under this proposal some offenders would ultimately come off the registry, but the numbers would pale in comparison to the possible 10,000 who could ultimately be removed from the registry should no legislative action be taken immediately.
Now – this is the recommendation to make a New Megan’s Law to cover some pre-SORNA SO’s – only problem is THAT TOO WOULD BE APPLIED RETROACTIVELY – And we are right back at what the MUNIZ decision is all about…….
To make a new Megan’s Law just for Pre-SORNA people would make a bigger mess. . . . . .
Every Pre- SORNA SO will say wait a minute ya. . . . . . Didn’t we just get from under SORNA of 20 December 2012? Now we will fight to get from under any new Magan’s Law fix of 2017 that would not apply to us neither. . .
It too would violate due process procedural and substance – Ex Post Facto – Equal protections rights of all getting relief from MUNIZ decision- and the web site would violate reputation laws of PA Constitution Article 1 Section 1 and 11 and section 17 and section 9 . . . MAKING A NEW MEGAN’s LAW TO FIT SOME PRE-SORNA PEOPLE UNDER – JUST WOULD NOT WORK AT ALL – It too would be unfair some pre SORNA get relief others get a New Megan’s Law to be under. . . . . . How does that sound? Dumb of what? ……….. Terry Brunson