Reply To: PA’s “sexually violent predator” process ruled unconstitutional


The decision, Commonwealth v. Butler, in the Superior Court of PA is a landmark ruling in my opinion. The decision, which quotes Apprendi v. New Jersey, as well as the US. v Alleyne case, says that imprisonment is NOT the only form of punishment. Therefore, I think, what the court is saying is that the enhancements to Megan’s Law that being designated an SVP means that it is added punishment. Therefore, according to both Apprendi and Alleyne, these enhancements must be brought before a jury to decide if all of the elements are there which deem the offender a sexually violent predator. The added restrictions are lifetime registration, lifetime counselling, which the offender must pay for, and door to door picture notifications to neighbors within 500 feet of where the person will live.