Reply To: AWA Loses in Pennsylvania’s Highest Court

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Anonymous

Remember the entire point of Act 10 was to “fix” the Muniz Decision as in fix all the errors that the PA Supreme Court said was present in the registry.
So, according to the Commonwealth, it does not matter if this or that was expired. Act 10 is a brand new registry applied retroactively to those convicted before Feb 2018 because Act 10 (and thus the new registry) is civil and therefore is not punishment and as such is not limited by ex-post facto protections.
Ex Post Facto is latin that means “After the Fact”. You cannot make wearing a yellow shirt illegal and then arrest someone for wearing a yellow shirt before the law was passed. Or, you can’t say the punishment for breaking this law is 5 years and then change it to 10 years after the defendant has been convicted.
Whether the registry is punishment is not a settled issue now that Act 10 is on the scene.
I think the Pa Supreme Court will side that the registry is punishment due to the change of how we use the internet from 15 years ago when doe vs Snyder was decided. Justice Kennedy said as much in the Packingham decision.