Reply To: AWA Loses in Pennsylvania’s Highest Court – Discussion Continued

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Terry Brunson

@ Mike
Commonwealth v. Moore, No. 1556 WDA 2018 (Pa. Super. 2019)
Nature of Case: Appellant was convicted of sex offenses in state court and lost his direct appeal. On collateral attack, he successfully vacated his sentence as illegal. At re-sentencing, the trial court notified him that under Pennsylvania’s SORNA II, he would be required to register as a sex offender for life. Appellant filed a post-sentence motion challenging the constitutionality of the registration requirement, and the trial court denied relief. Appellant then sought review.

Holding: Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the decision of the trial court, finding that the provisions of SORNA II which mandated internet dissemination of sex offender registration information were so punitive in effect as to vitiate any non-punitive legislative intent. Therefore, to apply them retroactively violates the federal Ex Post Facto clause.