NEW: (# Failure to Register Technicality
NEW: Failure to Register a Sex Offense???
CAUTION: SORNA EFFECTIVE even if state has not enacted it
Plea Bargains: Santabello v New York
Forced to Carry Gov't Message Issue: See HERE
Blog also contains "Unfavorable" and "Informational" decisions and relevant news articles. All can be useful in framing arguments for new court actions. (i.e., avoid pitfalls or inform courts.) Or refuting charges, check facts of cases v yours.
Leagle is our main court decision resource.
Find State decisions by the Federal Circuit a State is in.

CAUTION: Decisions are meant to be educational.
For "Personal Life Decisions" consult with a lawyer.

Lifetime registration unconstitutional for sex offenders

This case is being appealed, see lower paragraph.
11-28-2013 Pennsylvania:

York County judge orders state police to remove seven teens from sex offender registry

Seven local teens facing lifetime registration as sex offenders just got a pass.

A local judge has found the lifetime registration requirement for juveniles to be unconstitutional.

Drawing heavily on last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found mandatory life sentences for juvenile killers unconstitutional, Senior Judge John C. Uhler has held that lifetime registration for juvenile sex offenders also is unconstitutional for many of the same reasons.

In a 41-page analysis and opinion issued Nov. 4, Uhler ruled that the recently implemented Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) violates the constitutional rights of juveniles because, while it also conflicts with the purposes of the state's Juvenile Act, it has created the same "one size fits all" feature that the U.S. Supreme Court found unconstitutional in juvenile murder sentencing

District Attorney Tom Kearney said he will appeal Uhler's decision.

"We have to," Kearney said Monday. "It puts us in a position where one county is handling matters differently from other counties. The appellate courts will have to decide this."

Uhler noted there was little debate on how the law, which came into effect on Dec. 20, 2012, would affect juvenile offenders.

At the time, he stated, legislators seemed more keen on closing a Megan's Law loophole as it pertained to adult transient and homeless sex offenders.

The law was passed pursuant to federal requirements.

Under SORNA, juveniles adjudicated guilty or who admitted to rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse or aggravated indecent assault, are required to register with the state police for life.

The seven juveniles whose cases were considered by Uhler all had been adjudicated or made admissions before SORNA was enacted.

In his opinion, Uhler agreed that Pennsylvania's juvenile courts were created "to provide guidance and rehabilitation for the child and protection for society, not to affix criminal responsibility, guilt and punishment."

Referring to the U.S. Supreme Court rulings that banned mandatory life without parole for juveniles, Uhler agreed that "children are constitutionally different from adults for sentencing purposes ... (because of their) diminished culpability and greater prospects for reform."

Uhler also took into account the wealth of research that shows recidivism among juvenile sex offenders is extremely low.

And although the legislature intended SORNA to be non-punitive, Uhler found the opposite.

SORNA's registration requirements are significantly more stringent than Megan's Law, Uhler held. Uhler also agreed that the "law is not reasonably designed to fulfill its purported function" and that it constitutes additional punishment.

"This court finds the SORNA provisions pertaining to juveniles are punitive and violate the ex post facto (retroactivity) clauses of the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions," Uhler wrote.

In acknowledging Uhler's decision, the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center called it a "landmark ruling." Deputy director and chief counsel Marsha Levick said on the center's website, "Kids are different. As recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court and as dictated by research, children may not be punished like adults in our justice system.

"As a court of second chances, juvenile court cannot impose lifetime penalties on children who we know are uniquely capable of turning their lives around and contributing to their communities."

Registration requirements for sex offenders

Following is the required information juvenile sex offenders must provide Pennsylvania State Police for the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.

• Names and aliases
• All addresses and residences
• Employment
• School enrollment
• All phone numbers
• Plate numbers and registration numbers for motor vehicles, including boats and planes
• Any temporary lodging
• Information on all Internet and social media accounts
• Occupational and professional licenses

Under SORNA, Tier III juvenile offenders -- those adjudicated or who have admitted to committing or attempting rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and other specified crimes -- are to report in person to a designated authority every 90 days.

The juvenile also must report in person to notify authorities of any changes in registration information within three business days.

There is a mandatory minimum three-year prison sentence for the first failure to report and a five-year prison sentence for the first failure to provide accurate information.

On Nov. 4, York County Senior John C. Uhler ruled the lifetime registration requirement is unconstitutional.

On Monday, York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said he will appeal Uhler's ruling
. ..Source.. by Rick Lee

No comments: