Another Blow to SORNA I with Failure to Register Conviction Relief

By Josiah December 22, 2021 has seen the release of many case opinions from the PA Supreme Court (SCOPA) with Commonwealth v. David Santana being the biggest win for our advocacy efforts. In a 5-2 decision, SCOPA affirmed the Superior Court’s opinion that “Mr. Santana’s registration requirement under SORNA was an after-the-fact punishment, and therefore unconstitutional. Accordingly, he had no…

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Separation of Powers in Pennsylvania: The Judiciary’s Prevention of Legislative Encroachment

Duquesne Law Review Vol 32, No. 3, Article 6 1994 John M. Mulchey By JB The following article from the Duke University Law Review explains how and why our Pennsylvania Supreme Court is more powerful than most other states’ supreme courts. The cases and the way our Supreme Court has interpreted its powers are explained through the Court’s interpretation of…

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A legal argument against PA’s registry explained

Irrebuttable Presumption in Pennsylvania In Pennsylvania, there are two types of constitutional challenges to a statute: facial and as applied. An as-applied attack on a statute is a limited attack. “It does not contend that a law is unconstitutional as written, but that its application to a particular person under particular circumstances deprives that person of a constitutional right” (Com.…

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Legal challenge to strike down PA’s Registry given a green light

Commonwealth v. Torsilieri Update 1/15/21 The fate of the public sex offender registry in PA will be determined sometime this year or next. Either defendant Torsilieri’s challenge will again reach the Supreme Court of PA, or the Commonwealth will be able to convince lower judges of their argument. (For a history of this momentous case and its significant delay, please…

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PA Supreme Court’s Backwards Ruling in Lacombe and Witmayer

By: Josiah . . . The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (SCOPA) heard oral arguments in a consolidated case of Mr. Claude Lacombe and Mr. Michael Witmayer in November of 2019 challenging the constitutionality of Subchapter I of PA’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). SCOPA ruled Subchapter I is “non-punitive and does not violate the constitutional prohibition against ex post…

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejects SORNA challenge

By Larry of NARSOL. . . In these consolidated appeals, Commonwealth v. Lacombe and Commonwealth v. Witmayer, the Commonwealth (state) challenged orders of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas relieving appellees Claude Lacombe and Michael Witmayer of their duties to comply with Subchapter I of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. To achieve its dual goals of ensuring public safety…

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