Update on Commonwealth v. Aumick

As you may recall, I posted an article on February 26th about the Superior Court opinion of Commonwealth v. John Aumick where the Court found that SVP determinations cannot be based simply on allegations and hearsay. Normally I don’t write articles on Superior Court cases for two reasons: 1) an application for en banc (full court) reargument can be filed whereas, if granted, the opinion would be withdrawn and a reversal of the previous opinion could occur, or 2) an appeal could be filed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court whereas, if granted, the lower court’s opinion could be reversed as we saw in Commonwealth v. Butler. Well… the first scenario has started to unfold in Aumick. The Commonwealth asked the Superior Court for a chance to reargue the case before the entire panel of the 15 justices, each case is normally heard before three justices. The reargument date is currently scheduled for September 14th. There is the potential for the panel to reverse their previous opinion. Hopefully it won’t come to that. I consider this another lesson learned about reporting on a case prematurely. From here on out I will not be reporting on cases out of the lower courts unless the time for appeal has expired or for when there’s further development in Commonwealth v. Torsilieri. I will, however, continue to follow Aumick and fill you in on what the Court’s opinion is when the time comes.

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Josiah Krammes is Board Chair of Pennsylvania Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws where he oversees Education, Public Awareness, and Legal Information/Analysis.

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