DA to ask Supreme Court to review Pennsylvania sex offender registry decision

The District Attorney of Cumberland County Pennsylvania says he’ll ask the U.S Supreme Court to review a recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that found the state’s current sex offender registration law is punishment and can’t be applied retroactively.

Just as in Nebraska, many Pennsylvanians saw their registration requirements increase when the state changed its laws in 2012.

“We’ve had clients where they’ve had previous registrations of 10 years or less than lifetime registrations and then having to come back and being told ‘you are now either lifetime or you are a 15-year registrant, 25-year registrant, something else,’” Cumberland County Chief Public Defender Michael Halkias said. “There’s been a lot of frustration from clients that it’s unfair that they now have these longer registration periods.” … “Our position has always been that it is punishment,” Halkias said. “It’s been very difficult to explain to people why it’s not considered criminal punishment. … I can’t say why they rationalized it that way, other than they could and wanted to.” 

All due to a law based on the discredited notion of “frightening and high” sex offender recidivism rates.

Read more here.

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