Thursday, December 20, 2012

PA - Challenge of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1183

Original Article


On December 20, RSOL sent a press release to 130 news outlets, and a few legislators, primarily in PA, announcing that it would soon challenge sections of Senate Bill 1183 (Pennsylvania’s new sex offender registration requirements) on multiple constitutional grounds. Constitutional challenges to AWA and other legislation and laws that affect our advocacy are meeting with some success. Just look at what is happening in CA and a few other states. This doesn't just affect PA or any one state. A victory anywhere is a victory for us all; we are truly all in this together.

We need your financial support! If you have thought about making a donation to our legal fund, or encouraging your constituency to do so, this is an excellent time. There is a legal fund PayPal button on the website, or mail checks to RSOL Legal Fund, PO Box 36123, Albuquerque, NM 87176. Donations to the legal fund goes directly to this and other challenges by RSOL. Please help us help you and your family!

Thank you all.

December 20, 2012

Contact: Larry Neely
RSOL Legal Committee

Reform Sex Offender Laws Inc. (RSOL) plans to soon challenge sections of Senate Bill 1183 (Pennsylvania’s new sex offender registration requirements) on multiple constitutional grounds."

Today marks the beginning of enforcement of a controversial new state law that purports to protect citizens from registered sex offenders. RSOL’s executive director Brenda Jones stated, “It is disappointing that Pennsylvania’s lawmakers chose to ignore the lessons learned when Ohio proceeded down this same disastrous path more than five years ago.” Ohio was the first state to be deemed AWA complaint, but the courts subsequently have found several aspects of Ohio’s new law unconstitutional. After expending millions of taxpayer dollars defending an unconstitutional law, Ohio was forced to revert back to the old registration system for those sentenced prior to the new law’s enactment.

Jones stated that provisions of Pennsylvania’s new law “transform what is supposed to be a non-punitive, civil regulatory measure into a form of lifetime probationary supervision for most persons on the registry,” which RSOL believes to be blatantly unconstitutional. “And further,” she continues, “all individuals on Pennsylvania’s registry will see their registration periods dramatically increase, with the majority becoming life-timers. This,” she emphasized, “is a violation of the ex post facto clause.”

Jones stated that although the new law was touted by its supporters as necessary to bring Pennsylvania into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act (AWA), “It does little if anything to improve public safety, and any marginal benefit achieved is at the expense of trampling over our most cherished constitutional protections.”

Jones concluded her remarks by saying, “It is most unfortunate that RSOL must undertake such a challenge, but make no mistake about it; we cannot and will not stand by while public policymakers shred the constitution and disregard their oaths of office.”

1 comment :

deathklok said...

Will this be challenged in state or federal court? It would be interesting to see how the federal courts would rule on this considering it is a federal law the state is trying to comply with. It's mind-boggling to think the federal government has set-up the states to fail like this. Too bad the policy makers aren't held financially responsible for crafting bogus laws that are costing the taxpayers so much. Optimistically we could call it a "jobs creation bill".