Press Release: HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (PARSOL) strongly urges the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to uphold Chester County Judge Allison Bell Royer’s finding in the case of Comm. v. George Torsilieri that Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is unconstitutional.
Royer found that “SORNA is unconstitutional both facially and as applied to this Defendant on the bases that it employs an irrebuttable presumption that is not universally applicable and because its punitive nature offends Alleyne and Apprendi; results in a criminal sentence in excess of the statutory maximums; violates Federal and State proscriptions against cruel and unusual punishment; and breaches the separation of powers doctrine.”
“The fact that people can and do change is an important cornerstone of PARSOL’s core values,” said PARSOL Legislative Director Randall Hayes. “Prevention, treatment, and healing are possible. We take a person-first approach to criminal justice reform that cultivates a fair and just society, honors inherent dignity, and promotes respect and fairness.”
“Decades of research states that sex offense registries are not only ineffective, but the damage they cause to individuals’ reputations is also known to increase the likelihood of re-offense,” added Theresa Robertson, Ph.D., PARSOL executive director. “We work to provide resources and advocacy for Pennsylvania citizens who struggle daily with the added burden placed upon them by public registries.”
Appellee attorney Aaron Marcus, Esq. agreed in his argument, stating, “There is a difference between the conviction and the effect of the registry’s label of a ‘high risk of danger’ on individuals, particularly things like unemployment and joblessness, houselessness, depression, and even suicide are affected by the label. SORNA says that individuals on this registry pose a risk of sexual danger, not just at the time of conviction, but now and forever into the future as long as they are on the registry.”
Eisenberg repeatedly stated that it is not the court’s position to determine the legislature’s foundation for creating a public registry in his argument. Yet, the constitutionality of the legislation and the administration’s actions in enacting it is very much in the court’s purview.
“We continue to call on our legislators and policymakers to avoid supporting knee-jerk fear-based legislation and public policy and, instead, implement fact-based ones as recommended by the American Law Institute,” added Hayes. “These recommendations include ending the practice of public sex offense registries, restricting registry information to law enforcement and legitimate background checks, a standardized registration period, and clear definitions and penalties for misusing registry information.”
Media Relations Contact: John Dawe, PARSOL Communication Director – [email protected]
“Decades of research states that sex offense registries are not only ineffective”. I would disagree. While they may not have been effective in what they were supposedly created to do, make people safer, they have been “very effective” for those who make a living with the information. Senator Book has a charity receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from State coffers and continually introduces bills in the Senate to further punish people on the registry with new laws that would make no difference in safety. Politicians, Law Enforcement, and many others grandstand on the subject, because it is effective in getting them re-elected.
We gone from
“The risk of recidivism posed by sex offenders is “frightening and high”” 2003 and “the rate of recidivism of untreated offenders has been estimated to be as high as 80%” 2002
To evidence summited to this trial “ according to the record for this case, “80 to 95 percent of [past] offenders are likely NOT to recidivate.” research is in our favor in this case hopefully the judges see that. Also the lawyer does tell the justices that the overall re-offense rate is under 2% so hopefully they pick up on that as well. The question is whether they think 5% to 20% is still frightening, and high.
Also I truly believe our side had a better argument than the state. We showed Sorna hurts reputation after the fact and low recidivism rates.
There is a simple solution to all of this. Give EVERYONE, a 2nd chance and if you get arrested again(For any new sex offense) then you get life in prison. Those who continue to do as we are doing and living our lives would be taken off the registry to prove their worth to society.
I personally would agree to this because I had never been arrested before my offense for almost 30 years, and now almost 32 years since my only offense, still no arrests. I and many others made some stupid mistakes that did not involve violence or physically hurting anyone.
But the fact we cannot get a chance because we are on probation for life, symbolically (The registry) we might as well be in prison. For every one thing we are allowed to do as citizens, there are 100 that we are not allowed to do, for example, in some places almost no place to live except under a bridge. How is that constitutional to send someone to live in the woods.
I once saw an ad a long time ago for something, I think it was smoking. The ad featured 1000s of families who had lost a relative and it was basically showing that the product affected more than just the smoker.
Imagine if every registrant, their families, loved ones, bosses and friends, showed up in person on the supreme court grounds in solidarity to show all the people effected by the registry beyond just the registered person.
Finally a judge with a brain who does not accept the “frightening and high” BS, but rather accepts solid FACTS.
I think there will be a very good outcome in this case.
I just hope the Judge has no political motivations
We can only hope. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania precedent would take years to trickle into other states. And people travelling would still be subject to the host state and countries, and the DOJ notifications.