Last week the Pennsylvania Superior Court granted relief to a bunch of persons required to register as sex offenders in Commonwealth v. Fernandez (2018 PA Super 245 – Pa: Superior Court 2018).
In 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme court invalidated the retroactive provisions from the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) in Commonwealth v. Muniz, 164 A.3d 1189 (Pa. 2017), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 925 (2018). Muniz held that the trial court may not retroactively increase registration requirements under SORNA.
Nineteen individuals appealed the retroactive enhancement of their registration requirements after registration violations. Although the facts of their cases were all different, their situation was the same; they were convicted of sexual offenses BEFORE the enactment of SORNA in PA (2011), and SORNA was applied retroactively to include them, the courts consolidated their case into one – which held that the retroactive application of SORNA was unconstitutional.
The court held the appellants are not subject to SORNA’s retroactive registration increases!