NARSOL In Action
Wednesday, August 2nd
6:00 to 7:30 p.m. E.D.T.
You are invited to hear about a great victory announced by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the case of Commonwealth v Muniz. See full opinion here. You may also read NARSOL’s analysis of the decision here.
The Court declared that SORNA’s registration provisions constitute punishment under Article 1, Section 17 of the Pennsylvania Constitution — Pennsylvania’s Ex Post Facto Clause. The Court held:
- SORNA’s registration provisions constitute punishment notwithstanding the General Assembly’s identification of the provisions as nonpunitive;
- retroactive application of SORNA’s registration provisions violates the federal ex post facto clause; and
- retroactive application of SORNA’s registration provisions also violates the ex post facto clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Our special guest will be Aaron Marcus. Mr. Marcus is an attorney with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. He is currently assigned to the appellate division, and has tried numerous bench and jury trials since joining the Defender Association in 2006. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Widener Law School teaching criminal procedure. He received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 2004 where he was Editor-in-Chief of Volume XXII of the Journal of Law & Inequality and his B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 2001.
Before joining the Defender Association, Mr. Marcus served as a staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He has written and published on issues of drug policy, policing, and federalism. His articles have appeared in the William Mitchell Law Review, the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy and the Whittier Journal of Child & Family Advocacy.
He is now specializing, writing and lecturing in the area of sex offender registration, law, and policy.
Registration is free; please sign up so we will know how many to expect. The number is 641.715.3660, code 957605#.
NARSOL In Action
Wednesday, June 21st
8:00 to 9:30 p.m. E.D.T.
You are invited to hear about a fantastic win in the United States Supreme Court. This month’s conference call will focus on the case of Packingham v North Carolina, which is a very important First Amendment case just decided today which we expect to have far reaching ramifications. The issue before the court was N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.5, which makes it a felony for any person required to be listed on the state’s registry of former sex offenders to “access” a wide array of social networking websites. It was noted that more than 1000 have been convicted in addition to Packingham. The high court reversed the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision and held that the total ban is too broad.
Our special guest will be attorney Glenn Gerding who spoke at our annual conference and was significant in the development of this case.
- Review of Packingham v North Carolina; and
- Comments about the NARSOL National Conference
The telephone number is 641 715-3660 followed by 957605#. Although it is not required, we ask that yousign up here so we will have an idea of how many to expect on the call.
You may also read NARSOL’s analysis of the decision here.
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NARSOL condemns US Attorney General Sessions' plan to impose longer prison sentences
Washington, D.C.— The National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) strongly denounces the Department of Justice’s directive to reverse the Smart on Crime initiative introduced by the previous administrationNARSOL condemns United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ order to federal prosecutors directing that they seek maximum sentences. The length of sentence imposed at the end of a prosecution is the direct result of which charges are initially filed and the enhancements sought by the government.
NARSOL views this policy reversal as misguided and financially irresponsible as it will undoubtedly lead to longer periods of incarceration for everyone convicted of federal offenses. The Sessions' policy is a drastic shift from the orders given by former Attorney General Holder in 2013 when he directed federal prosecutors to reserve the harshest charges for violent criminals and the leaders of drug cartels and urged more leniency to non-violent offenders.
NARSOL fears this order will only exacerbate what is already a serious problem of excessive sentences for those convicted of these crimes, which are primarily possession or distribution of child pornography. Because of this new order, the already harsh penalties will become more extreme and greater than the penalties for hands-on, violent offenses. Sometimes the sentences imposed for possession of child pornography exceed the natural lifespan of the person. More than 15,000 inmates are currently in federal custody serving time for these sexually related offenses. Although the Smart on Crime initiative was not specifically tailored to reduce the excessive sentences imposed for sexual offenses, it was a significant step in the right direction, which has now, by virtue of Sessions’ order, come to an abrupt halt.
NARSOL notes that the federal prison population has declined significantly in recent years from a high of 219,298 in FY 2013 to the current total of 188,797. The decrease in the number of federal prisoners was produced by several policy changes orchestrated by the U.S. Sentencing Commission and through the now-rescinded DOJ Smart on Crime directive. NARSOL views this current action as a tragic step backwards and calls on Congress to undo Sessions’ order and continue the Smart on Crime initiative.
NARSOL does not in any way condone sexual activity between adults and children, nor does it condone any sexual activity that would break laws in any state. We do not advocate lowering the age of consent, and we have no affiliation with any group that does condone such activities.
LJC agrees with and supports this statement.