Pennsylvania v. Muniz (opinion announcing the judgment of the court)Annotate this Case
The Superior Court held Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) registration provisions were not punishment, and therefore retroactive application to appellant Jose Muniz, who was convicted of sex offenses prior to SORNA’s effective date but sentenced afterwards. The court held that sentencing did not violate either the federal or state ex post facto clauses. Appellant argued that applying SORNA retroactively to him was unconstitutional. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed, holding: (1) SORNA’s registration provisions constituted punishment notwithstanding the General Assembly’s identification of the provisions as nonpunitive; (2) retroactive application of SORNA’s registration provisions violated the federal ex post facto clause; and (3) retroactive application of SORNA’s registration provisions also violated the ex post facto clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution.